Round, round we go

By Mike D'Amour

May 4, 2017 12:00 AM

ROCK and ROLL, BABY Shawn Tulk, the man who started Lloydminster Vinyl Enthusiasts on Facebook, has enlisted a growing number of local record enthusiasts to share their love of 33s and nostalgia. He's pictured with some of the 600 albums in his collection. MIKE D'AMOUR LLS PHOTO

For one local club, it's all about the vinyl

What goes around, comes around. And around, and around ...
It’s no secret albums are making a comeback in this digital age in which we live.
The old vinyl discs have been hot for the past couple of years and show no signs of slowing in the near future—a fact that has serious audiophiles in ecstasy.
Shawn Tulk, a 44-year-old grocery manager at the Co-op grocery store is one such record lover. So much, in fact, he started a Facebook page for lovers of the old 45s and 33 and 1/3s.
However, his return to records is fairly recent.
“I did kind of leave vinyl because it became obsolete, it went away and there was no avenue to continue with it until a few years ago,” he said, noting he took up the interest again a couple years back and now has a collection of records somewhere near the 600 mark.
“I personally think LPs is a better, crisper sound—everybody has their argument—but for me it’s a bit nostalgic passion” he said, adding his collection is made up of “mostly 1980s hair metal and simple rock and roll.”
At the age of 44, Tulk said he did have a substantial collection when he was a younger man, but with the advent of compact disks and other factors, that collection all but vanished.
“With moving and stuff happening in life, you lose a few, but I have some I’ve had for about 30 years.”
Tulk said he has some 45s, but 33s make up the majority of his collection.
“I like 45s, but they’re a bit of a pain because at the end of every song you have to get up and switch them out,” he said.
“I like to sit back and listen to five or six songs at a time.”
While vinyl sales are on the upswing, there is still no danger of them unseating digital copies of music.
Martin Talbot, the chief executive of Official Charts, the UK’s official Top 40 site, said vinyl is “still a niche audience.”
Still, electronics companies are once again making turntables and other accoutrement, such as turntables, for record lovers.
“The technology is certainly better than years ago,” said Tulk, who scours garage sales, record stores and Internet sites for pressed music.
“I buys a lot online from places like Germany and Italy,” he said.
Tulk wanted to share his love of records with other like-minded folk, so he started Lloydminster Vinyl Enthusiasts about eight weeks ago on Facebook.
He said he’s very pleased with the results
“We now have 73 members after only two months,” he said.
I’m very surprised (because) I started it as just kind of a hobby for myself, and thought maybe a couple of people would join and we’d have a chat—I certainly didn’t expect 73 people right now.”
Several of the folks on the Facebook page have become friends and done some record trading.
“It’s been great, I’m getting what I want out of it—meeting people with the same interest,” said Tulk, who had some advice for people thinking about getting into record collecting.
“I would definitely advise people who are thinking about buying equipment to go cheap first and make sure it’s something you do want to get into because it can become quite expensive,” he said.
“It’s an addicting habit.”
Tulk added he doesn’t have a single Holy Grail album, that one elusive disk he’s unable to locate.
“No, not just one, there are a few,” he said.
But that’s part of the fun of the hobby, he said.
“It’s all about the hunt, the satisfaction of getting what you’re looking for.”
However, Tulk said there is one important misconception about vinyl.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of people who have been sitting on vinyl for 50 years in their basement and they kind of expect it to be a gold mine, but it’s not unless it’s a (much sought) album, one where there weren’t a lot of copies pressed.
“What those people usually have in their collection is what everybody else has.”

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