For those living under a rock (lobster), John was the creative force that gave birth to Spaceboy Records in Philadelphia. For almost a decade, Spaceboy was THE epicenter of all musical things that are good. From the most unique selection of discs, to live in-store performances by well-deserved but commercially forgotten new artists that are household names today, to simply being the place to network with other like-minded fans of new music.
John's passion for music stems back from his youth - Growing up in Maine, he surrounded himself with music. Looking out his bedroom window, he would gaze upon the highway overpass and fantasize about a world away from the pine trees and rich with musical creativity.
By the age of 15, he had collected over 5,000 LPs, spanning all musical genres. John would spend hours talking about bands, labels and other various musical notes with anyone who’d listen. Making mix tapes became an art form for John, and it still is today.
One of the highlights for me over the past year, has been having John introduce me to a ton of new artists that I overlooked. Perhaps its because I have my head tucked nicely into the New Wave scene or maybe it's because for years I equated new music to 'work' and just avoided it when I was off the clock; but for whatever reason I never allowed myself the time to stop and listen to the hundreds of artists that are churning out new product every year.
The opposite is true with John. Even with the closure of Spaceboy, John never stopped. With a room full of CDs in his house and bags more coming in all the time (thanks to his total fascination for bargain bins, cut-outs and promos), John is constantly discovering new artists as well as new sounds from more familiar artists.
And now he shares those discoveries with me - complete with a wide-eyed grin and enthusiasm that is second to none! John has made me rediscover my joy of music appreciation and I am eternally grateful for that!
That leads me to this morning - John is an avid reader of dozens of music blogs as well as print mags from both America and the UK ... 'avid' might be an understatement - perhaps obsessive! (haha)
Today, while reading Pitchfork.com, John came across this:
Favorite Record Shop
AT: The now-defunct Spaceboy Records in Philly. That place was so hip that I got a nervous pit in my stomach and my mouth got dry every time I went in there.
"AT" is Andrew Thiboldeaux, part of the band Pattern Is Movement. How proud it made me feel reading that others remember John's clubhouse creation as strongly as I do. And how ecstatic it made me feel to know that this man... this wonderful, passionate, musically-knowledgeable man, was all mine!
My partner, my friend, my sidekick.