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Which is the most valuable record in your collection?I have no clue. I’m a musician and a music lover. The value of my completecollection or individual records doesn’t really interest me. The album most precious to me is “Best Of Herbie Hancock” because it is autographed by Hancock himself. I think the most valuable record I own is a copy of Jethro Tull’s Aqualung. It has Tull’s music on side B and completely different music on side A. It’s obviously a 1 British Pressing of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band - one of the most beautiful pictures of The Beatles defective print where Chrysalis got their masters mixed up. I even asked Ian Anderson about how valuable it would be but all he said was, “I’m not a collector but I suspect it must be very valuable”. Incidentally my most precious CD would be the one signed by the entire Jethro Tull lineup in 2004. I’m also particularly fond of a whole bunch of 10-inch Jazz albums which were given to me by my friend when his father passed away because he felt his father would have wanted me to have them.
You are a musician? What do you sing/play?I play the bamboo flute – almost entirely Indian classical. I was inspired to learn it after listening to a concert by Hariprasad Chaurasia and Dr. N. Ramani when I was in school. I finally began to learn after finishing college. I learned from Pt. V. G. Jog and Prof Debu Banerjee of Rabindra Bharati University. I also take lessons from Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia whenever I’m in Mumbai (which unfortunately is not very often now). I have written the authorized biography of Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia entitled “Woodwinds of Change” which was launched by Amitabh Bachchan on Punditji’s 70 th birthday – 1 st of July 2008.
Tell us about your turntable setupI have a Sansui P-2000 turntable plugged into a Sony stereo. Nothing fancy butquite listenable. When my cousin sent the turntable to me in the 90s there were nopreamps available so I had one made here in Kolkata and it’s still working fine! Ialso have a Garrard with a ceramic cartridge which is hardly used – for old andscratched LPs only
Any advice to people who are about to start their vinyl collection?The obvious advice as a musician would be to buy what you are actually going tolisten to. The other parameter is the visual aesthetics – an LP has two square feet of space (four if it’s a gatefold) and album design is an art form in itself. So buy what looks good. However, if you are going to collect as a collector then buy the rarest and most expensive. In all three scenarios you should be able to look back on your collection with pride. As an example of visual aesthetics I’m sharing photos of the inner sleeves of Loggins & Messina’s “On Stage” album which still look good after 42 years!