The Dust & Grooves Book by Eilon Paz
Eilon Paz’s 416-page coffee-table book, Dust And Grooves illuminates over 130 vinyl collectors and their collections in the most intimate of environments—their record rooms. With a foreword by the RZA, compelling photographic essays are paired with in-depth interviews to illustrate what motivates record collectors to keep digging for more records.
Readers get an up close and personal look at a variety of well-known vinyl champions as well as a glimpse into the collections of known and unknown DJs, producers, record dealers, and everyday enthusiasts. The book is divided into two main parts: the first features 250 full-page photos framed by captions and select quotes, while the second consists of 12 full-length interviews that delve deeper into collectors’ personal histories and vinyl troves.
Dust & Grooves is a photography and interview project documenting vinyl collectors in their most natural and intimate environment: the record room. It all started out several years ago as nothing more than a way for photographer Eilon Paz to make use of his idle hours. Adrift in Brooklyn after emigrating from Israel, Eilon—a record collector on the side—thought it might be fun to start taking photos of people whose record collections were both larger and weirder than his own.
Adopting this as his personal project, he began traveling the world, from Australia to Cuba and Argentina to Ghana, in pursuit of intriguing and memorable subjects. Unearthing the very soul of the vinyl community, the assembly of portraits he created quickly turned into the Dust & Grooves website.
Dust & Grooves: Tell me a particularly sad record story!
Joe Bussard: There’s one that still brings tears to my eyes. This was in the 1960s. We were driving north out of Bluefield, WV, and came to this real little town. The main street was no more than five feet wide but they had a few shops. There was an S.S. Kresge Five and Dime Store with the original sign from the 1920s so we parked the car up on the sidewalk and went in. You wouldn’t believe the mess! Broken records all over the floor. Apparently they’d pulled bunches of them off the shelves to throw away –when nobody cared about records anymore – and they dropped all types of records on the floor. I saw Robert Johnson and Carter Family records that probably had never been played cracked and scattered on the floor with people just walking all over them. But this guy at the only filling station gave me a tip. We then went into the hardware store across the street, and oh my God! This guy had all these records upstairs, dealer stock, and he’d stopped selling them during the depression and never got back into it. An entire floor of mostly unplayed 78s. Jesus, I must have gotten about 2000 really choice records from the guy. Paid him $100.
If it I hadn’t found that hardware store after the tragedy at that five and dime, I might-a gone out and committed suicide! (laughs)