Saturday, April 21, 2012

A survey for y'all...

From "Ronnie and Mike" In Australia
About Ronnie and Mike.. 
They are also collectors with *extremely* scarce tapes, that I occasionally buy from, down under, as sometimes they have dug up exactly what Ive been looking for…

Mike sent me this questionaire.. I've put my answers below, anyone else have any opinions on any of these?

1. What is your favourite label on cassette?
……I think 60's to mid 70's Decca.. not for any particular reason.. except they're interesting, and the labels are colorful, and often the liner notes are better.. plus the era they like to favor (the mid to late 60's blues boom)  interests me the most.. unfortunately, with older Decca tapes the sound is often sub-par.. for whatever reason they tend to have a bad spike in the S's and cymbals 

2.Do you have many NEW ZEALAND issues?
. No.. Athough from what I understand, many of them do not actually show any country of manufacture.. I may have more than I think  such as This: I bought this one down the road from "English Dave" (sorry if I got it wrong!)

3.What do you think of NEW ZEALAND cassettes? 
  I have not seen enough examples to be sure, but the ones I know are from NZ are sure different from most others I've seen..  (I think I actually got this one from Mike)

 what's peculiar about this one,  is it has a super thick shoebox cardboard sleeve , with a dark grey back.. very different from most other sleeves..

4.Do you enjoy buying Australian released cassettes? 
  Not partticularly.. I think they're rather unattractive.. too much pink lettering on the front (any charm it may have had disappears when ALL of the tapes have the same look)

.. giving them the "old" EMI look , even when they're NOT ...think this an old tape? ..Well, let's have another look , this time at the tapes..
.. However, the odds of finding an older album that's out of print in the rest of the world *does* seem to be higher with Aussie tapes

5.Is there one tape that has given you a big thrill that you have purchased?
  Yes, I remember when I found the first edition Freddie King "Burglar"
.. which just NEVER shows up.. in fact *any* first edition issues of Freddie King is just about near impossible to find, except for those cheap compilations that always seem to show up

6.What are your top 3 bands to collect?
  I've pretty much collected them all by now..but naturally there's still missing stuff .. but that wouldn't just be "bands" per se, but also groups of bands, such as "British Blues".. (aka Mayall, and other, mostly Decca acts, such as Savoy Brown),
Here's one of my only Savoy browns so far...

What's peculiar about this one is the sleeve is Canadian, and the tape is US made.. maybe that's how they all were here in Canada, I haven't had enough Canadian Ampex tapes to know for sure...
  Also Beatles related.. such as original Apples.. although I'm still trying to complete my First edition beatles collection.. the one I'm actively seeking right now is the George Harrison  "Wonderwall Music" on the original Apple cassette.. I know it exists, as I used to own one.. however, the premier Beatles related cassette collecting site that I know of, claims that they never issued it on cassette. Since I know 100% for sure that it did exist, i am still looking - there's even a catalog number attached to it - (I no longer remember if mine had a paper label, but it was DEFINITELY a first run Apple, with a foldover sleeve listing other cassettes) Here's his other concurrent solo album...

  The third major group is a loose collection of all the "Immediate" series artists, on as early  an issue of cassettes I can find. Because I've been collecting for so long, I can remember 30 years back, when some tapes were MUCH easier to find..
Here's a NEMS (yup, Epstein's NEMS)  Immediate from the 70's when after going into receivership in 1970, Immediate got bought out by North End Music Services, who attempted to reissue the catalog.. before, themselves, going bust!

.. that would include the original Immediates.. although there were so very few of them, that most people don't even know they existed at all.. The main source of them back them was on a very limited issue 1973 Reissue series in Canada only, on Daffodil/Capitol records, but I think GRT (General Records and Tapes) also issued some Immediate albums.. back then it was common for labels to outsource tape manufacture to a dedicated "Tape and Record" manufacturing company, such as Ampex, GRT, or Quality…

7.Are you more of a fan of paper label tapes? 
 Not Per Se.. paper labels for the sake of themselves is pretty dumb.. especially when you consider that tapes exhibiting them almost ALWAYS have inferior sound, as they tend to exist only on older tapes.. Paper labels are *only* an additional way of dating tapes, nothing more.. having said that, if one is trying to collect early editions, (as any completist would) they will tend to be more prevelant..

8.Do you buy cassettes simply for the covers?
   A truly collectible tape, cannot consist of only one factor.. Collectors are, to a large extent, guardians of popular culture.. and the historical significance of a tape must come into play.. as well, the music must have some value..sometimes the art on the tape outweighs any other factor , however, so to that extent, yes.. but it is not common.. however, certain covers haver more appeal than others.. Certainly a garish, ugly, or otherwise off-putting cover will detract immensely from a tape's desireability…

     Oh yeah, pretty much ;-).. especially if it's someting I never thought I would ever see in my lifetime… those are the ones I try to scan first to add to my blog (which is really backed up, unfortunately)

10.Is it possible to be a special guest collector on your blog?

Welcome! We're working on that as I write this..



- acino77

Honestly, while tippling in a jar of vodka, I was SURE I had already added Mike Simpson's replies (that's Mike of  Ronnie and Mike.. but I can't seem to find it here.. oddly enough, I even remember adding my own edits, or comments to his replies.. but as I said.. it's not here on my blog.. looks as though I will have to do it over.. stay tooned ....

OK so here they are........

Mike sent me this questionaire.. He decided to give HIS answers also.. so here they are..

1. What is your favourite label on cassette?
I really have a love affair with Philips and Dunhill from the UK,Ampex from the USA, Arcade from Germany and Rainbow, Festival and the early EMI labels from Australia . The early Festival labels are historically important to Austrlai as it was one label that produced so mnay great cassettes from some of not only Aussies best, but from other great bands. Most of the Festival records early pressings were label labels, however they ventured into the nornmal plastic casing after that. The early EMI editions also came with the paper labels and the early runs (especially AC/DC) came in stock standard red bordered cases. Truly beautiful if you can find them in MINT condition.

(Doc's edit .. Agreed on the FESTIVAL tapes.. wudda monster label.. if it was rare or OOP it would still be on Festival! And of course, being in North America, I have hundreds of AMPEX)

2.Do you have many NEW ZEALAND issues?\

Thousands! Living 3 and half hours from the land of the long whtite cloud, it is relativley easy to find rare and hard to get tapes from NZ. I can safely say that they produced some of the best covers in the business! Ac/dc, Iron Maiden etc... all the early releases came with some amazing unique sleeves! NZ pressings are quite sort after by collectors and usually when I get these in my store, are snapped up by collectors, simply becuase thre are not many of them around in good nick.

(Doc's edit.. so considering that I live on the other side of the world, I should count myself lucky I've even got a couple!)

3.What do you think of NEW ZEALAND cassettes? 
See comments in Question 2, however just to elaborate, I find NZ pressings have a thicker insert, bigger cases and almsot always come with a paper sleeve. Some have different artwork to other releases in the world and are highly collectable. Look at U2'S one Tree Hill cassingle for example, I have seen this change hands for over $500.00!!!
 ------ Doc's new edit:   hey well, I just bought 13 original NZ issues for such a good deal that I'm hoping he sends them at all, as I don't believe you can buy 13 first issue New Zealand  beatles for $100, unless the guy's an , er , well desperate..
*If* they arrive I will scan all here......

4.Do you enjoy buying Australian released cassettes? 

Absolutley and shoot me for being bias, however I believe the Aussies were masters at cassette manufacturing. A lot of the early released tapes from Australia are very sought after with the paper labels and a lot of stuff is still only availbale on this format. We had some really cool labels back in the day including......Powderworks, Astor, Deluxe, et al but to name a few. Some of the early Buddy Holly and Bill Haley releases on the Astor lable are still sort after to this day. Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, AC/DC and co always looked cool back on cassette in the 70's and 80's.
(Doc's edit.. Yeah but you live there ;-).. however, I am in partial agreement with you, but still , they are really HARD to date)


5.Is there one tape that has given you a big thrill that you have purchased?

Yes!! Finding some rare Tangerine Dream cassettes from NEW ZEALAND just last month was mind blowing!! Unique, rare and in MINT condition I was able to get these in a trade with a fellow Aussie collector. I am a massive fan of space/Progressive rock and to have these in the collection made my

6.What are your top 3 bands to collect?
  1.Tangerine Dream (With a bullet!) Evere since I heard Stratosphear, I was hooked!!
(Doc rteplies..Agreed!  I just have little of TD, but have always thought them  massive.. but D'ya remember Tonto's Expanding Head Band?)
 2.Gentle Giant--Not only for the brilliant sound, but my god, those exotic album covers are out of this world!!
(Doc's edit.. better than Yes?.. really?)
 3.Brian Auger--Something about this man mezmerises me. His music is mind numbing and the lyrics are way ahead of thier time........

(Doc's edit.. Absolutely f***ing right On  ..the guy who INVENTED the sixties sound!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On bootleg there's even a tape called "the guy who invented the sixties"
 I was SOO pissed that I missed out on a couple of BA tapes you had.. one moved so fast I never even knew you had it listed………)

7.Are you more of a fan of paper label tapes? 
 Yes. But finding them in MINT condition with no bubbling, tears, rips etc... is proving to be near impossible. I am lucky enough to have over 80 000 units in my collection with half of those being paper labels. They oozed collectability appeal to me and disply bettre than a normal plastic casing.
(Doc,, i hate bubbling ;-)

8.Do you buy cassettes simply for the covers?
  Indeed! Man, Eloy, Steamhammer, Catapillar, Nektar, the list goes on, Progressive rock had some of the most incredible covers on the planet! Even if the music was bad, the covers always had me hook, line and sinker!
  (Doc's edit.. well I couldn't.. it always had to be the whole package,.. but I agree in principle  with your comment.. but.. again.. what about Yes?)
  (Doc's additional edit.. Well , I can certainly understand the sentiment.. after all.. they're miniature pieces of art.. they just don't  -yet- hang in the Louvre)

     You betcha! What else is better than coming home to find a parcel with a treasure trove of goodies just waiting to be cherished and loved by a fanatical collector? Quick, pass me the scissors!!!!
(Doc's edit… Yup.. don't use a knife!!)

10.Is it possible to be a special guest collector on your blog?

Well here I am. Little old me in the beautiful Brisbane Qld Australia part of the world. Married, 1 beautiful boy, music fan, eBay Powerseller (Acino77) Sorry had to plug my shop..(Doc's edit...  hey alright with me!) Hope you don't mind Doc??. Doc will probably agree with me here in that I am always willing to help out a fellow cassette collector. I can and have sourced some of the best tapes both here in Australia and around the world. Please get in touch with me if I can help in anyway with your collection!
(Doc's edit.. yup if you collect cassettes, you could do worse than visit his shop!)

Lastly, it has been a privelige to post on this blog, the short time I have known Doc, his passion for rare and out of print cassettes is second to none. Here I was thinking I was the only cassette fan in the world, until Doc knocked on my shop door!!! Keep up the good work on the blog and happy to answer any questions Doc can't. I am only an e-mail away!!
Keep collecting and Rock on !!!



- acino77

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