Vinyl Collector: Michael Squitiro
Genres: Mid-50’s to today. Rock, Jazz, Metal, Pop, Punk
Collecting Vinyl For 40 Years (on & off)
Why do I collect vinyl? How much time ya got? The obvious reasons are the music, the sound and it’s the music format I grew up with in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. Although I did dabble with other music formats over the years (CD & MP3) they were never as satisfying to my ears as the warmth of a vinyl record. I never gave up on the format. I am also an audiophile with relatively high end McIntosh labs audio equipment. Vinyl is just my preferred media for playback. I’m also a lunatic when it comes to the condition of my records. If they aren’t best in class I’m not interested. I don’t care if its a $10 record or a $500 record it has to be the best!
About 5 years ago I re-established my love for vinyl in earnest. Purchasing mainly reissues online. BORING! Then by complete fluke I discovered Instagram. My first post was my cat sleeping on top on one of my McIntosh amps. All the sudden I am getting all these likes, comments and followers. So next I post up a few more records. More likes, comments and followers. Suddenly I discover its not just me that collects records. I post more and more and start learning about the local vinyl scene and shops in my area.
Seemingly overnight my collection of vintage vinyl explodes, my instagram followers explode into the thousands and I meet new friends of similar interest. At this time I fall under the tutelage of my record “Yoda” who is a virtual encyclopedia of record knowledge who also happens to own one of the most impressive collectors record shops in the country. I visit his shop 2-3 times a week and absorb all the knowledge I can about records from him and some of his more serious collector customers. My bank account takes a SERIOUS hit but worth every penny.
I fall in love with this record thing so much I do the craziest thing imaginable. I walk away from a lucrative 20 plus year career as a smart home designer and open my very own record shop. I open it with the 7,500 records from my personal collection and a few thousand others I purchased from “Yoda”. I had big plans for the shop and I fashioned it after “Yoda’s” shop bringing the best quality vintage records to collectors at reasonable prices and the coolest record shop vibe anywhere. Free Red Strip beer and pinball for all!!! Unfortunately I developed some serious health issues and had to liquidate the shop.
My health issues have improved and I am back to a collector but my knowledge of records is on par with just about anyone. My biggest takeaway is my newfound obsession with Jazz. I can’t get enough of late 50’s to mid 60’s jazz. Art Pepper, Art Blakey, Coltrane, Coleman, Gene Ammons, Davis, etc. I still stare at the ceiling at night thinking about opening a record shop again and how a record shop can be reimagined to make it a more social experience.
So why do I collect vinyl? It’s the most rewarding thing I do outside of raising my boys who are now grown men. It’s the music, the sound, the kinship of like minded people. An island of misfit toys if you will. Admit it, many of your friends don’t understand this obsession. But I do and I’ll be on Instagram to give you a virtual high five over that coveted “holy grail” you finally snagged. THAT’S why I collect vinyl.
10 Albums That Have Had A Huge Impact On My Life.