Record collecting with Ron Spizziri: Photo Essay

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Ron Spizziri’s basement is the most awesome time capsule you’ve ever laid witness to

About 15 years ago, when I was working at a videostore, one of my co-workers told me the legend of a vinyl collection she had recently seen. Some guy named Ron was a real record aficionado.

Fast-forward a few years, and I met and interviewed Ron Spizziri for an article I was writing on local record labels – he owned local label Rockin’ Rod Records. At the time, Ron was running CFCR, which he also had a hand in founding. He was not only found on the radio dial on shows like Night Waves (which he still hosts today!), but he was also a mainstay of underground music cable access TV. And if that wasn’t enough, he also owned the now infamous Saskatoon record store, Records on Wheels. Was this the guy with the famous record collection I had heard about? I was too shy to ask about it.

Spin the hands of time forward a few more years, and I was on the Board of Directors at CFCR with Mr. Spizziri himself. I finally asked him about his collection. Sure enough, he was the legend I had been searching for all these years. With over 5000 records in his collection, I made plans to tip back a glass of scotch and check out his collection. So recently, my friend Dave and I headed over to Ron’s place to talk music, take some photos, and peruse his records.

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Ron’s basement is the most awesome time capsule you’ve ever laid witness to. In the back half are shelves and shelves of records, some of them on cabinets you might remember from Records on Wheels. At the front half, at the foot of Brady Bunch stairs, is a listening area, with comfy couches covered in crocheted afghans. And off to the side, an old school bar with some good scotches and an old rotary dial telephone – a conversation piece, sure, but actually a working phone. I can’t think of a better place to hang out and spin some obscure records.

I pulled a few from the shelves at random (you can tell they were all coming from the same section – a female compilation section), as Ron explained his cataloguing system to Dave and I, and told us a few stories about his collection. If you ever get a chance, get Ron talking about music, local history, and records. He’s got a million great stories, from his days as a music-obsessed youth seeing legendary shows in Toronto, to tales regarding his eventual transplant to Saskatoon, where he was instrumental in growing an underground music culture in this cold, lonely little wasteland.

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If you want to see a chunk of Ron’s collection, come to Amigos’ backroom anytime between 12 – 4pm on Saturday, where CFCR 90.5FM and Amigos Cantina will be presenting the first semi-annual, tri-quarterly, possibly recurring Record Fair! For more info click HERE.

It’s a mouthful but it will be worth it!