One man's mu­si­cal odyssey

Each al­bum marks the be­gin­ning of a new jour­ney for col­lec­tor Deryck Chap­man

The Victoria Standard - - FRONT PAGE - GE­ORGE SMITH

Deryck Chap­man was eight years old when he had first heard “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul Mccart­ney. The sound and cre­ativ­ity of the song cap­ti­vated him, and he was de­ter­mined to ac­quire a copy. “That was the first record I ac­tu­ally searched out and bought my­self.”

That first record was the start of an ob­ses­sion. Over 4,000 LPS, 500 45s, and 100 boxed sets later, vinyl has be­come a very sig­nif­i­cant part of Deryck’s life. And the path of dis­cov­ery this has taken him on has been quite an ed­u­ca­tion.

At the age of 13 he sat in his Mid­dle River bed­room with the lat­est copy of the mu­sic magazine Creem, the pub­li­ca­tion re­spon­si­ble for giv­ing early ex­po­sure to many of the iconic bands and singers of the day, like Lou Reed, Roxy Mu­sic, and David Bowie. It was 1981. Find­ing avant-garde mu­sic shops in ru­ral Nova Sco­tia with the lat­est records and pub­li­ca­tions was a chal­lenge. Nev­er­the­less, he had found a shop in Mar­ga­ree that stocked it.

While pe­rus­ing his magazine, Chap­man came across an ar­ti­cle about leg­endary Blues singer Muddy Wa­ters and a re­cent im­promptu per­for­mance he had with The Rolling Stones. Known as The Fa­ther of the Blues, Wa­ters was singing in a Chicago night club the same week The Rolling Stones were in town for a three-night stop on their Amer­i­can Sta­dium Tour. Be­ing a prime mu­si­cal in­flu­ence for Stones’ front­man, Mick Jag­ger and the boys came to see Wa­ters per­fom at the Check­board Lounge. Be­fore Wa­ters fin­ished singing “Baby Please Don’t Go,” Mick Jag­ger, Keith Richards, Ron­nie Wood and Ian Ste­wart were on stage per­form­ing along with him. Sit­ting in his bed­room in Mid­dle River, Chap­man imag­ined him­self on that stage too. A video of the per­for­mance has since sur­faced on Youtube and can be seen at tinyurl.com/bru5­jao.

Through­out his child­hood, Deryck had lis­tened to the mu­sic his par­ents played, as well as the cur­rent pop­u­lar tunes Elvis Pres­ley, The Bea­tles, The Beach Boys, as well as many eas­ily for­get­table sin­gles by bands like KISS, Sweet, and Cheap Trick.

For Deryck, mu­sic was about more than a catchy tune or a ba­nal lyric. For him, it was a way into a life that ex­isted be­yond his usual ex­pe­ri­ences.

“It’s like travel. It’s the op­por­tu­nity to meet new and dif­fer­ent peo­ple. And most of all, it is about learn­ing.”

This pas­sion for learn­ing has steered Deryck to­ward in­ter­ests be­yond the mu­sic. A 1969 al­bum by Deep Pur­ple was an early ad­di­tion to Deryck’s col­lec­tion. The cover art is “The Gar­den of Earthly De­lights” by 15th cen­tury Dutch artist Hierony­mous Bosch. Hid­den amongst the grotesque and myth­i­cal crea­tures painted by Bosch is a pic­ture of the band. This record was a step­ping stone into the world of art and paint­ing and ex­plor­ing the bi­ogra­phies of artists such as Dali, Bruegel, Rauschen­burg, and Jasper Johns.

Read­ing about Wa­ters and Jag­ger singing to­gether lead Deryck to re­search the ori­gins of The Blues. From there, he learned about slavery and the strug­gle for Black Civil Rights. And see­ing a video of David Bowie sing for the first time be­came a step­ping stone into the fash­ion in­dus­try and crit­i­cal think­ing.

“Through his songs, be­hav­ior, and dress, Bowie ques­tioned no­tions of sex­ual iden­tity,” a con­cept Deryck says was new to him at the time.

The de­sire to col­lect grew from al­bums and sin­gles to mu­si­cal mem­o­ra­bilia, such as books, posters, pho­to­graphs, ticket stubs, and mag­a­zines. His most prized mu­sic-re­lated find is a mint copy of the first ever is­sue of Rolling Stone magazine, pub­lished Novem­ber 9th, 1967.

To this day, the col­lec­tion con­tin­ues to grow and is now housed in its own ded­i­cated room in the house Deryck shares with his wife, Penny, and their daugh­ter, Jade. In the off-time from his job at the Bell Mu­seum, Deryck con­tin­ues to travel and ex­pe­ri­ence life through mu­sic.

“It’s artists like The Bea­tles, Brian Wil­son, Vel­vet Un­der­ground, Char­lie Parker, and Louis Arm­strong that tran­scend in­flu­ences to cre­ate a new and unique mu­si­cal lan­guage.”

Deryck Chap­man is seen amongst his vast vinyl record and mu­sic mem­o­ra­bilia col­lec­tion. Photo by Ge­orge Smith.

Chap­man's most prized pos­ses­sion in his col­lec­tion is a mint copy of the first ever is­sue of Rolling Stone magazine, pub­lished Novem­ber 9th, 1967.

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