Rune Jørgensen lives in the gorgeous city of Copenhagen (I've never actually been there, but I've seen pictures) in King Diamond's homeland of Denmark. In addition to running the production staff of a music venue in town, Rune also spends time on Never Back Down Records, a label he started back in 2014. To date, he's released material from such bands as Perfect People, Disinterest, and Molly, a killer band from Copenhagen who will appeal to fans of Hüsker Dü and Leatherface.
Thanks to Rune for taking some time out to join the Record Collector club.
How long have you been collecting records?
I am not sure. My mom gave me my very first LP (Black Sabbath's We Sold Our Souls for Rock ’n’ Roll) when I was still living at home, probably around age 14-15 or so, I’m 31 now, by the way. At that time, I was really into black metal, so getting a Black Sabbath record was nice, but it was way too soft for me at that time. However, it did do something, because I was only "collecting" CDs at the time, so getting an LP was a mixture of "what do I do with this thing" and "this is bigger, therefore it is an upgrade."
I think I started collecting records around age 19 when I moved out.
Where/how do you usually find your records these days?
As it is with most collectors who are hunting specific pressings or original pressings of niche music, I do most of my shopping on Discogs. I don’t use eBay as much as I used to because I find most of what I’m after (except for the really pricy stuff within hardcore and soul) on Discogs. That doesn’t mean I don’t visit records stores, though. I would be arrogant to claim that I own all the classics I should own, and most classics get the reissue treatment and are therefore available at local record stores here in Copenhagen. We have a few nice record stores here. My go-to stores are Beat (new records) and Ooh Ahh Records (second hand). There are many more stores that I scour from time to time though.
As I got older my taste in music has become quite broad, spanning from hardcore to lo-fi to soul and afrobeat and most stuff in between, so I can usually pick up a record or two every time I visit Beat or Ooh Ahh.
That being said, to hunt down the really heavy stuff. I’m talking $300+ Revelation and Dischord, or northern soul stuff, I find that good connections and message boards have been quite helpful.
Has running a label helped you connect with people who collect, and has it helped you with trades, etc.?
I have thought a lot about this question, because I really want to say yes, but really it hasn’t. Well, other than being on the opposite end of the collecting world, meaning that people are suddenly emailing me about buying test pressings, then no.
What is the most you paid for a single record, where/how did you obtain it, and what was it?
Okay, so the most I have paid for a record is $800 and it happened this July.
I was on vacation in California with my girlfriend. We were staying at my friend Mike’s house in Redwood City just below San Francisco. The first week we spent in LA, so naturally, I went to visit Revelation Records. I’ve done that once before and I got the feel that Jordan, Adam, and Vique are all super chill people that aren’t bothered by visitors (read: fans) like me.
I did a bit of shopping in their warehouse, picked up a few new releases that had slipped my radar and then I asked Jordan about "The Vault." Now, last time I was there I got to buy the Together 7” compilation on orange vinyl with a Batman stamp (second most expensive record I ever bought, by the way), and this time I was hoping to buy the Youth of Today Can't Close My Eyes 7” on orange vinyl /100 with the Batman stamp. Jordan took out a box from the vault (it’s really just a supply closet) and pulled a few out of the box and then started telling all these stories because many of the Youth of Today Can't Close My Eyes orange 7” had these funny riddles written in pen on the labels done by Jordan and Ray Cappo. I guess he got a bit nostalgic, because the fact of the matter is that I couldn’t buy any of those with riddles written on them.
Finally, he dug one out that did not have a riddle on the label and he asked me, "Do you want me to write one on it for you?” I immediately said ‘Yes”—not thinking of the fact that writing a riddle in 2017 on a… what 29-year-old record might not be such a good idea. Luckily, Jordan got to that conclusion himself and grabbed a paper from the trash and scribbled a riddle on it and put it in with the record. I’d like to think of this 7” as a truly funny one.
Besides that, I think, I own the biggest Comeback Kid record collection out there. The record count is 76 spread over six full-length LPs and a 10” (not counting the new record that just came out). Except for the new record I am only missing the test press for the 10” they did for RSD 2015.
I think their first record, Turn It Around, is one of the best hardcore records made after 1990.
Of everything in your current collection, what is your most prized record and why?
It is completely impossible for me to name just one, so I will refer to the picture of me at the top. My all-time favorite band is The Olivia Tremor Control—an experimental lo-fi band from Georgia, Athens. Their compilation LP of singles and unreleased songs is probably the record I have played most times to this day, which by the way makes me want to get another copy. That one is definitely one of my most cherished records.
I put Minor Threat and Bad Brains at the top of my list in terms of most influential hardcore bands, but I wouldn’t say those records are my most cherished. A hardcore record that I cherish more is the reissue (can we call it that when it was never really released before?) of the Freewill LP that New Age Records did last year. That is one of my favorite records of all time. I used to own the Wishing Well test pressing (which is the only version that exist of the original pressing as it never came out), but I sold it, for reasons I can’t remember now. I never liked the Stone Telling (Freewill in disguise) recordings of the tracks as much, so it was the best news when Mike Hartsfield (Freewill, New Age Records) announced that they would finally reissue the record from the old master tapes.
I think all in all that sums my most cherished records: Comeback Kid Turn It Around (let’s pick the silkscreened friends press /33 because it was the hardest to obtain), Youth of Today Can’t Close My Eyes (orange vinyl w/ batman stamp), The Olivia Tremor Control Singles and Beyond LP, and the Freewill reissue LP.
Is there anything that frustrates you about the current record collecting scene?
More people with a fine taste in music are being bred into this world making the fight for the original pressings more intense. That’s a problem!
Which records are still on your want list that you've had a tough time tracking down through the years?
My want list is a thousand pages long and seems it’s only growing longer and longer.
However, off the top of my head, I do have some specific wants, white whales if you will, that still lingers on my list either because I can’t find them or because they’re just too expensive for me.
- Comeback Kid, Rain City Sessions +1 10” (test press)
- Confront, Payday 7” (original press on Dark Empire)
- Bad Brains, Pay to Cum 7” (original first press w/ sleeve)
- Last Rights, Chunks 7” (original press, regular sleeve)
- Soul Incorporated, My Proposal 7” (original press on Coconut Groove)
- The Servicemen, Are You Angry? 7” (original press on Wind Hit)
- The Crow, Your Autumn of Tomorrow (original press on Inner Ear)
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