A fellow native of Queens, NY, Richard Moody is a guitarist who has played in the bands As$troland and Miscegenator. He's currently working as a digital archivist for a museum in his adopted home of Pennsylvania, where he lives with his wife and three kids. Richard also spends some of his free time looking for music, which makes his a natural for the site's Record Collector club.
How long have you been collecting records?
I'm 48 and grew up in a musical house, radio always on. My grandma was a trained singer and my mom's favorite way to spend an evening was playing records while enjoying a glass of champagne. So, I was into music really young, I had my own stereo when I was seven or eight and mom bought me records to reward me for getting good grades or to make me feel better if was sick.
I've had a few on/off periods with collecting, though. I was buying records all the way thru high school, then when I went away to college I didn't have room or money for a turntable. I left all my records with mom and mostly bought tapes and CDs until I graduated and got a real job where I could afford a system. That was when I started to collect for real, all of the guys in As$troland are into records, too, so we would go on tour and come back with a van full of vinyl. And in the late '90s I was also DJ-ing a lot, I had a couple of weekly residencies in NYC spinning hip-hop or funk and breaks so most of my spare money went to records.
Then I met my wife and started a family, and I felt like I had to put music on the side for a while. I wasn't playing in a band or DJ-ing so I put my guitars and turntables away for years while we raised babies. I had mostly forgotten about it until we bought our house and my wife said, "You love your records, you should be playing them." She got me some speakers for my birthday and I got my equipment out and it was like I found a part of myself I had lost. That was five or six years ago, and it's been all systems go since then.
Where/how do you usually find your records these days?
I do the usual online stuff, buying on Discogs or Bandcamp or direct from the artists or labels, if I can, but I'm also lucky to have a few really good shops in my area (shout outs to Easton Record Exchange, Double Decker, and Spin Me Round records). There's nothing better than hitting a shop and finding something cool that you didn't expect to see when you walked in. Support your local shops, it's important!
What is the most you paid for a single record, where/how did you obtain it, and what was it?
A few years ago I decided to treat myself for my birthday and splash out for a really nice copy of Public Image Ltd. Metal Box. I paid about $120 for it on Discogs and was worth every cent, it's in great condition and it's also one of the best sounding records in my collection, the bass is massive. Otherwise, I'm not spending more than 40-50 bucks for too many records unless I find some crazy deal. The records are out there, if you're patient you'll find them (most of them anyway!).
If you to pick one record label you feel had/has the best track record of quality releases, who would that be and what are some key titles you love?
For punk/hardcore, Slap-a-Ham Records really defined a style and sound that I loved and still do. Back in the early '90s, I bought everything I could find on Slap because I knew Chris Dodge was picking great bands, and it was a personal highlight for As$troland to get on the last Bllleeeeaaarrrrgghhh! compilation. That said, my favorite label of all time is Blue Note Records. Whenever I find an original '50s or '60s Blue Note, I get a contact high, the records have such a magical vibe to me. I'm gonna be chasing those for the rest of my life.
Of everything in your current collection, what is your most prized record and why?
I had an unfortunate incident back in my DJ days where I lost a full crate of valuable funk and soul records in a taxi, including a lot of records I had since I was a young kid, so I try not to be too attached to my records. I've also had some valuable things stolen, and records come and go so you need to keep some perspective. It's just stuff. That said, I have some old jazz records that belonged to my grandfather that I'd be pretty bummed to lose.
Is there anything that frustrates you about the current record collecting scene?
Not really, any collector scene is going to have people trying to flip things for a profit or make artificially rare items so I don't get personally offended. You just have to laugh when you see stuff like "Limited Press of 2000" on a record. It's silly. I do wish more sellers would grade their records accurately, though.
One thing that I do find weird among people who post their records on Instagram or whatever is when someone has these super-rare records and plays them on absolute garbage turntables. Not that everyone needs to have "audiophile" equipment (I certainly don't), but maybe spend a little less on endless variants of a 30-year-old record and get a decent table instead?
Which records are still on your want list that you've had a tough time tracking down through the years?
My want list is so long it's ridiculous, there's so much stuff from all kinds of genres aside from the usual suspects most hardcore collectors are after. But to name a few records I would consider breaking the three figure mark again for:
- Parliament, Osmium (OG press on Invictus Records)
- Funkadelic: Any of the first three LP's on Westbound Records
- Wayne Jarrett, Showcase #1/Bubble Up (OG on Wackie's Records)
- Shudder to Think, Pony Express Record
Follow Richard on Instagram. Both As$troland and Miscegenator are on Facebook.
Tagged: record collector