This happy moment occurred at 3.08 pm on Tuesday 30 January 2007, precisely four months after the birth of The Vinyl Villain.
The visitor was from North Arlington, New Jersey, USA
Both parents are chuffed to bits
Now I know this momentous event doesn’t mean that my man or woman from Noo Joisay (excuse me for trying to talk like Tony Soprano) was the 10,000th different visitor here.
For all I know, TVV might only have had as few as 100 visitors, all of whom have come back on average 100 times – I only get the most basic of info from Site Meter in terms of where folk live and what time they dropped in. But 10,000 hits is a number I never dreamed of achieving at any point in time, far less after just four months.
And to be honest, I’m quite stunned that TVV has proven so popular. This all started out as something designed mainly to help cheer me up and keep my mind occupied at a time when things at work were going very pear-shaped.
All that ever mattered was getting the chance to put a few random thoughts down on paper and to share some of my own tastes in music, and, in the aftermath, for a handful of like-minded folk to offer up the occasional comment in reply.
There were a number of other bloggers who were the inspiration for what I was trying to achieve and their help and advice were essential in the early days.
At the beginning, the number of hits was on the low side – no more than 10-15 per day (most of which were family and friends).
Then I had the thrill of seeing that I had received my first overseas visitor – from Ireland. Then someone from America popped-by. And then I noticed that someone from Derby in England was coming in almost every day. It was that sort of progress – along with encouragement from Mrs Villain, and old friends like Jacques the Kipper, as well as new cyber-friends such as Crash, Elizabeth and Tristesse that made me determined to make a real go of TVV.
Things really took off just before Xmas, especially in the number of hits from the States.
I now know this was partly down to getting listed on The Hype Machine, but I like to think it was also the fact TVV was providing continued opportunities to hear some great music, not all of which was widely available. I was consciously trying to make TVV the sort of site that I would enjoy visiting on a regular basis, while acknowledging that not every song that was posted would meet with universal approval.
The result of all this is that I now finding myself crawling around old record shops and looking through e-bay trying to pick up vinyl that was lost in a tragic ‘accident’ in Edinburgh some 20 years ago in the hope of sharing some of the sounds that were an important part of my life back when I had less cares and worries in the world. Indeed, my recent trip to Milan saw me return clutching a vinyl copy of The Smiths debut album – an original pressing on the Italian label from 1984 – that I found at a stall in an antiques market. My equivalent of a Prada Bag, but at far less cost. (I might need help right now as I fear I am becoming frighteningly like a sad character in High Fidelity...)
Maybe a psychiatrist would say that all of this is my way of continuing to avoid the onset of old-age. But I couldn’t care less. I’m having a blast, albeit it’s taking up an unhealthy amount of time on a daily basis.
Now I’ve mentioned a couple of times in past postings that Mrs V picked up a whole bundle of vinyl on e-bay as a present from Santa Claus, including some stuff that I’ve been saving for a special occasion. Well this is it.
The demise of Altered Images in 1984 led to a very short-lived career for Clare Grogan. In fact, if you had blinked you would have missed it. It comprised one single on London Records that came out in 1987. There was also an album recorded but never released. But here is that one single…
mp3 : Clare Grogan – Love Bomb
As I said, this was Clare’s only solo single. It was written and produced by people that she had never worked with before, all arranged by her label. It was all seemingly a bad experience, not helped by it ending up as a monumental flop. Maybe when you listen you'll soon realise why.
But at least Clare was able to keep in the public profile thanks to her acting career and slots as a TV Presenter. Sadly, my love for this gorgeous woman remains unrequited. It’s her loss……..
The other single I’ve been saving up is also thanks to e-bay.
Regular readers will know that I’m a huge fan of Paul Quinn. I’m trying really hard to track down everything he has ever recorded in what has been too brief a career. One of the nicest things that has happened over the past four months was when a visitor, from Sweden, read what I had to say about the great man and got in touch offering to send an mp3 copy of the rare demo of Breaking Point. Cheers Erik. This is for you:-
mp3 : Paul Quinn - Ain’t That Always The Way
This was released on 1985 on Swamplands, a few months after Paul’s collaboration with Edwyn Collins on the cover of Pale Blue Eyes.
This was Paul’s only solo release under his own name. It was written and partly-produced by Edwyn.
I hope the offerings from Clare and Paul are typical of what I want TVV mostly to be all about.
But it’s not simply nostalgia – not when I’ve got the help of the great Dr Tristesse who unearths some incredible up-and-coming bands and tells us all about them (I've taken his advice and picked-up The Apple Scruffs single). Nor when some more recent favourites have new releases in the offering, which brings me nicely to the a brand new bit of new vinyl purchased just yesterday.
It’s on the Full Time Hobby label, and it was produced right here in Glasgow by Tony Doogan (who has worked extensively over the years with Belle & Sebastian) and the singer/songwriter himself:-
mp3 : Malcolm Middleton – A Brighter Beat
This is the first song from Malcolm’s forthcoming LP of the same name. In his own words, taken from his website:-
‘If I was forced to describe it, I'd probably say it’s a pop album for people who hate pop music. Or maybe I’d describe it as love songs for depressed people who find it hard leaving the house sometimes and worry too much about dying and the consequences of their daily actions and thoughts to be able to enjoy life fully.’
Sounds to me like an early contender for album of the year and a more than worthy follow-up to the near-perfect Into The Woods.
Please go out and buy this fantastic single if you can. You will not regret it as the b-side is an equally wonderful track.
I picked up mine at the best record shop in Glasgow – Avalanche. But you’re all computer-literate and can find it in a few places using various search engines.
Once again, thanks to everyone for the hits.
Here’s to the next 10,000 and more.
And if there’s anything or anyone you’d like featured, feel free to fire in a request.