Collector Interview: Christina Shirley

Posted on October 22 2018

This week we're sharing a new interview with artist Christina Shirley of The Stella Blue Gallery. Stella and family live in a beautiful light-filled 900 square foot bungalow full of plants, art and the music they love. Stella shares, "I am so many different things... At 37, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Most importantly though, I’m always me and I’m proud of who I am. I’m a Wife, I’m a Mama, an Artist, a Daughter, and a Friend and a HUGE music fan".

Stella uses The LP Block, Engraved, a set of custom engraved panels for her favorite artists, and our new engraved symbol/emoji dividers, now available for pre-order! 

Read on to take a peek into her record collection!

How long have you been collecting records?
Since I was a kid. I got a few records from my folks and then it just went from there. Before I could drive, we didn’t have a record store in town. The closest one was at least an hour away. I would try to find records any chance I got back then. Once I remember going on class trip to Montreal Canada. I was probably about 16. asked every local where I could find a record store. While everyone else was doing whatever they were doing, I snuck off to a hole-in-the wall record store a few miles away from where we were staying. I scored Beatles, Sgt Pepper with all of the original inserts, a UK pressing of Janis Joplin live, Zepp, and Dylan, Bringing it all Back Home. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t get in trouble for breaking away, or the fact that these were such epic scores that made me so happy. By far the best record thrifting day ever!

How do you organize your collection?
I actually organized by color for a long time. Blame it on the artist in me... But then as my collection grew, I found myself buying duplicate albums because I had forgotten that I had the album already. This usually happened with my favorite artists and sometimes those records weren’t cheap. That’s when I started organizing still by color, but separating my favorite artists with the Koeppel custom dividers. These dividers have definitely made it so much easier on many different levels!!!! One day I’ll get around to organizing the rest but for now, it’s like flipping through a record store “just in” bin. Never know what you’re gonna find!

Favorite music in your collection:
The Dead, The Stones, and Dylan. Hands down.

What album do you think every vinyl collector should own?
That’s the toughest question ever!!! It really depends on who you are and what your mood is for that day. In a few hours I can put on the Dead, Tupac, the Pixies, Petty, Toots, G&R, a new artist that I heard of on NPR, and back again to the Dead. There’s so much good music out there I couldn’t even begin to say.

Best party album:
You really gotta gauge the room on that one... Anything Motown always gets the group in a good mood though no matter what kind of music they like. Sometimes though, when I know no one is listening to intently on the music, I always put on the Grateful Dead. Something about dropping the needle on a Dead record instantly calms me and makes any mood just that much better.

Album you're in search of:
Tom Petty : Wildflowers for under $100. I so wish they would reissue that one!!! Also, I regret not buying the Dead Winterland, I can’t remember what year it was but I know the cover. It was a good price but not what I wanted to spend that day. Isnt that always the case?!? Regretted it ever since.

Your house is about to be swept away by a Tsunami/tornado/godzilla, but you have a few minutes to contemplate your record collection. What single album do you take with you before running?
Such a hard question!!!! Probably my bootlegged Stones albums. These are live shows and before tapes, they recorded them on vinyl. I have a few and even though I initially thought Grateful Dead “Reckoning”. I know I can find that one again. These bootlegs are priceless.