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Thursday, 12 February 2009

The President's record collection

I read an extraordinary article in Rolling Stone magazine recently that I just had to pass on.

Apparently there's a Record Library in the White House.

Think about that for a minute. Now, on the one hand, yes, it's a massive place and probably has lots of stuff in it. But there's just something about there being a collection of vinyl in the seat of American power (arguably the most powerful residence in the world!) that made me stop in wonder.

It consists of several hundred LPs, including classics by the likes of Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Ramones, the Cars, Flying Burrito Brothers, Santana, Isaac Hayes, Elton John and Barry Manilow. Well, ignore that last one.

It started in the Nixon era, and was a result of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) deciding that the President's library should include music as well as printed materials. So in 1973, it donated 2000 largely MOR/country records. In steps the Carter administration in '77 and a couple of years later asked that the collection be updated.

But then disaster, or Ronald Reagan. In 1981 (the same year that they were presented to Jimmy Carter) Reagan moved in to the place and moved the records into the basement where they've stayed since, each in their individual sleeve with the Presidential seal on. I'm surprised they stayed there throughout the Clinton reign, but also quite glad that he had better things to do with his time, I suppose.

So I guess the question is, will Obama resurrect the collection, and update it. Is it just me, or would being the person in charge of updating that collection be just about the best job in the world?

So I'd like to officially put my name in the hat right now for that position. You can contact me right here, Mr. President, sir.

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