The journey has been eventful. It’s been exciting. So to, has it been emotional. It’s been a great many other things as well since I began collecting Bowie memorabilia all those years ago. I had no idea that in 1992, I would spend so many hours in record shops and sifting through online record retailers, hunting down the rarities that mean so much to us Bowiephilies.
I fellow writer once told me to immortalise my passions and desires through a blog. That was some 15 years ago. Being a little shy to fully express myself all those years ago, I hesitated for a good 10 years before I finally took on his advice. And here I am, writing all about my passions, hobbies and interests. Ohh, and my love for David Bowie! To celebrate 25 of collecting Bowie, I thought I should document how I became a collector, why I followed this pathway, what I prefer to collect along with the experiences collecting has brought my way. My obsessive nature was always going to dictate my passion for collecting. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means a completest. There is something quite cool in my eyes about not owning everything. Room for constant improvement shall we say?
Earlier tonight, I fetched my collection of Bowie 7″ singles from my storage space. They’ve been safely locked away there for over 18 months now whilst I moved around and travelled constantly. Now that I have settled a bit, I thought I should get them out to enjoy once more. There are just over 230 singles storied away in a long box that I made myself in 2006. It holds them well. Snuggly would be a more precise descriptive term. I’ve owned more over the years. Sold some here and there for a variety of reasons. Traded others. At the end of the day, you can always buy them back for the right price. Most definitely not those obscene prices people ask for a yellow 7″ of Let’s Dance! I find myself arguing the merits and legitimacy of the “550 or 500” pressed theory that people use to justify its scarcity and price. Scarce you say? Well, I found no less than 13 copies for sale today alone so it most certainly isn’t that scarce.
For me, I’d prefer to persue the RCA era singles from the 1970’s. Besides, they are far better to admire and look at whilst a great deal cheaper. The Berlin era singles are my more preferred options when collecting. The Japanese Sound and Vision hits all the right spots for me. As for RCA era singles I have never owned that I would like to one day own? The Spanish Boys Keep Swinging picture disc most certainly springs to mind. I’ve owned some of the pre-RCA era singles too however, like their 1980’s and beyond counterparts, they miss the romance that Bowie singles on the RCA label, orange labels may I also add, had. The first single from this era I bought was a German pressing of Golden Years. I still have that one too! It cost me the princely sum of £8 from Marshall Jarman in 1994 via mail order. From that moment on, Bowie’s RCA era singles were my main squeeze, man!
When people ask me why I collect Bowie on such an obsessive level, I don’t really have a direct and sussinct reply. I have collected other things in my time so “collecting” is in my blood. But I guess deep down, I just enjoy the challenge of it all. As I mentioned previously, I will never own it all, but that won’t stop me trying to obtain the various items that I do admire and cherish. It could also be worse. I could be an alcoholic or a drug addict which is what I always tell my mum when she questions why I still spend so much time and money on Bowie collecting.
Over the coming months, I will attempt to open up more on collecting Bowie. There are so many elements to it that it will take me dozens of blog entries just to scratch the surface of it all. There are a great many Bowie collectors who put me to shame when it comes to the sheer volume and size of what they own when matched up against my collection of treasures. Over the weekend, I’ll go into some more details regarding Marshall Jarman and why he inspired me to become an avid Bowie collector through his catalogue releases and letter exchanges that took up my life for the best part of the 1990’s.
I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise you, it won’t be boring……