It’s amazing what one tends to forget.
I was once told I had an 18 year old son. Now, I can understand that not all men know of all the children they’ve fathered, but I’m pretty sure I would have remembered giving birth.
I’ve been trying to remember where I put the key to the safe – I know that I checked it this summer (or was it spring?) so I do have the key. I used to hide it in a shoe hanger that I gave to the local flea market – and woke up with a fright a few months later, terrified that I’d forgotten to take out the key, and I spent the remainder of the night searching desperately in case I’d moved the key. I found it in a shoe in a different shoe hanger. So it’s somewhere in the house, though I fear one of the cats has hidden it from me.
In my past life (ie before I moved out into the middle of nowhere), I did a lot of different things. One of them was running my own record lable. I didn’t really mean to, it just happened. One of my all-time favourite Oslo-based bands was a group called Behind Bars – and they’d recorded an album that had never got pressed. My mother died in January 1994 and had left me a small sum of money – and I decided to use it on getting that album pressed, since I really wanted it in my collection.
But things take time, and word got around, and suddenly I’d had several releases before we finally got the Behind Bars album out. In the five years that Siri Rekkårdz was active, there were 26 releases. We used a pressing plant in the Czech Republic – Gramofonove Zavody – who could produce almost any colour and size of vinyl, so we used our imagination and their resources and although most of the releases ended up as 7”, there were some 10” and a lot of coloured vinyl.
The last album, Siri 5.0 – "An eclectic compilation of Norwegian underground music" – came in 1999, just over 5 years after the very first release. Although there were many other releases planned, things don’t always go according to schedule.
But I’d forgotten how much fun it was. The Christmassy feel of going to Fornebu airport to pick up boxes full of delightful vinyl, doing the paperwork, then coming home and opening the boxes and looking at the finished product. Putting the vinyl on the record player and listening to great Norwegian underground bands. Going out to alternative record stores to deliver substandard boxes with great music from new bands, going to gigs to sell merch, listening to demo tapes – some were really good (and resulted in releases), some had horrible quality but the band was good, and some were just plain horrible.
I’ve had the remaining stock in my basement since I moved here in 2002. They’ve just been cardboard boxes to me, stacked alongside other cardboard boxes, that’s it. Nothing special. I’d long since forgotten the joy it brought me.
Last week I decided it was time to check out my inventory, make a facebook page, see if there was any interest for the back catalogue.
And that’s when it happened.
It all came rushing back. That amazing feeling I used to have when handling the vinyl. Remembering “that life”, the one where I was young and foolish and could do whatever I set my mind to, for no other reason than just wanting to.
And it wasn’t an aged feeling, it wasn’t “I used to do this”, it was my mind remembering how much fun it used to be and still should be.
Not that I have any plans of starting up again. Siri Rekkårdz was five years of fun – and it should stay that way in my memory. But I’m glad I remembered having fun with it.
Some memories are better left suppressed. I have plenty of those. The joy of running a small, independent, mainly vinyl-based record company – that’s one that should never be forgotten!