JAMES M. LONG is a man of many skills and talents. But his passion is what brings this Bostonian to the pages of Goldmine: He loves collecting music.
James’ collecting philosophy might make a few die-hard vinyl collectors cringe (or, in our case, chuckle outright). We hope you enjoy getting to know James better.
By the way … Where have YOU been? We want to profile all of our readers!
If you’re game, please give Editor Pat Prince a call at 212-292-0075, Ext. 12266, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you do for a living?
James Long: I am an administrative assistant for Parsons Lab at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), an environmental engineering research laboratory. We’re trying to understand how the Earth system works. It’s no small task!
What are your passions besides collecting records?
JL: I went to school for photography, and though I went in a different direction career-wise, I still shoot and print quite a bit. Beyond that I spend a lot of time reading and tinkering with vintage audio/video equipment (such as my cranky old Sony CDP-101).
How did you get into music collecting?
JL: For a period in the mid-seventies, my father bought each 45 that hit No. 1 on the pop charts. It rubbed off, and at around 6 years old I began pestering him to take me to Woolco whenever I could round up enough loose change to buy a single. The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” was the first.
What’s your record-collecting motto/philosophy?
JL: Compact Discs have feelings, too.
What is your favorite musical act of all time?
JL: Wire, without question. Besides the main band, their members engage in a multitude of solo projects, which has yielded plenty of great releases to track down.
What is the focus on for your collection (genre, band, era, etc.)?
JL: I am quite fond of ’80s-vintage rock, alternative and jazz PolyGram CD releases that were pressed in West Germany. They reportedly tended to be straight transfers off the master or LP-cutting tapes, and though there are exceptions, usually sound quite good.
What is your most-prized item (both in dollar value and sentimental value)?
JL: My most valuable disc is definitely a still-sealed Sony Masterworks gold disc of Roger Waters’ “Amused To Death” that I actually found relatively recently at the original retail price.
My personal favorite, though, is a Japanese 3-inch CD of The Art Of Noise’s “Close-Up” that I found years ago at the late, lamented Main St. Records in Northampton, Mass.
What is your method of collecting? Where do you usually find the best bargains?
JL: With everyone ripping and abandoning CDs like never before, no one resource tends to be better than another. I have found great stuff everywhere from thrift stores to flea markets to the most respected shops like Amoeba Records. Persistence, as always, is key — not to mention patience.
Who’s your favorite record store operator/record dealer, and why?
JL: Some of my favorites were found at Planet Records in Boston when I was in college. They carried a great cross-section of music in a variety of genres and formats.
Sadly, Planet burned in a horrible fire a while back, but their spirit lives on at another location in Cambridge, Mass.
How long have you been a Goldmine reader?
JL: Admittedly I only recently became a subscriber, but I have been picking up issues on and off for years.
What do you like most about Goldmine (print and online)?
JL: It is terrific to still have a resource for reading up on collecting in general, and nice to know I’m not alone in my lunacy. The Goldmine forums are a great way to interact with peers.
What would you like to see in Goldmine?
JL: My one real hope is that Goldmine remains a vital resource for current and future generations of collectors. I am not a fuddy-duddy about newer digital technologies, but I do hope that once new music fans discover the fun of physical media they still have a publication like Goldmine to refer to.
For related items that you may enjoy in our Goldmine store:
• The brand new “Goldmine Standard Catalog of American Records 1948-1991, 7th Edition”
• Download Goldmine’s Secrets to Buying & Selling Records: Pay Less and Make More (Webinar Recording Download)
•Upgrade your Goldmine subscription with an All Access membership. Free access to seminars, downloads and collect.com. Also exclusive deals, sales, and a sneak-peek at new products.