When did you begin to collect records?

When did you begin to collect records?
Authored By John Nicholson

It’s one of the most asked questions from people, once they know of my 10,000+ collection. The truth is I never ‘started’, I just bought a lot of music because I loved educating myself about it, devouring and collecting as I went. I've always bought second hand records which were cheap. In fact I still buy stuff because it’s cheap. You’ve not much to lose if it's rubbish.
One of the first bands I collected was Ten Years After. I used to love finding an old record by them, the copy of Recorded Live, a particular passion. I only had maybe 100 records, but those TYA albums provoked the collecting itch.
By the time I was paying a fortune (£3!!) for an imported 7 inch of Cream’s Crossroads on Atco, the bug had taken hold.
When I left college I had already bought about 500, the University had a great trade in cheap, used records and Newcastle’s West Road was full of old fashioned junk stores, the kind you see less and less of these days, full of records just crammed into boxes. 
Then I had a break while we were hippies on the Black Isle. We didn’t even have a television. On returning to the north east in the summer of ‘86 I picked up the collecting ball and ran with it, adding about 500 more from record shops and car boots. Then came a period of hardship and like many before and since, I sold  my collection. We needed the cash and it was the only valuable thing we had. Bizarrely, I sold it to a record shop in Whitehaven. A thousand rare records
Which would be worth about £50,000 today at least and included a signed Beatles programme and ticket from the day JFK was murdered. They were playing Stockton ABC that night. God knows how much it's worth now. I sold it for £90 to a Japanese collector.
As soon as I sold them, I regretted it and vowed to get the  whole lot back. And I did. Not the originals, though it'd be great if I could. It was that period of time when no one wanted vinyl. From 1992 to 2010 vinyl was deeply unfashionable and you could buy pretty much anything for 50p to £3.00. Record shops had massive pound shelves. Carboots were a treasure trove. I would take home 70 -100 records for £50 and the sellers were grateful. The collection grew exponentially to about 7,000. Then came the pandemic and I kept my habit of buying from discogs. 
I went mad, all the government money and loans were invested in records. Vinyl was now popular and the glory days of the 50p album were gone. It was a strange time. I was buying so much. The collection crossed the 10,000 guesstimate. I was buying picture discs and 12” ers. Include them in the total and singles too and you are looking at north of 13,000. I’ve pulled back a bit now, but it's only temporary. It’s been a constant in my life. Something to hold fast while everything else collapses.

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