A Little Background
I was born in Scranton, Pa. in the ancient year of 1957. I remember that there was a lot of music playing in our house, whether from my mother's small collection of records or the local AM radio station (WARM 590-AM or WSCR 1320-AM). My mom's collection ranged from Elvis' Blue Hawaii to The Student Prince by Mario Lanza. There was trumpet music by Bert Kaempfert, vocalists such as Jim Reeves and Bobby's Vinton and Rydell. I heard a lot of country music at my grandmother's house. The first record I remember owning was the Beatle's second record and I have distinct memories of taking my younger sister's Close n' Play record player into the bathroom while having a scrub up and playing The Monkees single of "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" over and over.
A friend had an older cousin staying with his family while on leave from the navy. He let us paw through his record collection. We were around 13 and it was the first time I had heard the likes of Steppenwolf (Monster) or John McLaughlin (Extrapolation) and the final straw was when I played Frank Zappa's classic Hot Rats. I just couldn't wrap my brain around the concept that this was also music. I wasn't like anything I had heard at home and most certainly had never heard on the radio. The fire had been started and it burns to this very day.
Not having much in the way of funds to fill my collection with the brand new releases of the day I would troll the $1 and Close-Out bins and find such treasures as The Yardbirds with Sonny Boy Williamson, Roll Over by The New York Rock Ensemble, Donovan's Open Road. Each week I'd add another set of new sounds to my collection. In high school we were able to pull in a local FM station broadcasting from Marywood College and a station from Binghamton, N.Y. (WAAL 99.1 - FM). More new sounds and new bands to seek out. Through liner notes and magazines (Circus and Cream being my favorites) I began connecting the dots between players and the bands they had passed through on the way to their current assignments. I found John Mayall through early Fleetwood Mac, Lou Reed through David Bowie, Miles Davis through John McLaughlin and on and on. And there were always live shows, local dances with Mutt Lee covering early Uriah Heep or bands playing at many of the surrounding lakes such as The Glass Prism or The Bouys.
A few years of college in New Jersey (1976 thru 1979) brought my punk indoctrination (caught The Jam and the Clash at the Bond Theater) as well as my swapping my Grateful Dead predilection to a friend for his Nektar fascination. Prog-rock here I come (Gentle Giant, Return to Forever and Nektar are a few shows that come immediately to mind). A few years spent in Thule, Greenland found me spending time playing DJ at the "World's Most Northerly Stereo FM Station" - Radio 5-OZ-20. From there it was off to Sunnyvale, California, just a short drive from San Francisco and a childhood dream was realized. Punk shows at the Fab Mab (Mabuhay Gardens), Dave Edmunds, Robert Gordon or The Ventures at the Old Waldorf and of course there's the Fillmore and all of its past and future glory.
It all adds up to a continued quest for sounds. Interesting sounds be they cultured or crass, imaginative or derivative, stories of the past or a future not yet realized. I hope your interest in cover art or music in general brought you here and that you enjoy your stay. Thanks for stopping by.
All albums represented on these pages have been carefully selected from my ever growing personal collection of music. Although the intent is to share the wealth of diverse art gracing the covers of vinyl records, I have included a few select CDs, cassettes and even a reel-to-reel tape or two. You'll find both classic albums and some you've never seen, artists both familiar and foreign. The music ranges from jazz, rock, punk, a little country, some show tunes, various artist collections and some hard to describe items as well. There are albums on various shades of colored vinyl. Some are selected for their subject matter, both good and bad. Some for their inherent strangeness, some for their beauty. Of course any collection is subject to the filter of the assemblers' mind and this grouping is no different. All of these albums come with memories attached, some you may share such as a remembrance of a particular live show or the anticipation of certain's records release. In any event I hope you enjoy the selections and my musings upon each album as you browse through these pages.
All images on this site are taken from my personal collection of music in various formats. All artwork displayed is copyright of the respective owners and artists. All opinions, reviews and article are property of M. Schott.