Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Welcome to the Bearcave, a look at my collection.

Welcome to my cellar. Don't trip over that pile of vintage vinyl over there. It's all over the place.
This is the wall of my studio which is buried at the moment. There is a autographed pickgaurd from John Paul Jones, a original 1957 Exotica (I love that cover), a original Jim Flora "Mambo For Cats" cover, and a fully autographed Ink Spots LP. Plus a two cool girlie covers.

By the way,
My Name is Michael Arlt, my friends refer to me as "Bear", I've been collecting records since I was seven years old. My first LP is a copy of "The Monkees Greatest Hits" on Colgems that I still have. Not the same one but a copy I bought two years later when me and my siblings wore the original out. On that pile you will notice a original LOC "Elvis Christmas Album", King Creole, and a original 78 album for "Going My Way" which has sentimental value to me. That's only the tip of the iceberg

Here is a tower comprised of 4 Peaches crates (I was a assistant manager there in 1982 in the North Miami Beach store). The top one is all audiophile stuff, the second is all Beach Boys. The Beach Boys stuff continues, after that it's all Sinatra. Those two huge piles are all rock albums awaiting shelves, whenever Lowes gets them back in. I'm waiting guys.

This is my jazz and rock section.
I have to keep half folded album covers on the bottom sections to keep our cats from clawing at the album spines, they already hit the N rock section. If you can see those white spines dead center to the start of the next row, that's the complete Duke Ellington DETS series on LP. In the back-round, more vocals and country on the floor awaiting shelves from Lowes.

More rock and 10" LPs.
If you're looking for the Ventures or Zappa, it's all here.

A better look at the pile on the floor.
I'm ready to grab the junk on those shelves and give it the heave ho.
My records need a safe home.

My classical, reggae, R&B, Soundtracks, Florida loungecore, and box sets.
I wish the lighting was better so you can read the spines.
In the mess you can see a horde of Time-Life "Giants Of Jazz", Joker "Bix" box, and the two EMI 20-LP boxsets of Sinatra and Nat "King" Cole that I bought for my Mother when I bought her a stereo for her aniversary almost 20 years ago. The little Peaches crate is full of Sinatra EPs and jukebox LPs. The best sounding version of "The Voice" is in the front of the crate, the double 45rpm set. I'm lucky to have the complete Beethoven Bicentennial Collection that I got at work for $20, it was going to be pitched. Five of the boxes are still sealed. The set sounds great since it was pressed with DGs metal parts.

A (almost) complete set of Franklin Mint's Big Band collection.
I got that set at Blue Note from a girl who sold it to me for $50, great sound and pressings. The Ellington sets are a must own. Next to that is the Trane box, World Records Beatles Box, and a autographed copy of "From One Charlie" by Charlie Watts. Next to that in the plastic is a copy of the super rare promo only Complete Dial Sessions by Charlie Parker.

This is the funky area of the collection.
All the stuff that's hard to categorize is in this area.

One thing I love to collect are stereo test records.
I must have at least one (or two) from each major label, the best ones being from London, Audio Fidelity, Roulette, Capitol, Columbia, and RCA.
The best ones are from the stereo makers themselves.
My favorite is the Sylvania "Golden Time" LP that is pressed on gold vinyl and comes in a gate fold cover with a pop-up of a smiling family listening to a Sylvania console stereo that was made for hi-fi dealers who sold Sylvania stereos in department stores.
The cover states "play this only on a Sylvania stereo", funny stuff.
You hear the announcer stating "this is the sound of a normal stereo" with the image narrowed and the sound compressed", and "this is the sound of a Sylvania stereo" and the sound blooms were the image widens and compression drops, it sounds great on my Adcom system.

These are most of my Beatles collection.
Everything is 1972 Apple from the first LP up to the red and blue LPs, and Purple "Wally" Capitol labels. Everything after that is UK, and then bootleg.
Dig the two cool UK Elvis boxsets, Thingfish and Anthology lazerdisc.

Here's my Al Hirt collection.
He's the King in my book.
Everything is here including both versions of the Southland LP,
and some one of a kind promo and foreign pressings.
I'm still waiting for Lowes to get those shelves in to get those LPs off the floor.
The next post will be about thift store finds.
See 'ya.
Mr. Bear


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