Man prepares to sell thousands of records from weird, wonderful collection
Brian is walking into his basement to search for the record that changed his life when he was younger.
"We always had music in our house," he recalls of his childhood. "We'd dance around the living room!"
But he's not looking through his collection of 10,000 LPs for The Beatles his siblings listened to, or the Frank Zappa that "blew my mind."
Brian is trying to find what he first discovered during his late teens, Dirk Bogarde Reciting Lyrics For Lovers When you hear a couple of the tracks you realize the title couldn't be more self-explanatory.
"Once I had that record in my hands," he says with a smile. "I was hooked on finding the unusual."
Four decades later, Brian still appreciates the peculiar. He pulls out random albums with titles like Music For Plants – "I must have 20 records of music to make your plants grow" -- Music To Nudge You To Sleep – "This was put out by a drug company" – and Hanukah Rocks – "It's shaped like the Star of David and recorded by Gefilte Joe and the Fish!"
Brian says he's discovered thousands of oddball LPs in thrift shops and record store remainder bins. "I was never a collector who spent oodles of money," he says. "I just found things I could share with my friends and say, 'Hey! Come on over! You gotta hear this!'"
Brian eventually expanded his listenership across the country. The professional actor and award-winning sound designer has shared his discoveries on radio and stage. "It kind of drove who I was," he says. "Because I was the guy who could find unique sounds and nobody else was finding that stuff."
But now that you can find anything on the internet, now that he and his wife are soon to be empty-nesters with plans to downsize, Brian is selling a big chunk of his collection.
He's organizing them by genre. The list begins with Jazz, Blues and Soul, before taking U-turns to Sleazy Listening, Space Age Bachelor Pad and Golden Throats.
In order to decide which LPs to sell, Brian is looking through what he's been listening to since he was a boy. "I actually found my thumb print," he says with surprise. "From when I was a 14 year old on a little bit of dust!"
Because the process is bittersweet, Brian says he'll never sell the Dean Freidman album, Well, Well Goes The Rocking Chair, that he first listened to when he was 18.
"He sang songs about the good times," Brian explains before becoming momentarily emotional. "He also sang about how hard it is to say goodbye." He plays a song with a chorus that goes, "It's going to be all right."
What was once a heart-broken teenager's soundtrack of solace is proving to be an adult's anthem for letting go. Brian says he's looking forward to inspiring his buyers, the next generation of LP lovers.
"Your legacy lives on," I say. "It does," Brian answers with a self-deprecating laugh. "Now I'll be the former record guy in the basement that never comes out."
Brian's big record sale is June 1 -2 at 4407 Tyndall Avenue in Saanich. It runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.