The more people I photograph for Tokyo Record Style, the more I realize how worthwhile this project is, maybe not necessarily for you, the viewer (but I hope so too), but certainly for me, the conduit for which all this information is flowing. With each person that I photograph with their records, whether I know the person or the music, I ask myself, “What is about this music that compelled this person to seek it out, find it amongst so many others, and take it home?” This question almost always leads me to the same answer which comes after listening to the photographed album, “Wow, this person is really tapped into something that I managed to completely miss! This music is amazing – How did this evade me all this time?” That is my discovery.
The initial discovery for them may have come in any number of ways, and I should start asking people that, “How did you come to know and love this specific music?” (…because I have been asking things like “Why records? Why not just streaming” but that question, while capable of sparking some interesting answers, never really seems to lead anywhere all too new.) “How did you come to know this record” would maybe lead to more interesting and more personal discovery, not only for me (or for you) but maybe also for the subject.
I wish I had asked that question to Nana, pictured here, who I spotted outside of Disc Union in Shimokitazawa. She wasn’t reluctant to have her photo made but she seemed to have as many questions for me about my intentions as I had for her. When she told me that she’s a law student, it made a bit more sense. Anyway, we melted the ice and Nana produced two Gene Clark records from her bag, a single and an LP. My immediate reaction was, “Shit, I should know who this is, but I don’t,” but when she mentioned that he was a Byrd, I rattled off “‘Turn Turn Turn’, ‘Tambourine Man’, and ‘Bummer that we lost David Crosby recently’” attempting to prove not being a total luddite. Nana explained to me that Gene Clark was the founder, frontman, songwriter, and tambourine player, none of which I knew.
Nana didn’t exactly say that she is a sorta Gene Clark super fan but that was the impression I got. That begged the question, “What about Gene Clark, or about any musician or band, make superfans out of us?” I mean, I admit I own about 20+ Tom Waits records, but why? Well because he’s simultaneously rough and refined, he can keep you guessing, and that’s my jam. I feel like you can “get” Tom Waits, you can “get” me. And if I can “get” Gene Clark, then I can “get” Nana. So here’s to “getting” more music and more people. …Oh and new hashtag/byline has emerged: “The world gets smaller through music!” #theworldgetssmallerthroughmusic
Few little last things: 1.) Go take a Byrds, and/or a Gene Clark deep dive. You won’t regret it. 2.) Tokyo Record Style Day Vol. 3 – Hatagay coming up, so mark your calendars, …and 3. Can we please lose the masks off already, at least for Tokyo Record Style? THANKS!
Gene Clark – Echoes / I Found You
Label: Sundazed Music – S 253
Format: Vinyl, 7″, 45 RPM, Reissue, Limited Edition
Released: Nov 23, 2012
Genre: Rock, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Country Rock
Gene Clark And Carla Olson – So Rebellious A Lover
Label: Sunset Blvd Records – SBR 7021
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Blue Vinyl
Style: Country Rock
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