Tim Book Two: Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco - Tim Burgess

by Rob Jones Rating: Release Date:

Tim Burgess has what many would consider a wonderful existence in his guise as frontman of one of the coolest bands in contemporary times. Since 1989 this guy has led The Charlatans with great aplomb and his vocals have adorned some of the most potent alt. rock anthems that we've had the privilege to hear.

As a result Tim has taken a number of other opportunities which have come his way. He has also recorded solo work, collaborated with a range of artists, DJ, travel and also live in an array of locations, develop his own coffee as well as write (sorry Mr B. if any other adventures have been excluded!). The path to explore the world of words provided us with the tasty Telling Stories autobiography where his no holds barred, freestyle approach formed a thoroughly entertaining read.

However, another dream job has landed at his feet and yours truly would not have said no to a stroll down this aural avenue. The literary angle returns and there is also an accompanying album. The hero of the piece is offered a series of vinyl long player recommendations from a range of celebrities and off he goes around the globe in search of these releases, some of which are obscure, so our main man has his work cut out traversing the record shops of a range of mainly UK and US locations hunting down the illusive musical merchandise.

What becomes crystal clear is that Tim is at foremost a fan and all the rest of his activities follow on from there. To say that he is an aficionado would be more appropriate because we are talking obsessive. The aim to develop the lustre of his listening is not a dedicated hobby but a crucial element of his existence; and, when the book is explored there is a journey undertaken that means far more than the music. There are the actual stores and the people that adorn those outlets, all of which offers a far superior encounter than the online purchase or the soulless download.  

The current technology erases the actual memories of where and when a release came in to your presence. However, getting out there, searching for shops, sifting through racks of records and holding conversations with staff, offers its own rewards and the sense of achievement, when one’s goal is completed is something special for sonic surfers. There is also the surprise of the bargain or other bounties that have fallen into your lap.

Tim’s times automatically take me back to encounters such as the joy of finding Chic’s Greatest Hits in Boots, Pontypridd for 99 pence and also the despair of my mother stopping my pocket money when her detective work pinpointed a new copy of Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols obtained from Eagle Records, Tonypandy. As a punter of a certain age you will be there on such rides of your own and there are many others which I could share but when your take the Tim text in and absorb the data you will be rocketed in to a past that becomes the present and may well be a segment of the future.

The good news is that with the vinyl revival the doors are now open for further days of discovery and a new era can savour in this feast. Where was that? What was the year? Who were you with? What was your relationship status? What were the fashions of the time? The questions roll on and that is where music takes us as Tim also revisits his earlier years through the magical medium of musical merchandise.

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