“Records Collecting Dust II”: East coast punk icons and the records that changed their lives

By on December 19, 2018

Records Collecting Dust II — a sequel-of-sorts to Records Collecting Dust — is a documentary film about the music and records that changed our lives, produced, written and directed by San Diego-based filmmaker and musician Jason Blackmore. Watch it now on Night Flight Plus.

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Jason Blackmore and Ian MacKaye on the steps of Dischord House for Records Collecting Dust II

In April 2016, Blackmore chatted with Night Flight about his first film, which focused on people from from the 1980’s hardcore punk rock music scene in west coast cities like San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

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Blackmore interviewed record collectors like Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks), Lisa Fancher (Frontier Records), Mike Watt (Minutemen), Chuck Dukowski (Black Flag/SST Records), and Night Flight contributor Pat Thomas — to name just a few who appear onscreen — all of whom have made their mark in some way in the underground music scene.

(Read more about Records Collecting Dust in our earlier blog posts, here and here).

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For Records Collecting Dust II, Blackmore picked up right where the first film left off.

This time, Blackmore decided to focus on people from the 1980’s hardcore punk rock music scene in some of the prominent east coast U.S. cities: Boston, New York City and Washington D.C.

Blackmore spoke with twenty-eight record collectors in all, people who made a very big impact on Blackmore as a teenager in the ’80s (he says he discovered punk rock around 1983 or ’84) and have been influential in their own vibrant east coast music scenes.

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Here’s just a partial list of the people Blackmore spoke with: Ian MacKaye (Dischord Records), Bob Cenci (Jerry’s Kids), Tom Lyle (Government Issue), Amy Pickering (Fire Party), Michael Hampton (S.O.A./Faith), Cynthia Connolly (Banned in D.C.), John Joseph (Cro-Mags), Roger Miret (Agnostic Front), Richie Birkenhead (Underdog/Into Another), John Sox (F.U.’s), Jack Kelly (Negative FX/Slapshot), Al Quint (Suburban Voice), Clif “Hanger” Croce (the Freeze), and Dave Smalley (DYS/Dag Nasty/All).

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One of the things that makes the interviews in both of Blackmore’s documentaries so interesting is how he delves into their guilty pleasures, talking to some of these cool punk icons about the records they listened to back in the ’80s in the era of MTV.

This can sometimes be quite revealing, particularly when they’re discussing their love for bands like KISS, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix Experience, etc., and even sometimes talking about records by musicians who aren’t that cool to talk about anymore (e.g. Ted Nugent).

Our favorite moment was when Last Rights/Negative FX/Slapshot singer Jack “Choke” Kelly talked about how he’d often buy records based on their cool cover artwork, but after buying a copy of Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell he didn’t do that anymore.

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Read more about Records Collecting Dust II below.

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Records Collecting Dust II director Jason Blackmore (right) and Ian MacKaye

Jason Blackmore was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, and started collecting his first records when he was in junior high.

Here’s part of a biography we found on the Records Collecting Dust website:

“At a very young age, his father sat him down in front of the home stereo and placed headphones upon his head, pushed play on the 8-track player and at that moment, his life’s journey truly began. The Jimi Hendrix Experience hit his eardrums and blew his mind.”

“He began soaking in all of the music around him at every given moment from that point on. After constantly playing his mom and dad’s 45s, LPs and 8-Tracks he soon started his own collection. His first record was a birthday gift from his grandmother, the Jimi Hendrix Experience Smash Hits album. Of course.”

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At age twelve, Blackmore heard the Sex PistolsNever Mind The Bollocks and became “very curious and obsessed with Sid Vicious and punk rock.” Hearing Black Flag on the soundtrack for Penelope Spheeris‘s The Decline of the Western Civilization was, he says, life-changing.

Blackmore was soon spending all of the money he made mowing lawns at a record store called Rock Therapy.

There he spied a flyer for an upcoming Black Flag/Meat Puppets show that made him want to be in a band.

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Blackmore played bass in a few bands before starting his own, Molly McGuire, in 1991.

Molly McGuire — Blackmore (guitar/vocals), Ray Jankowski (bass), Jason Gerken (drums) and guitarists Seth Harty (1991-92), Scott McMillian (1993-95) and Toby Lawrence (1995-98) — released their debut album, Sisters Of…, on HitIt!, an independent label based in Chicago, before signing with Epic Records.

In 1996, they released a second full-length album, Lime, produced by Ken Andrews of Failure.

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Molly McGuire toured and shared the stage with  Tool, Jesus Lizard, Failure, Hum and the Melvins.

After breaking up Molly and starting Gunfighter, Blackmore moved to San Diego, California, where he still lives today.

In addition to playing shows and touring with his band Death Eyes, Blackmore began focusing on documentary filmmaking, partnering up with Eric Howarth, who worked as assistant director, sound engineer and gaffer on Records Collecting Dust II.

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Blackmore hopes to do a third entry in the series, possibly including musicians from Texas and the Midwest, where once again he’ll no doubt find lots of significant record collectors willing to talk about the records that changed their lives.

He does plan on taking a longer break before beginning the third film, however, as he’s spent more than five years on the Records Collecting Dust project thus far.

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Watch Records Collecting Dust II on Night Flight Plus.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.