Though vinyl records have become a niche market, they have been rising in mainstream popularity.
As it turns out, a love of vinyl records can be hereditary.
Dave Moyst started collecting vinyl as a youth in the 1980s, ever since he was old enough to get a paper route and buy records with his own money. Now, over 40 years later, Moyst has a collection of hundreds of records.
And so does his daughter.
“I remember when she was a kid and she came across one of my records one day,” said Moyst. “She came up to me and held it up and she said, ‘look, Dad, look at this big CD.’”
Julia, whose married name is Leslie, has since moved out and her record collection is growing.
Soon enough, she was amassing a collection of her own – which also included a few from her father’s reserve, much to his chagrin.
“I’ve had to call her up a few times before and be like, ‘Julia, do you have my Led Zeppelin 3?’”
According to Leslie, she does.
Leslie remembers many times going through her father’s collection and picking out her favourite albums.
“When I was younger, my dad was always spinning records,” said Leslie. “Every now and then he would spin a record and I would just be magnetically drawn to it, to the artwork and how it felt.”
“It’s more of a sensory experience – you see the grooves in the vinyl, take it out and hold it, gently place it on the turntable. It’s a ritual.” – Dave Moyst
The unique sound produced by a record player is one of the many aspects that drew her in originally, Leslie says. The organic experience of a needle tracing the grooves provides more satisfaction to her than putting a disk in a CD player or queueing up a song on her smartphone.
Her father agrees.
“It might sound weird, but I open a record and the first thing I do is smell it. It’s more of a sensory experience – you see the grooves in the vinyl, take it out and hold it, gently place it on the turntable. It’s a ritual.”
Moyst has since stopped expanding his collection due to the ever-rising prices of new vinyl, but Leslie is as dedicated as ever to finding the hidden gems through local used record stores and online ads.
One of the most important aspects of owning and maintaining a collection is to take proper care of the vinyl, Moyst says. He has formed many habits to keep them safe, such as handling them gently by the edges to avoid fingerprints and storing them vertically to keep them from warping, which will distort the sound and cause skips in the music.
He credits the Arts and Culture Centre library for these habits. Long before he was able to afford his own records, Moyst would instead head down to the library to check out his favourite albums as they had a very large selection to offer.
“I guess that’s part of the reason I got into the habit of treating vinyl with care. When you returned them the next week, the librarian would inspect them for damage, and I would never piss off a librarian.”
These habits, among many others, were passed down to Leslie. She also shares Moyst’s taste in music, recalling Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix as the first two records she ever spun on her father’s turntable without his help.
She was just 12 years old.
The challenge of learning how to use the record player was a big part of what makes it seem so magical to this day, she says.
Moyst takes such good care of his records that, almost 40 years since he bought it, his copy of Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All is still completely unscathed.
“From 1983 and not a scratch on her,” said Moyst.