Tag Archives: vinyl records

AFRTS Vinyl Records

Destroying The American Forces Radio And Television Network Vinyl Collections

by Joe Wallace
True story. Back in the 1990s, I was an enlisted Air Force member working as a military broadcaster. I was stationed at Misawa Air Base in nothern Japan, and during that time I did my share of radio and television news, production, and and radio shows…for the military.

Overseas bases like Misawa, and many others were considered “accompanied tours” which meant you could bring your family with you while you worked through your two or three-year military assignment there. The idea behind having a local radio and television network was that AFRTS was bringing “a touch of home” to the pre-internet bases as a morale builder. It worked. There were time-delayed sports events, satellite radio, and local programs. There were no commercials, since it was (and still is) a government-run network…but there were PSAs that everyone made fun of even as we sat and watched. It was the only game in town!

In Japan, the thing I was most proud of in the early days was my one-day-a-week stint as the head of Joe’s Exploding Zoo- a radio show featuring any then-labeled alternative music I could get my hands on in an official capacity-we were only allowed to play records and compact discs that had been copyright cleared via the American Forces Radio and Television Network’s procurement department back in California.

The compact discs were via Century 21, which I was already familiar with having worked with those discs as a civilian DJ in Illinois. Century 21 provided compilations to subscriber stations with the latest format-specific music charting at the time, plus oldies and supplemental discs. But the vinyl for our military radio shows came from AFRTS itself.

And it was, compared to what you’re used to from vinyl records, fairly unusual. AFRTS vinyl was usually an album side featuring one artist, and an album side featuring another artist. Sometimes you might get an entire record on sides A & B, but more often than not, it was combos-you might get The Pet Shop Boys on one side, and Soul Asylum on the other. They were not the actual releases from the record companies themselves, but rather a shipment of AFRTS-label vinyl with those cuts:

AFRTS Vinyl Records

The record library was MASSIVE. Approximately ten thousand records massive, all catalogued, labeled as you see above, and properly stored. And in spite of not being plugged into the whole of recorded music, the collection was surprisingly eclectic.

As a snotty 20-something punk/goth/industrial/noise/etc. troublemaker, I actually found enough music to run a two hour show with once a week. Depeche Mode, Sisters of Mercy, Devo, and many others were all represented one way or another on vinyl, but also lesser known groups like Single Bullet Theory (who pre-dated Single GUN Theory, I might add), The Burning Sensations (notorious for their entry on the Repo Man soundtrack), and some mildly edited-for-content Frank Zappa just to name a few.

But one day, it was decided that vinyl did not have a place in the AFRTS operation any more (thanks for nothing , digital) and because of copyright issues, all stations were ordered to DESTROY THEIR VINYL COLLECTIONS.

And so we get to the video below, also produced by military journalists stationed overseas at Iraklion Air Station in Crete, detailing the utter horror that is the mandatory destruction of 10,000 vinyl records at JUST ONE STATION. They found a suitably violent way to deal with the job, which you can see for yourself as long as this YouTube clip remains available.

I could write endlessly about my experiences as a military DJ and reporter, but those are stories for another time…

A Vinyl Record By…The King Of Thailand?

vinyl records Turntabling soundtracks

There’s an article on the BBC official website discussing “11 super-rare vinyl oddities” discovered in the BBC record archives. No, none of the vinyl in the image above are mentioned in that article, and to be honest not many of the titles discussed in the article are really that odd, but there is one exception.

Apparently, the mid-1960s, the King of Thailand recorded a full-length record titled, “King Bhumibol – Musics Composed by H.M. The King “.

A vinyl record recorded by a then-living monarch? That’s odd enough. But it might be best NOT TO LISTEN to it-what if it SUCKS HORRIBLY?

That isn’t a problem most of the time, but Article 112 of the criminal code in Thailand states, “Whoever, defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.” If you let even a single wisecrack slip about needing some Crown Royal to be able to endure singing by someone wearing The Royal Crown, you’re taking your freedom into your own hands.

And they aren’t kidding. People can and have received stiff sentences for violations of Article 112-one poor bastard was sentenced to 60 years. The sentence was ten years for each one of his critical Facebook posts.

So the best advice is probably not to listen, just in case you don’t think it’s the greatest thing since urinating on the side of the road in the middle of rush hour on Route 66. But the record DOES EXIST. And that is…unique. But if you EVER plan on visiting Thailand, better keep your opinions about this record to yourself-you never know! (image below courtesy of the BBC)

Image courtesy of the BBC.


Get Crazy Soundtrack Vinyl LP Featuring Fear, Malcolm McDowell, Lou Reed

Get_Crazy vinyl record soundtrack LP lou reed
The 80’s New Year’s Eve film Get Crazy is one of those kitchen-sink comedies you either love or hate…but how could you do anything but love a movie starring Lou Reed as a parody of himself, Malcolm McDowell playing a drug-crazed glam rockin’ codpiece-sporting nut, and Daniel Stern? Keep an eye peeled for Mary Wornov, and Ed Begley, Jr. as the corporate bad guy. It’s best viewed on New Year’s Eve!

The soundtrack to this movie includes the Fear song seen in the clip below-Lee Ving chews the scenery so hard that he goes into another dimension. And…did we mention the Get Crazy soundtrack LP is available from Turntabling? You can buy it from us (WHILE SUPPLIES LAST) once you get hooked on the movie (which is at the time of this writing available in its’ entirety below).



The Ecstasy Of Gold Volume 4 Vinyl LP

The Ecstasy of Gold spaghetti western 2lp vinylThe sights and sounds of the spaghetti western may be an acquired taste for some, but if you’re hooked on the genre, you know what it means to be stylistically obsessed with these unique films and their wonderfully crazy soundtracks.

Thrill to this awesome spaghetti western soundtrack compilation, The Ecstasy of Gold Volume Four, posted on Youtube by an obviously dedicated fan. Many of the best-known Italian soundtrack geniuses are here: Nico Fidenco, Bruno Nicolai, Francesco di Masi, Franco Micalizzi…if you know these names, you know this is a compilation worth its’ weight in gold bullets.

These sounds are unique, fun, and genre-bending. Oh, and yes, there is a copy of this kick-ass 2LP set for sale from Turntabling, WHILE SUPPLIES LAST.