Metal Collector (Book Review)
Released: 2017, Powerchord Press
As a Metal collector myself I was very curious to learn of the publication of Martin Popoff’s new book METAL COLLECTORS. Over the past several years Canadian author Popoff has been soliciting comments from Metal fans of every stripe from around the globe about collecting Metal. He has put all the results into a new book!
Like all of his PowerChord Press publications the book itself is a nice little tome, with the now familiar lay-out and design of so many of his other titles. This is interesting in itself because as a collector these books all have a nice symmetry and uniformity lined up on your bookcase shelf. It is a short, easy read at 240 pages with a smattering of black and white photos scattered across the pages, mostly pictures of people cool collections, libraries and Metal memorabilia. I’ve had the very great pleasure and honour of visiting Popoff’s own Metal museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on a number of occasions and I recognize many of the cool metal mementos from his archives. Legend has it that Popoff may have the world’s largest collection of Heavy Metal and having seen it first hand, I agree.
That’s brings us to the raison d’etre of this book, what is it about Metal, Metalheads and our collections? The comments and stories that he has compiled are broken into six main sections, ‘Autographs’, ‘My Best Stuff’, “First Record Ever’, ‘Record Shopping Tales’, ‘Fond Memories’, and ‘Why Collect rock Stuff?’ The collected stories explore those questions as fans share all the neat details about themselves and their various quests for their only Metallic holy grails. One thing that struck me is that despite everyone valuing different items, almost each and every person who submitted comments, has a deep burning love for Metal and music.
This is a very positive and happy book. The words, ‘love’, ‘favourite’, cool’ and so on appear with incredible frequency, as ‘in my ‘favourite X of all time’. Even though the styles, genres, bands and artists are all different, this book really displays a commonality, a community if you will where people, fans like me are excited to share stories (usually over beers somewhere!) about that one amazing original pressing of a record they found for $1.99 in a bargain bin, or the time they met Rock Dude #27 at a gas station who was supremely cool at the time.
This book does not come across as bragging or people saying, ‘look at how big my collection is!’, far from it. It is the stories the excitement, the occasional disappointment or tragedy how someone lost their entire prized collection in a house fire, or whatever. The commonality is the love of the chase, the thrill of the kill, the hunt for that one cool thing, the happy days well spent scouting old used record stores and NOT just pushing a button on a computer to obtain a bands entire discography in the form of one’s and zero’s. These stories are all cool in their own way, even if you don’t share the love of that ‘particular Band X’, you can’t help but share the enthusiasm of peoples stories about excitedly meeting their hero or finally getting that one last record/tape/CD in their collection.
As a collector with a big library myself, accumulated over decades, METAL COLLECTORS showed me I’m not alone in my gripping obsession! This book has an extremely limited print-run so if this type of thing appeals to you, you will want to get to martinpopoff.com right away and snag one of the few remaining copies. He might even autograph it for you!