So I went out of London for this one: a Beatles and McCartney collector. She collected everything from the records (all- including bootlegs, and weird covers of Beatles and McCartney stuff) to books to memorabilia (talcum powder, dolls, and postcards) to gigs (nearly all front row centre) to face to face meetings. Karen seemed to use the high fiscal value of her collection as a validating tool- she didn't acquire items because they were expensive but used their value to explain to others why she had collected them. It seems also a bit of a thing with collectors for their collections to take them to other places- it was trainspotting holidays for Tim, Indian tin hunting for Tony and McCartney Road trips for Karen. She spoke about her and her friends (another common thing is this culture of like minded collectors- i guess that's just like friends though right.) would go and follow Paul's tour around the states- only sitting in front row centre seats (AAA) which seemed pretty hardcore. She spoke about how the memorabilia she collected now had to be authentic i.e. from the 60's / 70's as crap knock offs weren't good as people were making too much money off them - although she did say "if it was Paul then I'd get it- I'd just have to." When asked why Paul McCartney? she responded-"Why do some people support Manchester United? I just do" She also spoke about enjoying others incrdulity at the amount of stuff she had- "I can honestly say anyone who's ever some to my house had been wide eyed and open mouthed- it's like... awh!" I guess Beatles items lend themselves to sets as there were 4 of them but even in the McCartney stuff she would have a set of 5 or 6 of the same vinyl which was different countries releases- the promos and the original re-releases. Interestingly whilst she described herself as untidy, her collection contrasted by being centrally located in one room at the heart of the house- it was alphabetically ordered, and organised by subject and medium, whilst not being archived, or listed in any formal way she said she knew what items she had and where every item was, in her head. She also had a McCartney tattoo which i forgot to take a photo of! One if the best quotes was: "I'm a loyal collector, when I collect something, I really collect it. It's why I've never watched shows like x-files etc." In terms of pulling out conclusions, this one seems quite hard, but i'd have to focus on- the breadth of the collection: from experience to record (directly influenced by the artist) to memorabilia (indirectly influenced by the artist). The duplication and tiny variations which create the need to possess multiple and (to the untrained eye) identical copies. The symbolism attached to the subject matter- Paul McCartney. The purhasing owning, possessing of the items being the 'thing' as the records (whilst played) seemed to be thouroughly abstracted from the function. The competitive streak to be the No. 1 fan- in terms of quantity of records and number of gigs attended (I just had to buy it).
It's always good to get away and Newcastle always clears my head. I remembered when i was in m&s that i hate shops- too big, too much shit- i'm aint no hippy or nothing but this was weird:wine should not be sold next to boxers. no. I also spotted this- lol and a half: Also checked out the latest exhibition at the Baltic which was Yoko Ono, i love the Baltic and some of Yoko's stuff i enjoyed- these fixed cups, and her ideas for installations, architecture and paintings were great (i like that the ideas were enough, that there was enough description involved that you understood the concept and what the general gist would be of the piece without it being made) unfortunatley some of the ideas had been done and they didn't feel good. I feel that when my mum talks about 'Art' and 'Artists' being highbrow and unknowable and incomprehensible with that tone that people do sometimes- she's talking about Yoko Ono, hippy, lovey, peacey, cheesey, and pretty tacky pieces- hang your wish on a tree, same picture with abstract and pseudo meaningful legends- sort of junk- kind of felt like alot of the cheesey new relgious prayer and interactive worship stuff that I was once invovled in but without the acceptable pretence of religion. Rant over.