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was continuously enjoying his parent’s records. “It was a bonding experience for me and my father,” he says. “He introduced me to the Kinks, the Who, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and the Cars.” Eventually O’Leary pieced together his own sound system. As a working drummer in the South Coast area he was particularly drawn to the sound that could only come from vinyl. He would bond with fellow musicians

I like the size of the format,

For record collector John Sladewski of New Bedford, “every record is its’ own experience.” The New Bedford resident describes himself as an “active listener,” someone who doesn’t see music as something to be put in the background. He boasts a collection of vinyl albums that is greater than 1,000 pieces. “As a collector, I see my albums as something to take great care of,” the 38-year-old says. “I want my albums to be

putting them on the turntable,

flipping them over, putting them in the sleeve and the jacket and putting them on the shelf

in the best condition possible. I enjoy caring for them. I like the size of the format, putting them on the turntable, flipping them over, putting them in the sleeve and the jacket and putting them on the shelf. I enjoy that they’re super flexible. Some people collect wine, I collect records. I appreciate quality.” Sladewski bought his first two records at the Raynham Flea Market when he was 15 – Iron Maiden’s “Somewhere In Time” and the debut album from Suicidal Tendencies. Both records cost $5 each. Today they are valued at $50 each. A fan of 1980’s early heavy metal and hardcore punk, Sladewski has records in his collection that are worth as much as $150 or $250. He finds a lot of his albums at record dealer conventions – he’s accustomed to driving more than an hour to shop for albums, something he will do eight to ten times a year. At the age of 11, Tom O’Leary of New Bedford discovered a collection of more than 200 vinyl records in his family’s basement. It was an experience that resonates with him 25 years later. “I instantly loved being in touch with this new world,” he says. “I convinced my parents to spend $100 on a record player and I was all in. I didn’t sleep for two or three days. My teachers at school were concerned that I was falling asleep in class.” But he wasn’t falling asleep at home – he

by convincing them to buy turntables and they would begin trading albums with each other. But in addition to the major rock acts he augmented his record collection with albums by local bands both new and old, taking the time and effort to support other area musicians. His collection includes recent records by local bands such as The Blood Moons, A Wilhelm Scream, The Pourmen, and Black Kennedys. He also owns albums that are at least 30 years old by bands such as The Gluons, The Lads, and Butch McCarthy. “Vinyl records are bringing families together,” says John Pimentel of Max J Records in Fairhaven. “Fathers, mothers, and children are educating each other on their music. We have kids as young as 14 years old coming in with their parents, and they’re buying a lot of records as Christmas presents.” Max J Records goes beyond selling vinyl. They also help care for them. They sell six different brands of turntables including replacement parts, such as needles. They also offer services for cleaning records and restoring warped discs. “MP3’s and CD’s are convenient to listen to – they’re fast food,” Pimentel says. “But vinyl records are more like a fancy restaurant. You’ll take your time but you’ll enjoy it more.”

Sean McCarthy has been a freelance journalist for 27 years. He lives in New Bedford.

S ou th C oast P r ime T imes

J uly /A ugust 2018

11

Profile for Coastal Communications Corp.

South Coast Prime Times July–August 2018  

There’s no wondering anymore – summer is here and the race is on! Everywhere you turn there’s a different event to attend, from major feasts...

South Coast Prime Times July–August 2018  

There’s no wondering anymore – summer is here and the race is on! Everywhere you turn there’s a different event to attend, from major feasts...