Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DJ Efsharp and Alan Cross -Two diverse views on collecting music

I'm currently in production on a documentary that celebrates the commonalities between various collecting communities. What does this mean? Every day I film a cool collector.

From rubber duckies to milk glass, and from military memorabilia to life sized toys, it's safe to say that I am surrounded by like-minded crazies. I'm in my element.

It wouldn't be a collecting documentary without record collectors; Especially one that I'm directing. Trying to pair it down to a few collectors was tough, so I gave myself a rule - I couldn't know the subjects. I wanted them to have different approaches to the hobby, and hopefully in different eras/genres of music.

DJ Sam 'Efsharp' Flemming, Evolved Entertainment
Collection Size - 2,800 LP's and countless MP3 Files of electo, soul, house, jazz, funk, rock...

Sam operates a DJ/AV company called Evolved Entertainment out of a cozy office in the Downtown core of Toronto. I bet it's the only office in the neighborhood that houses a drum set, a lizard, and almost 3,000 LP's. Sam's a unique collector...

What is a collector? 'A Librarian.... Like piecing together bits of a tangible collection, we are also collecting knowledge.' Sam also uses an elaborate cataloging ritual that goes down to organizing similar songs that he considers 'make-out' worthy. Like many DJs, he has several copies of each album so he can do live mixing between two Tec 12's. Sam's views on collecting are both spiritual and grounded- providing wonderful material for the film. I wish Sam DJ'ed my wedding...

Alan Cross, The Ongoing History of New Music
Collection Size: 10,000 LP's, 6,000 CD's and numerous bits of memorabilia.

It's not a surprise that Alan Cross has a good outlook on the hobby. Having worked with some of the greatest names in Canadian radio-only to become one of the greatest names in Canadian radio, it's an honour to have access to such a wealth of knowledge. When asking Alan how he gets his LP's he comments 'Radio personalities have lots of items given to them- but that takes the fun out of it.... I would much prefer going to a shop... talking with the owner'

The amount of unique items he pulls out shows his passion. Walking in his house I almost tripped over a framed autographed Sex Pistol's poster on the floor. Alan admits he can't get rid of a lot. 'You never know if an item will be worth something some day...' I'm slowing finding that most collectors have this same problem.

Many of his items have a stories about their acquisition. The stories are honest and touching, and I can't wait to show my findings to the world.

Above he is seen with a framed award for Rush's Permanent Waves he was given and an autographed Kurt Cobain picture. Oh yeah, this is what his closet looks like.

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