The Collector Series: Coley Dennis’s vinyl records collection

The Collector Series: Coley Dennis’s vinyl records collection

The Collector Series: Coley Dennis’s vinyl records collection

The Collector Series is a photography and interview project documenting vinyl records collectors in their most natural and intimate environment.

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Name: Coley Dennis

Location: Lausanne, Switzerland 

Size of collection: 1400 LPs

Tell us a bit more about yourself:

I am a cook and musician originally from Athens, GA. I’ve lived in Lausanne for almost 2 years with my wife Lina who is Swiss. I also play guitar in a band called Maserati from Athens, GA which formed in 2000. 

What started your interest in music?

I’d have to say that came from my Grandmother. I grew up with my grandparents and she would always wake up super early at like 4 am, play solitaire and listen to classical music. She was a piano teacher so there was always music playing around the house, I really got my love of music from her.

How long have you been collecting?

I started collecting originally in the mid 90s. Up until then everything I could get my hands on was all CD’s and tapes from the bands I was getting into, Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth etc. My first record though was the Chipmunk Punk LP, I remember the UPS man bringing it to me C.O.D, guess I was probably 7 so technically I can say I’ve been collecting since 81′ haha.

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What does your collection mean to you?

Ohh man I feel lost not having my collection with me. When I moved to Switzerland I left everything in storage in GA. My plan was to just sell everything to a collector friend but in the end I chickened out and paid for a container to have everything shipped. At the last second I think my wife saw the dread on my face and thankfully convinced me to just pay for the shipping.

What’s your philosophy behind collecting records and how has that evolved since you started collecting up until the present day?

I just collect records because I love music and being able to have the actual physical copy to share with friends and family.  I’m not super elitist with my collecting and have to have everything OG, as long as it rules that’s all I care about. Some things sure it’s nice to have the first press or whatever but I’m mainly looking for bands or certain records by bands that I know I’m missing. It’s like the ultimate hobby, you will never run out of things to find or discover let alone finish. I can’t ever see a day where I look at the collection and breathe a sign of relief and say OK FINISHED! 

If you could only take three records from your collection to listen for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?

Hmm that’s always the hardest question. One I know right off though would be “Inventions for electric guitar” by Ash Ra Tempel. I had a really good friend who passed away in 2009 and he introduced me to that record. It really changed the way I thought about guitar and music in general. He had the copy in his collection and when he passed it was the only thing I asked to keep from him. It’s definitely a special record and even more so because when I hear it I think of Jerry…

Also, Aphrodite’s Child ‘666’. It’s really one of the best psych records ever, it really influenced some of the Maserati records and started my fascination with Demis Roussos. He was possibly the greatest male vocalist of our time and started out in the late 60s in a Greek psychedelic/Pop band with Vangelis. The Aphrodite’s Child records are all amazing but this one is really special. Demis went on later to have a mega popular career in Europe doing really cheesy pop songs in the 80s so here everyone laughs when I tell them how much I love him, but it’s ok hahaha..

Last one being one that really changed my life in a lot of ways, Sonic Youth’s ‘Daydream Nation’. I heard it for the first time in 91′ so I was 15, probably even before I heard Nevermind. It was the first record of my adult life where I thought WOW, I can do that! This band really made me want to get serious about the guitar and start a band. I think back on it and wonder if I would have ever picked up the guitar seriously if it wasn’t for hearing it. If I didnt, I know my life would be completely different and I most certainly wouldn’t have met my future wife who booked us our first show in Switzerland in 2011. We got to play with Thurston’s solo band in Germany last year and he was so cool. It was such a great feeling to meet him and bring back all those memories of why I got in this in the first place.

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Do you have any regrets about not buying any particular records?

Nah, If I’m ever unsure I just buy it to avoid the regret later, haha.

Any tips for other record collectors out there?

Never underestimate the shitty $1-3 bins. I’ve found so many overlooked records that way! Thanks!

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