Well. not really as I don’t want to bore you with the details that have nothing to do with this blog’s topic. Just reporting back that there are very few vinyl stores in Malaysia and Singapore and no vinyl bootlegs to be found (not that I expected that). I came across the only record store on the island of Penang (it’s in the Pacific Mall next to Komtar) in Georgetown. They even had a record cleaning machine imported from Germany, which cost a fortune. I was informed that a used record cost 120 MYR – an incredible 30 Euros / US$ 33 based on today’s exchange rate!
Singapore has a few vinyl places. The first one was in the mall next to the food stalls up from Joo Chiat complex (bus # 24 from the airport takes you there). Records averaged a whooping S$60 or US$44. Many Japanese pressings, as expected and a few local ones. While browsing there I was informed about another store, Red Point Record Warehouse, which is only two MRT stops away. A most unusual store located on the top floor of a former factory building, not easy to find. They were cheaper but the focus is more on Asian records. Huge 70’s speakers producing excellent sound reminding me of the evolution in IT from room-filling mainframes to today’s much more compact servers. While there, I was given the card to a store near Kuala Lumpur: Teenage Head Records in Selangor. Unfortunately, I was headed way East away from Singapore. Another store that carries vinyl in Sin city remains to be explored next time (they are closed Mondays, which thankfully I found out via Google maps): Zenn Records in the Bedok part of town (the proprietor developed his own record cleaning machine using centrifugal power to remove the fluid and collected gunk and claims it stacks up with the best of them – I would love to see that).
Finally, I don’t like to gloat but I managed to catch the great Andy Summers doing a Q & A following the screening of his new documentary “Can’t Stand Losing You – Surviving The Police” in Manhattan. A really nice guy, hard to believe his 72 now (plenty of young kids in the mufti-plex staring and trying to figure out who this guy was we were all queueing up to meet). Was just a short while ago he headlined Dodger Stadium & Tokyo Dome, etc with Stuart & Sting. I didn’t ask him about Police bootlegs, don’t think that is a great conversation starter in most cases and bootlegs didn’t really play such a dominant role in their careers, imho.
For me, it was a reminder of what an influential guitarist he is and personally how much music meant to me 35 years ago and still does, I guess, as the blog shows.