This October a message from Looch, a friend from Bordeaux, landed in my mailbox. He wanted to know if I have a “Mangiadischi” (record eater) for sale. – Of course I had ;-) The idea was to make a gift for a little girl – combined with a couple of 45s of Looch’s band.
For those who do not know Looch: He passes by St. Gallen on a regular basis. About once a year if everything is normal. If you are attentive you might even have spotted him on the streets of St. Gallen. With his bands MAGNETIX and COMPLICATIONS he already made it about ten times to Eastern Switzerland in order to hit the stage.
On the day of his latest show in St. Gallen Looch visited us for a coffee in order to choose a “mangiadischi” that would make a good gift. In my collection there are currently about 5 pieces that work properly. What they have in common is that they are all made of plastic and look a bit like toys.
That day all members of Looch’s band (COMPLICATIONS) were present and stood around the big wooden table on which I normally outlay the record players for my customers. To give you an idea: Complications make garage music. Rock’n’roll with lots of fuzz and tremolo. Wild and loud, very loud music. Hence it seemed a bit funny to sell a small toy-like record player to such a bunch of guys.
As testing device we took a 45 by THE WHO. Because most of you are probably not familiar with “record eaters”, I will provide a small illustration. A record eater is a record player one can only use for singles (7’). It resembles a car CD-player. There is a slit to push the record in. In most cases record eaters are battery powered. The logic is easy: You take a single (Important: only those with big holes work with mangiadischis) and push it into the slit on the frontside of the mangiadischi. If you are lucky and if everything is ok the record player then will start to play automatically. That’s it. Figuratively spoken you feed the mangiadischi with records.
When “My Generation” by The Who came out of the small loudspeakers in an unexpected loudness apparently everybody in the room was astonished. Incredible what a power and volume this little cute machines are able to release with the help of just a few batteries. Suddenly Looch’s intention seemed to change. You know – It’s easy to fall in love with a record eater if you are into collecting vinyl. In the end he bought a yellow Italian-made LESA. I do not know what happened to it – Maybe it found its new home in a child’s room. More probably – I guess – it is still on Looch’s record shelf.