My Record Collection - April 21, 2015

My Record Collection by Tom Wilson
by Kim
Kim
by Kim hmv Toronto, Bio Music, film, cats, yoga - repeat Canada Editor, hmv.com

My Record Collection by Tom Wilson

In My Record Collection, we dig down to the bottom of musicians' souls to find out what the most treasured parts of their record collection are. This week, it's the turn of Tom Wilson, legendary Canuck singer/songwriter (see Junkhouse, Blackie & the Rodeo Kings) currently blowing minds fronting psychedelic folk project LeE HARVeY OsMOND, whose latest opus, Beautiful Scars, is now available. Let's see what he picks out…

 

The first record I ever bought with my own money was...

“I remember going up to the music department at Zellers on (Hamilton’s) Upper Sherman and Mohawk Rd. This is where I would go to meet Canadian celebrities who stopped by the store to sign autographs. Eddie Shack, the Stampeders, Burton Cummings etc. It was summer, it was hot and I made a weekly walk on Saturdays to buy up as many 45s as I could with my $5. One week I discovered a sale bin of albums for $1.99: James Last, Burl Ives and some deleted titles by artists I don't remember. I found a ‘Hits’ package in this bin. A whole batch of songs I had heard on CKOC including ‘The Long and Winding Road.’ I bought it immediately and got it home only to find that the songs were sung by some studio folk duo called The Pepperheads. The album was terrible. The songs I loved I learned to hate as I tried to play the record several times with hope the sounds would stick. I think I was 9 or 10 years old. A memory I would like to forget.”

 

The record that made me want to be in a band was...

“Alice Cooper - Love It To Death. They were the most dangerous people I had ever seen on a 12x12 cardboard record cover. But then again I was 12 years old so what did I know? The thing about Love It To Death was that there were really fantastic, innovative rock n' roll songs that did not cover the usual themes that were littering the airwaves at the time. And, most importantly, the songs were played in a style with arrangements that made you believe it was possible for you and your buddies to be able to get together and play and write songs just like Alice. Love It To Death brought a world of possibilities to my Grade 7 mind. Mind-blowing from the needle drop to the label sizzle.”


 

The record I've played more than any other is...

“Miles Davis - Kind of Blue. My first wife bought this for me in 1984 when we were dating. We were walking up Yonge Street in Toronto and she asked me if I had ever heard Kind of Blue. She then pulled my arm into Sam the Record Man and bought me the album. It was the best musical gift I ever received. The mood, the tones, and the egoless execution of the music made it become a part every hotel room I've stayed in for the last 30 years (and there have been many). From cassette to CD to computer to phone… the beauty created in those grooves gets reborn soon after I leave the front desk and out of the elevator. The album has been my salvation for the better part of my life.”



The record that always makes me feel good is...

“Van Morrison – Moondance. I caught on to this album late in the game, 1979. I was banging out punk and rockabilly and really into The Clash and touring around playing shows with Teenage Head when this girl I was staying with up in Ottawa led me down to her residence at Carleton University, lit some candles and put on Moondance. The album melted away my 19-year-old angst and turned me into a flowers-in-my-hair, stoned, and full-of-sunshine hippie. She was pretty hot, too. This is another record that has never strayed too far from my ears. I recently re-purchased it on fresh new vinyl. The romance goes on. I wonder where that girl got to...”


 

The record I think is the most underrated of all time is...

“Masters of Reality - Sunrise on the Suffer Bus. The day after I finished recording the first Junkhouse album Strays, I went over to my friend Tim Gibbons’ apartment and he played me this record. It starts with the insane Ginger Baker summoning the devils from the depths of hell and takes the listener through a journey of outstanding songwriting and masterful musicianship. The songs and the style change so quickly that an unsuspecting listener may think he's listening to a mixed tape or a soundtrack of various artists rather than a single album by one band. Jody Sings is a melodic highlight. Tilt a Whirl is a playful rock tease. Go figure. No one listened to this record. I could never understand why when the world was being whitewashed by shoe-gazing alternative, suburban pop tarts. How f***in' annoying.”


 

The record with my favourite cover art is...

“Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street. Best ever. True art. Photographer Robert Frank knocks it out of the park. And the irreverent placement of the freaks crowns was genius. And this soon after following Any Warhol's Sticky Fingers.”


 

The record with my favourite title is...

“Forgotten Rebels - This Ain't Hollywood. Ever been to Hamilton? It ain't Hollywood. It's better.”



The record I can't understand why everybody loves is...

“Don't ask me stupid questions.”


The last record I bought was...

“Bob Dylan - Shadows In The Night. I truly believe we become greater artists (or the artists we want to be) as we travel through life and the numbers go up on our passports. Bob Dylan is my living proof of this. Dylan has more depth and desperation in his fragile voice. And I have to believe he's having more fun now than ever before. Keep in mind that we choose the artist’s path so we can do whatever the f**k we want to do whenever we want to do it. Rave on, Bobber.”


The record I'm most looking forward to hearing is...

“LeE HARVeY OsMOND - Beautiful Scars. It's my best work in 40 years. Why wouldn't I want to hear it played back in a speeding car in the middle of the night?”



The greatest record of all time is...

“Willie P. Bennett - Hobo's Taunt. The wildness of my youth will never die as long as I have this record to listen to. Thank you, Willie. You are a master who taught me well with a kick in the ass and honesty that I may never find in anyone else's songs in this lifetime.”

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