Tell us a little bit about yourself! Hey Fellow record lovers! My name is Spencer Dorsey, I am 33 years old and reside in lovely Los Angeles, California. I am a songwriter and record collector. I am currently recording and releasing a Halloween themed record in my garage here in the valley. First off, I love Halloween. Inside our home, it is packed with vintage Halloween oddities of many origins. We transform the front yard into a giant cemetery for the month of October. We are the only house in the neighborhood that does this, so it’s great to keep the spirit of Halloween alive for our community.
First album: My first album was the white album by the Beatles. I took it from my mom’s collection and played it on my first record player. I loved that you could search for hidden meanings on the record. I would play songs backwards, search through the linear notes and just play it hundreds of times over. It has so much to offer, from its concept style packing to its diverse array of songs. It’s timeless and was the first of many albums to cross over generations inside that house. I even hung the 8x10’s photos of the band on my wall, having no idea my mom hung the same photo’s on hers when she was my age.
Favorite album: This is the hardest question in the universe. So many albums come to mind. I would have to say My Bloody Valentine – Loveless. It spawned a whole new genre of loud, ambient, catchy and moody rock and roll music. Without it, there would be no “Siamese Dream”. There would be no 90’s as we know and love it now. Brilliant record, that surpasses all the hype built around it. That record changed the world really. I also really, really love Oasis – “What’s the Story Morning Glory”. That is a perfect album, start to finish. The radio hits never get old and the deep cuts are beyond perfect. Oasis are in many ways, my favorite band.
Favorite Enjoy The Ride or Enjoy The Toons release: I am super pumped on my 4th pressing of the “Best Of Nicktoons Vol. 1” on Green/Orange split colored vinyl. It looks amazing and brings back great memories. I have a mean Nickelodeon VHS collection, maybe about 20 or so orange tapes on the shelf right now. I would love to see you guys do a SNICK LP next that features music from Clarissa, Pete & Pete, Are you Afraid of The Dark? And maybe even Roundhouse. How cool would that be!
Favorite album artwork: As a 7 year old or so, instead of playing with toys I wanted to play with records. I was barely tall enough to reach the needle. Having no clue the types of music that were on my parents records, I would go by the cover alone. At an early age, I already loved how it was an immersive experience. My favorite records were the Led Zeppelin records, because they had interactive covers. "III" had that awesome spinwheel that you could move to change the images on the collage. The cover of Physical Graffiti had linear notes that could be flipped around to change the images looking out of the windows. I still really appreciate when a record takes it to this level, I try to do this with my own releases. My next record I am releasing will include 3-D glasses. I think it’s due to the influence of these types of interactive, conceptual record packages I love so much.
Which album do you wish you owned on vinyl? I really want a copy of the Shining score on LP. I have found it but always for a ton of money. It would scare me so badly that I probably wouldn’t be able to play it often. I love that movie, it truly is a masterpiece. My favorite Kubrick movie for sure. Well, next to the moon landing.
What are your favorite record shops in the Los Angeles area? I love Record Surplus, they are very nice with great prices and are the only record store in LA with a dedicated Halloween section. I also stop by Freakbeat Records in the valley once a week. Good vibe inside that store. Of course, any Angelino would be the first to admit we are lucky to have the massive Ameoba here in our city. It is always fun to see travelers from all over the world stopping in there to bask in it’s glory. I love how record stores bring people together, it is so important that music fans go to their local stores and support these places. It is a tough climate to keep them running, so a little support goes a long way.
Favorite Halloween themed album in your collection? I have two original Elvira records, “Vinyl Macabre” and “Haunted Hits” with the poster inside. Elvira is the Queen of Halloween. They are my favorite due to the fact that Cassandra Peterson is on them of course. I got to meet her and take a picture; she is amazing to her fans. You get all the Halloween favorites on there, plus some weird ones too. You’ll fall in love with Red Lipstique’s disco hit “ Drac’s Back” which is as funny as it is catchy. Elvira is smart, witty, funny, and fearless with great taste in B-Movies. Who better to curate a Halloween playlist then Elvira really? No one, that’s who.
Favorite Halloween themed record artwork? Tough call. I think The Cramps and The Misfits nailed it with the music and artwork on their early releases. It’s also really exciting to have labels pressing Horror scores with re-imagined artwork and super nice gatefolds. If it comes down to artwork alone, I would have to go with a LP box set I have called “THE THREE GREATEST HOURS OF MYSTERY MADNESS AND SUSPENSE!” It is a original 1979 pressing, highlighting the best horror radio shows of the 30’s-40’s. It is rather affordable if you find it. The cover shows Robert Taylor, Peter Lorre, Orson Welles and Vincent Price in monochrome with a Technicolor lightning bolt striking through them. They are heroes of mine, they truly played a major role shaping the tones and vibes of Halloween. “The War of The Worlds” broadcast was originally aired on Mischief Night in 1938, so I would say that is in the key of Halloween for sure. The cover looks so cool, nice and simple, yet bold and commanding.
Favorite Halloween themed wax variant? That would have to be the Poltergeist Glow in the dark variant from RSD 2013. I love celebrating that part of you that never grew up. That being said, it is so rewarding to turn the house pitch black and watch this one glow as it spins it’s haunting score. Speaking of which, I hope my home isn’t built on top of any ancient burial ground. As we know, that can get a little dangerous.
Most unique Halloween album in your collection? So back in the 70’s, select cereal boxes had a series of cut-out flexi Halloween 45" records printed onto the actual cereal box. You could carefully cut out the record and collect them all to celebrate Halloween. There were a series of 3 – Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Spooky Stories and Haunted House. I am happy to say I have all three. Whoever collected these all those decades ago cut them out carefully, for that I am very grateful. These are tricky to find because they were marketed towards kids, most didn’t make it through the years. These 45”s hit on my love of Halloween, Cereal and Records. Grand Slam ! I am often found haunting my kitchen at 3 am with at least 2 bowls of cereal.
What Halloween albums do you wish you had in your collection? I really want Munsters stuff on vinyl. They did at least two Lp’s and the theme was pressed on a 45” single. It is very tough to find any of this out there for less than the price of a car payment. The Munsters is a fantastic show, I still watch it regularly and would love to bring that love over to the record shelf. Hopefully one day !
What have you been listening to more frequently lately? I have had a copy of Catherine Wheel – “Ferment” in the CD player of my car for 5 years now and I’m not sick of it yet. On my record player, I regularly go to my jazz section. The pops and hiss of an aging record actually compliment this genre so well. I love playing Astrud Gilberto, Wes Montgomery, Art Blakey and I just love Lee Morgan records. He looks so sharp, like a mod in these tailored suits and no one plays as great as him, even today. I love it when a jazz record swings the whole time, with just a few sad numbers in there. Jazz is a genre that helped define how powerful the vinyl medium can be. I have lately been playing more rock and roll too - collecting copies of T-Rex, Slade and Can type stuff. Rock and Roll is best played loud, and on vinyl.
What album would you like to be pressed on vinyl? Verve needs to get on it and repress Blossom Dearie’s self-titled album. More Northern Soul collections. More Psychedelic 70’s Funk from India, the entire Asha Bhosle catalog should be repressed. There are some good “fan club” editions of Samhain records out there, why not make it official, come on Glenn, let’s go. Tales from The Crypt Lp’s– Imagine those haunting scores combined with the Crypt-Keeper’s amazing puns on your record player. I am so in.
As a musician, have you released any Halloween music yet? I sure have. I created a record label out of my garage called Twin Wasp records. My latest EP is titled “October Country”. It sounds like how Halloween feels to me. The cover art is me in a Frankenstein mask, in the middle of the desert in Joshua Tree. The EP comes in a vintage 1952 “Trick Or Treat” bag with candy corn included. My upcoming full length will be songs exclusively dedicated to Halloween and the horror genre. I want these songs to play like campfire tales, each song haunting you a little after it’s done playing. You can get a copy at www.twinwasp.com. You can listen for free on www.spencerdorsey.bandcamp.com.
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