Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Confessions of a Record Addict : Menlo Park : Marc Weitz

Hey all,

This is part two of a running series we will be doing on record addicts. Let's have a big round of applause for Menlo Marc.

Name: marc weitz
Occupation: whoa, lots of stuff: national director of marketing(caroline distribution), owner/founder: menlo park recordings, partner/founder: unexpected feeling & sons.
First record ever: kiss - destroyer was the first that was mine that i remember....(my baby sitter gave me her 8 track of it i was around 5 or 6 i think....)
Years collecting: 25 or so?
Most ever paid for a record: $75.00 ( i really have no idea, but that seems right, though maybe it's more like $50.)
Number of records in collection: i would guess around 8-10,000 or so for my personal collection, but i never count.

i've been in the music industry for maybe 15 years now in a serious capacity, maybe 5-6 more years in some learning curve way, and i've been running my own label, menlo park recordings for a little over 10 years. for me one of my favorite, and at the same time, most nerve racking moments occurs when on the day i receive my first copies of a new record i'm putting out. it's better than christmas. much better. i find something incredibly beautiful about seeing 1000 pieces of the same vinyl, or opening up a 30 count box of cd's and seeing the same spine over and over. it's a mix of creativity and industry, and i find that irresistible. the nerve racking portion is that in my heart, i'm nervous, as i know something may be wrong...a color comes out lighter than you thought, the bleed was a little off, there's a spelling error somewhere, the vinyl is warped, the top spines are wrong, the booklets are inserted inside out, they give me plastic lp sleeves instead of paper (and i hate that)... all of these things have happened and then some, and it's all part of the fun.....i also know that if something does go wrong, a period of "working it out" begins, and that period is like going to the dentist. i was never the biggest client (or even close) at the pressing plant i used for all of my vinyl, and almost all of my cd's, but the person whom i dealt with was always super cool, and often gave me deals reserved for larger clients. that being said, when there was a problem, there was a problem, and it went to his boss who is his own mind, is never wrong. i normally had to "work something out" which meant, i normally got part of my money back, but to rectify the problem would necessitate some physical work on my part (like taking all of the lp's out of the plastic sleeves and re-inserting them into paper sleeves. yes, i didn't get charged for the paper sleeves, but I DID have to insert them all myself, which x1000 certainly =='s a chunk of time in the end...

when you run a small record label you learn to expect these sorts of things, and you just roll with it. you almost feel that the mistake makes it honest, like scars are sexy, and the stamp with the plane printed upside down is coveted. here are a couple secrets among many that exist: loren mazzacane/ keiji haino lp : there are 150 of them that have the year printed on the back. deerhoof - apple o lp. the first pressing has a white lp label, subsequent versions have a pink lp label. japanther - the first pressing of leather wings had a completely different cover that almost no one ever saw, cause we hated the way it turned out so much, that i cut them into pieces myself so the world would be spared, and turned them into inserts for the lp which were randomly inserted into the new artwork version (if you have a leather wings with an insert with a cardboard back and some color photos of the band you have one of them)there are many secrets, and that's all part of the fun, and turns the annoyingness into a tepid lemonade.

nothing prepared me for the call i got 6 months ago when i was informed that europadisk (my pressing plant) closed its doors. that it had been in financial peril for several years now, and the bank simply foreclosed without notice. europadisk was the only direct metal mastering facility in the country, so naturally even if i got my lp plates back from the plant they would be useless. whoa. what to do now? eh, there was not much i could do, i needed to spring into action, as i was just about to put out 2 albums, deerhoof - green cosmos, and icky boyfriends - a love obscene. luckily these were cd's and they i received them a couple of days before they were shutdown, but re-presses were an immediate concern. my hats off to imprint printing, who do a lot of my cd booklet printing. they have a good relationship with the pressing plant, and took any print that was still there and had it sent to his press in florida. bit by bit over the last 6 months,i have transferred masters for re-press to another plant. of course, since no glass masters exists, i have to pay for new ones to be made for the cd's. for the vinyl, it's likely that whatever was pressed is now out of print for good. it's a total mess, and as a label who survives by saving loose change, this seriously messes with my day to days. you always think about the little things that go wrong, but you seldom think that the orange tree will stop bearing fruit, or the man you taught to fish so he would never go hungry is fishing quite well, but apparently starving.