The Warm Crackle of… Vinyl
In which pro surfers select their favourite records from Brian Bielmann’s immense collection.
Brian’s record collection is magnificent. Thousands of cellophane sleeves wrapped around slim, colourful squares and filed in alphabetical order: 12” LPs, seven-inch 45rpms, a velvet 2’ x 3’ foot Pixies box set, every Led Zeppelin recording, King Crimson, Prince, Bowie, Television, Velvet Underground, Miles Davis, MC5, X, Oingo Boingo… You name it, Brian has it in his collection – and knows it. “It’s probably an unhealthy addiction,” he tells me while I thumb through the two full, top to bottom walls of music history. “Here, sit in the middle of the room, that’s where the sound’s best,” he says as “Since I’ve Been Loving You” hums warmly through the surrounding speakers.
“We like to have these record parties,” continues Brian. “We get four to six people together, have a few drinks, and start taking turns playing tracks and trying to blow each other’s minds. I have about 4000 records from every era and genre you can imagine. So the random track chosen sometimes is something I haven’t listened to in ages. Once I set up my mini studio, I asked Gavin Beschen to pick out his favourite album. It was Disraeli Gears, by Cream. And that’s how this series started. It’s always cool to see what surfers pick what albums, like Slater with Stevie Wonder, Bruce (Irons) with Lynyrd Skynyrd or Jack Johnson holding Taj Mahal. It’s a labour of love for me.”
John John Florence
Talking Heads // Speaking In Tongues // 1982
Lynyrd Skynyrd // Street Survivors // 1977
The Grateful Dead // Grateful Dead // 1971
Jimi Hendrix // Axis: Bold As Love // 1967
The Clash // London Calling // 1979
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