Saturday, 8 March 2008

1st Birthday...

Hey! My blog is one year old today! I’ve had over 29,000 hits in the past year which I consider pretty good considering I started off with about 15-20 a day and I’m not listed on Hype Machine (more on that later). I love the way it grows word of mouth style with people stumbling across it and some becoming regular visitors. Time to say a few thank you’s...

First JC AKA the Vinyl Villain. I contacted him when I first discovered mp3 blogs to ask him to re-post Paul Quinn and Edwyn Collins’ brilliant version of Pale Blue Eyes which he duly did. As a thank-you I sent him a copy of Fingerprintz Dancing With Myself when I got my USB turntable and had rescued my records from the cupboard at my mum’s house. He advised me to start my own blog and said “Your life will never be the same again” which I took to be a slight exaggeration. But it’s true, isn’t it?

When I first discovered mp3 blogs I thought it was all about getting free music so I checked Hype Machine regularly for stuff I might like without giving much thought to the content of the blogs. That changed when I started this blog and started getting comments and exchanging views with other bloggers. You slowly get to know these people and want to hear what they have to say. For example, I look forward to Londonlee’s recollections of 70’s London knowing I’m as likely to hear a dodgy Bay City Rollers track as a great Motors song. And I find myself listening to music new to me because I value the judgement of the bloggers I read. You don’t always like it but what would be the point if we all liked the same thing and had the same records/CDs? I sometimes visit Davy’s brilliant blog to find he’s posted another jazz song and I hate jazz with a passion, but I’m a secret prog rock fan so who am I to complain? I want to read what he says and I love the soul and funk posts. Similarly, Steve’s Festive Fifty posts; your never going to like all the music he posts there (he doesn’t like some of it himself) but you have to applaud his style and enthusiasm for his subject and he’s an all round great guy. If you’ve exchanged messages with him you’ll know this.

That brings me on to the whole ‘community’ thing. You meet some really nice people on the blogosphere, except you don’t actually meet them at all, do you, but I consider them friends. People who read your blog and take the trouble to contact you and say “you might be interested in this..” I’ve got some great music from Davy and Planet Mondo like this.

Here’s a quick roll call of people I want to thank and recommend:

The Vinyl Villain who’s blog was the initial inspiration for this one.
Davy, who has contributed to this blog more than anyone else.
Steve, whose blog is a labour of love which is what makes it so readable.
Iain, who I think must have the best record collection in the world.
Londonlee whose posts have such resonance for people of a certain age.
Jon from the other side of the pond who somehow manages to post every day when I struggle to do more than a couple a week.
Crash, who inadvertently turned my most personal post into one of my biggest hits when he linked to it from his blog.
TutuVicar who disappeared for a while and then returned.
Planet Mondo, for reminding me that I actually used to really like dance music.
Kippers and Spike over at Too Much Apple Pie for making the blogosphere fun.
Mick, who annoyingly often posts songs I was planning to, but that’s the reason I like his blog.
The guys at The Post Punk Progressive Pop Party. A great site and when they feature this blog the hit counter goes up.
Ian, whose posts I have to read when there’s no chance of being disturbed to really appreciate.
The now defunct Retro Music Snob whose links to my blog really helped it to grow.

Finally, everyone who has taken the trouble to read this and leave comments in the past year, with a special mention for Dick Van Dyke whose comments on this and other blogs always make me laugh.

So what song should I post to celebrate my birthday? I’ve chosen this one because it led me to discover mp3 blogs about 18-months ago. My brother and I found we had been listening to lots of old progressive rock so we made a CD for each other. The one he made for me featured a song by a band called Pacific Drift that I liked so much I Googled them to find more info. This linked me to a blog called ChrisGoesRock, which had previously featured a Pacific Drift album. From this I found Hype Machine and The Vinyl Villain and the rest is history. Don’t be put off by the fact it’s a prog band. It’s only two minutes long and it features some great harmonies.

mp3: Pacific Drift - Tomorrow Morning Brings (1970)


iain said...

happy blogbirthday Mick, thanks for the kind words, and let it also be a matter of public record that YOUR blog was one of the reasons I started mine!
keep it up, here's to many more years of great tunes....

I Am Not The Beatles said...

*dons Stevie Wonder glasses*

HA-ppy birthday to yerrr
HA-ppy birthday to yerrr
HA-ppy birr-irrrthdayyyyy

Thanks for an always interesting read and the lovely mention - all of which reminds me that I need to send you that Vicious Pink wotsit.

I hadn't noticed you were just 8 weeks older than me, I always presume everyone else has been doing it for years.

All the best and stay well,

Ian TB

Davy H said...

Is it really a year already? Proud to have been here since the start. Love popping in. Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing, etc and, er, sorry about the jazz ; )

dickvandyke said...

'Michael row the boat ashore, alleluia!'

You sum up the unique and mini-world of camaraderie and mutual respect that we so value and enjoy.

I for one have learnt so much from the stimulating thoughts and trigger point ramblings of your good self - and the others you generously name.

These days, if anyone asks me what my 'hobbies and interests' are - which they do on Job Appn forms etc - I always say 'Music & Memory Blogs'.

I sometimes visualise what it would be like if a dozen or so of us met up in a (non-trendy) London boozer ...

Old fashioned Juke Box - followed at 10pm by a bloke with a pile of vinyl and a sound system, decent beer, old pictures on walls, copy of the Guinness Book Of Hit Singles, a few NMEs, photos of 60s and 70s footballers, crowds and paraphernalia, a Diana Dors-type barmaid and a lock-in.

Introducing ourselves would be fun. You'd be disgusted to find out what a good looking bastard I am!

Congratulations mate.


Simon said...

happy blog day! Londonlee's blog (and his previous one) are a huge part of why I started this...bloggery thing. And the likes of Crash and Davy have been pretty damn welcoming.

It's almost gotten to the point where I don't always listen to the tunes, never mind download, Despite that being the reason, like you, that I first started visiting the blogs. They make good reading,and a lot of the ones I read act more like memory joggers, making me dig out a tune I've not heard in a while.

And as far as a good pub for bloggery.. the Shakespeare in Stoke Newington in London would be perfect. Friendly staff, a good selection of ales, some unique to the pub. And a great jukebox. Free jukebox I might add.....

Planet Mondo said...

Happy Birthday Mick - thanks for your comments - here's to another year and plenty more winners to come from the Vinyl Archive. I've got a birthday baffler, I started my Blog last May but didn't really start posting until August with just 3 dotty posts in the first few months.

Mick said...

Thanks for all the comments, guys.
That means a lot. Your blog constantly makes me think 'How did I miss that one'.

Ditto...there have been a few blogs I read regularly that have celebrated their 1st or 2nd birthday that I assumed were much older.

Don't apologise for the jazz, just stick it back in the attic ;)

Somebody has to organise something like that someday and you think you're good looking? You should see me... just imagine a flat stomach and ignore what's happening around the neck and jawline :(

I should have given you a mention. Your blog has got off to a flying start. And Stoke Newington is where my first 'serious' girlfriend came from. She apparently went to the same school as Doug Trendle aka Buster Bloodvessel.

Ignore your three 'dotty' posts. I did a test post in February but I didn't count that.

Tutu Vicar said...

Happy birthday RTVA - Ill raise a glass. There are a few doors I always like opening on this www thingy - and yours is most definitely one of them. Keep up the good work Mick. :-)

Crash said...

Yes, hurrah! Lovely stuff and there's never anything like a celebration. Happy happy birthday.x

EuropeCrazy said...

Happy birthday! I only recently discovered your wonderful blog and realised what I'd been missing. Your enthusiasm is infectious and your love of music is inspirational. Keep the good tunes coming. :-)

M said...

Hey Happy Birthday and congratualtions on a great blog which I have just discovered. Excellent work. Keep it up as they say!

londonlee said...

Well done me old cock. It's bloody hard work getting this far with a blog.

I'm struggling to post anything at the moment, that's life when you have a toddler at home.

The Vinyl District said...

I can only echo Iain's sentiments -- I too was inspired by your blog, Mick. So, Happy Birthday and thank you for the early support! (AND the kind words....) Here's to many more...

Kippers said...

Oh Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow our minds - hey Mickey! Hey Mickey!

Somebody really ought to write a song like that. Or perhaps not ;)

A very happy birthday to the fantabulous RTVA!

Spike said...

Happy blogday! Time flies in the world of music blogs, eh?

I, too, love the blogging community and the way you learn to trust other bloggers' taste, or love reading the entries even if you know you're going to hate the music!

Three cheers for Raiding the Vinyl Archive!

Mick said...

Aw, shucks! Sincere thanks to everyone for your words of encouragement. When I was writing I meant to quote this thought about blogging from a PLILAS post: "when we do this we're quite self-consciously talking to each other, giving a little of ourselves away and getting to know a little more of everyone else."
Sums it up nicely.

Simon said...

Thanks for the kind words. That school in Stoke Newington is just around the corner from where I live these days.

JC said...


Sorry I'm a bit late....but the sentiments remains the same.

A very very happy 1st Birthday - RTVA has very quickly become of the most enjoyable, diverse, entertaining and educational blogs on the planet.

More power to your fingertips.

The next thing you should do is start making contributions to the Contrast Podcast - now that really will change your life forever!!!