A gentleman’s guide to swapping records

Montreal-based online music lovers’ club Vinyl Junkies is hosting an exchange event this weekend. Here are some record-swapping dos and don’ts.

It’s in the grooves
Montreal music buff Jeremy Ron founded an online record club called Vinyl Junkies in 2011. The Facebook group, which has over 1,500 members, mainly features photos of record sleeves next to slabs of vinyl on turntables, with short reviews and fanboy ravings from the posters about their amazing new finds. And now Vinyl Junkies is hosting its first record swap at BBAM! Gallery. I spoke to Ron about his vision for this event, and asked for tips on record-swap etiquette.

Lorraine Carpenter: Why did you launch Vinyl Junkies?
Jeremy Ron: I’m frustrated by the fact that records don’t sell — they’re priced out of the market, kids can’t afford records anymore. I wanted to do something to help the indies and the bands sell records, so I decided to do Vinyl Junkies as a way to bring the target market all in the same place and say, “This is your audience right here.”
LC: You posted a video that was critical of Record Store Day. This is a sentiment I’ve heard before, from store managers and owners even. What’s your beef?
JR: Everybody just collects records to flip them. Everybody talks about the value of their collection when the value of their collection isn’t found on Discogs or eBay, it’s found in the grooves of the fucking record.

LC: What is this record swap going to look like?
JR: You’re going to talk to each other, and you’re going to talk music. Remember what people used to do with hockey cards? I have this, you have that — what’s that worth to you? It’s worth whatever makes you happy. If you got rid of a Wayne Gretzky rookie card and you got 15 cards in return, the fact that that Wayne Gretzky rookie card is worth $500 doesn’t diminish the fact that the other guy got 15 cards he’s happy with. As long as both parties walk away happy with what they did, that’s good. It’s bartering — there’s a friendliness that’s been forgotten.

LC: What would you most like to discourage at this inaugural swap?
JR: Money. I’m trying to move as much away from commerce as possible and really get down to the spirit of what it means to collect records. Why do we love this stuff? This is about the hobby and the passion for the music. You know the types who scour the garage sales and they tell people that their original ’60s Chess records are worth nothing and then they flip them online? I’m trying to discourage these scumbags from showing up.

LC: How about people who want to get rid of a stack of bad records? I’ve got some Pat Benetar I’d love to move.
JR: If that’s the case, you’re gonna walk away with no records and it’s gonna be a really bad record swap. If you wanna cheap out and bring your entire April Wine discography, that’s cool, but at the very least I’m hoping that with the spirit of the event, you’ll be able to say I had a good time in a really nice art gallery. I had a couple drinks and it was a cool way to spend a couple hours. ■
The Vinyl Junkies record swap happens at BBAM! Gallery (3255 St-Jacques W.), with DJs TBC, drinks & more on Saturday, Dec. 14, 6–11 p.m.


Leave a Reply