Hi, I’m Julia the girlfriend.

This week I was asked to write something for the blog, because Andreas is too busy with a lettering job. Guess what – I like music too – but I don’t own any 7”s and my LP collection is very small. Some David Bowie, some Talking Heads and many Depeche Mode LP’s, that was it. But I don’t own a record player. So I’m not really prepared to write about music. I thought I`d tell you about living with a record collector. Because it is different.jacky

Okay, let’s talk about the STUFF.

Well, it is not quite Japanese looking in our flat. We have a huge apartment with very little space left. Feng Shui would kill himself if he would see how Andi’s room looks. When we moved into our place our friends said: “You can never move out again because none of us will ever help you carry all this stuff again. Matze: “I can’t believe I carried a box with Spex (stupid music magazine) issues from the eighties to the fourth floor.”

A collector collects and he doesn’t collect only one kind of thing he collects different things – at least my collector does. Records (as you know), comic books, furniture, magazines, fanzines, flyers, T-shirts, toys and weird things from the fifties “I need this for reference”.

Do you know Lindenstraße? Andi’s room looks like the living room of Else Kling – the old hag that stopped buying new items for her apartment in 1956.

What really kills me is that the stuff keeps getting more and more. Every week Andi carries new things into our flat and since nothing is leaving the house I’m afraid one day we will break through the floor and land in the Muslim living room downstairs. Sometimes Andi goes to the flea market to sell stuff and I get all happy “space, air, stuff leaving us…” But then he goes to the basement, stays there for hours and his room looks just like before. The basement must be full of more stuff. I haven’t been there.

I guess you don’t understand why I feel so strongly about collecting. Did you see Fight Club: “as soon as you own things they start owning you” and who really needs the complete edition of Klingende Post? Sometimes I go to the flea market with Andi. It happens rarely and he doesn’t tell me his true intentions. He says we go shopping for food and then he ends up kneeling in front of some old guys booth digging through a bunch of dusty records. I never see when, what and how he buys them and when we are back home he hides them from me.

Okay, this is the getting the stuff. chats

Now to handling the stuff.

Do you wash your records? Does anybody besides my boyfriend do that? Andi has mastered his own technique to clean records. He takes Spüli (dish-washing detergent) and make-up pads. He loves doing that and he loves teaching fellow collectors how to do it. And when his babies are nice and clean they get a plastic sleeve and guess what, he changes the sleeve every six month (he doesn’t change our bed sheets that often and I’d rather see him cleaning the windows as passionately …). The old sleeves he gives to a friend who is new to the collecting business.richard

Now leaving the stuff.

Sometimes I can convince Andi to leave the house for more than an hour and to go further than the end of our district. But it is hard for him leaving his stuff behind. We sat in the most beautiful spots of foreign countries and Andi misses his stuff so much that he gets very very homesick. Ten days is max. He tries to overcome his stuffhomesicknesslonging by trying to find 7”s everywhere we go. Did you know that Bangkok had a big rock’n’roll scene in the whatevers? We sat in Oaxaca (Mexico) and little native kids came to us trying to sell self-made traditional-somethings and Andi just frowned and said:” If they came around with some old records…” We bought a Mexican Beatles record with no record but cardboard in it. I saw the reclining Buddha and Andi kneeled in front of old peoples record boxes in Chinatown. His first approach to different cultures: ”Do you know if there is any record or antique-stores here?” The natives shake their heads when they see how thrilled he is about some trashy Romanian version of Hula-Hula or something like that. When we are home he shows his treasures to his friend and by talking so passionately those old records change into diamonds and then they are cleaned and presented to you guys out there:

”Look what I found in Mongolia – Chinese Beat form Japan with Mikey Blabla on the guitar produced by Tommie Idontgiveafuck and it came out on **#ä+# – can you believe that?”

I’m sure that Andi would even find some rare forgotten 7”s on the moon.

Okay, now you probably think: why don’t you leave that guy and live in a monastery without any material things? Well, my problem is that I have a hard time throwing things out, too. I always think I could use this again someday. Stationary with little elephants from the early seventies that were given to me by my aunt, cardboard boxes in different sizes (always handy to have), gift wrapping paper from last Christmas (why throw it out I could use it next year), jam jars (I will make marmalade next summer, promised). So maybe I should just start my own blog called:

Don’t throw it away you might need it later. Look at this beautiful oil bottle that I bought yesterday. When the oil is gone I can use it as a vase….

richard-frontrichard-backrichard-label

jacky-frontjacky-back1chats-frontchats-backchats-labelOh, I forgot this is a music blog. So here are my favourite songs from Andi’s collection. Get your girlfriend and let her listen to these beautiful songs. Every girl will love them. And a collector who finds such heartbreaking music needs to be loved himself.

RICHARD ANTHONY, Aranjuez Mon Amour, 1967

LES CHATS SAUVAGES, Derniers Baisers, 1962

JACKY MOULIERE, A deux pas d`un Ange, 1963

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8 Comments on “Hi, I’m Julia the girlfriend.”

  1. caro says:

    julia, du solltest immer wieder mal sonen eintrag einstreuen, das wär super! :)

  2. mischalke04 says:

    vielen dank! Ja, ich glaube ich übernehme den blog jetzt. andi hat sowieso keine zeit mehr und wer will denn schon diese ganze seltsame musik hören? das wird jetzt ein blog, wo es nur um andis privatleben geht. wie er morgens nicht aufstehen kann und was wir abends kochen und so weiter…
    gruß
    julia

  3. sarah falkner says:

    I can’t wait to read dontthrowitawayyoumightneeditlater.com , you should do this every week!

    we just moved into a new apartment, so we are too keenly aware at the moment just how many boxes of stuff we have. even after attempts at tough love zen purges, i have one item in particular, a large acorn cast out of rubber, which i found in the trash in williamsburg 20 years ago, and due to its slightly abject and comical nature it has become a kind of mascot, it has been all over brooklyn, to ireland and back, and as it is getting on in years, we just sent it off for a holiday in nicholas’ dad’s garden in cape cod.

    well we are just now plotting some window shades out of fabric we have been saving for ages because “it might come in handy” (that would be my blog). so sometimes it comes true. and it’s a hard habit for nicholas to break, because he can find an old chair in the trash, save it a few years, and then one day glue some phony banknotes onto it and some stupid collector will pay perfectly good money for it!

    hope we see you this summer, we have no fixed plans yet so just make yours and let us know.

  4. Brilig Place says:

    A very interesting site. I came to it through a search for the German version of the song ‘They’re Coming to Take me Away Ha ! Ha!”. My eldest daughter has just started learning German and the song has always been a favourite of ours since they were very young even though we don’t really undertsnad a word of it !

    I understand the perils of ‘collector addiction’ – our house overflow.

    http://briligplace.blogspot.com/2008/06/brilig-place-episode-12-collector.html

    Good luck with the 45’s

  5. Eli says:

    For the record (pun intended), Julia and Andi’s flat is actually very tidy. You make it sound like piles of junk with little rabbit paths running through it!!! I always love going over there, cuz there’s so much cool stuff, and yet it is clean and comfortable. And when I was over there last, Andreas played the classic Big Bro. and the Holding Company LP “Cheap Thrills” for me….hee-hee…I got the punker-rare-rock-record-collector to play some hippie music!!

  6. Hi Julia,

    it’s unspeakable how much I have enjoyed your post!
    Unfortunately, we’ll have to hear the stuff that you have kindly posted alone, as we, collectors, are rarely being approached not only by girls, but by generally normal (non collectors) people too. I’m trying to say that Andreas is really very lucky to have found a girl that can tolerate an obsessed collector… On the other hand, you are also very lucky, because we, collectors, (as we like to delude ourselves) are far more interesting, than other common, colourless people who spend their Saturdays or Sundays in the most predictable ways (Greek version: drinking boring coffees & reading boring newspapers. German version: going on boring excursions (if the weather isn’t too bad) and eating boring homemade sandwitches on boring grass fields), instead of enjoying the privilege (might I say blessing?) of discovery…!
    As for the cleaning methods of the STUFF, as I pitifully don’t have Spüli, I must restrict myself to cotton-wool and pharm. spirit, with not so enviable results, except for removing the accumulated dust. But luckilly enough, the last years I have an antistatische Kohlefaserbürste that I’ve bought from greifswalder Media-Markt and does the same (if not better) work…
    I would say that personally I’m not very obsessed with my STUFF, as I keep -buddhistischer Weise- constantly asking: “What would you do if one day your STUFF was destroyed, or lost, or not tolerated more from the people who live with you?” Then the buddist and stoic-trained inner myself replies calmly: “Nothing”. And sometimes add: “I would start all over again…”

    Best wishes and greetings!
    Andreas’ Greek e-Sammlergenosse
    Ilias

  7. David says:

    Just read this and wanted to say how really funny this is. I’m a collector too.
    I can’t wait to show this post to my wife when she gets home – she could have written this.

    Best wishes to you both.

    David (Manchester, UK)

  8. mychael conaway says:

    she has good taste, living next door to an angel is the best. it was california sun today. thanks andreas


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