This project is proving to be an interesting little vehicle for the perfect conversation with a stranger, particularly from one music lover to another. It seems that with nearly everybody I’ve met, spoken to, and photographed, we’ve come to learn something that we have in common beyond just a love for music. And it’s kinda remarkable how it starts. Just the sentence “Excuse me, are those records?” seems to simultaneously cause curious antennas to raise while initiating the diffusion of any tension or suspicion as if it’s some kind of secret password buried in subconscious that overrides all external perceived differences and implies something like “Greetings fellow traveler of space, time, and vinyl. I’m of your people. I come in Peace.” Within the time span of the next 5 to 10 minutes, we’ve taken genuine interest in each other, shared space through a handful of laughs, personal anecdotes, and have spoken the language of musical appreciation for enough time that, along with the photo, a connection is forged.

That’s probably one of the reasons Tokyo Camera Style (on which this project is based) has been so successful. It’s immediate shared common (and usually deep) interest with a stranger. It begs the question that if you just stopped and talked to more people, would the world feel less Us and Them.

I burned through the Instagram character limit here, rambling on with little room to write about Koichi san, who has been one of the most friendly and generous people I have photographed for this project yet, hence all these musings. I caught up with Koichi in Shinjuku when he was coming out of Disk Union with a bunch of killer scores, from Sam Cooke to Pulp Fiction. While we talked about each one in detail, and while he shared, in basically a perfect American accent that had gone to university in Illinois and that is was in the media production business (read: movies, hence the soundtracks), I was noticing his primo digs and mentioned that this photo series is also about “Style” and if any of these pieces he was sporting were worth noting, particularly the jacket. “Oh, this is Comme des Garçons” he replies. Of course, it is Koichi. A person with such impeccable music tastes would be rocking equally supreme digs.

We exchanged Instagrams and as I was sending him a quick friendly chat “Thanks man!” after walking away, I saw in his bio that he has seen Springsteen 57 times!!!! INSANE! So… again. This all kinda feels like the Mr. Rogers tune, “These are the people in your neighborhood …in your neighborhood. Can’t wait to see who I meet next!”

Sam Cooke – Sam Cooke At The Copa
Label: RCA Victor – RD-7674
Format: Vinyl, LP, Mono
Country: UK
Genre: Funk / Soul
Style: Rhythm & Blues, Soul

Various – Pulp Fiction (Music From The Motion Picture)
Label: MCA Records – MCA-11103
Format: Vinyl, LP, Compilation
Country: US
Released: 1994
Genre: Rock, Funk / Soul, Non-Music, Stage & Screen
Style: Surf, Rock & Roll, Dialogue, Soul, Soundtrack, Funk

Sonny Rollins – Saxophone Colossus
Label: Prestige – PRLP 7079
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono
Country: US
Released: Apr 1957
Genre: Jazz
Style: Bop

Various – Ruthless People: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Label: Epic – EPC 70299
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: Netherlands
Released: 1986
Genre: Rock, Funk / Soul, Stage & Screen
Style: Rock & Roll, Pop Rock, Disco, Soundtrack, Psychedelic Rock, Experimental, Classic Rock

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