Music coverage always focuses on the musician. I think that’s a mistake. That only covers half of it. The other half of the relationship is the listener. And I think that half is just as important. Collectors is about the listener. Obsessive listeners. Collectors. Guys in basements with creaking shelves of 45’s from the past half a century. Girls who dig through dusty crates looking for that rare Japanese print of their favorite punk band who broke up in the late 70’s. People who have spent more money on an original Paramount 78 than they are comfortable admitting to someone who isn’t in the know. This is Collectors.
Episode 1 is about Ken Freck, owner of Musical Memories, half way underground on the corner of Kilbourn and Marshall. Musical Memories always struck me as the type of place that was started because a collection got too large, a pushy wife forced this guy to open a store against his will, so, begrudgingly, he did, and kept everything piled however he wants, stacked wherever it can, and preserved with a thin coat of dust. It’s a collector’s paradise. The back wall is a 45 shelf. Top to bottom. All the way across. With hand written dividers. Everything from Arthur Alexander to ZZ Top. They have 78s under glass, and Edison cylinders. Yes, Edison cylinders. I knew that for the first episode I had to talk to the owner, Ken Freck.