Interview With Discogs Seller minty-vinyl

We interviewed Guenter Herke, a prolific seller of Discogs and mastermind behind eccentric label Slowboy Records. His shop in Düsseldorf, also called Slowboy Records, is a treasure trove of rare and in-demand vinyl. We caught up on the inspiration behind his label, that one time Henry Rollins dropped by the shop after closing, and a record he could never possibly sell. A collector for nearly three decades, Guenter has some great stories to share!

What is your role, can you give us a bit of background on yourself?

My name is Guenter Herke. I have been collecting records for about 27 years. Selling records has been my main job for 15 of those years. I am the owner of Slowboy Records in Düsseldorf, Germany, and the Discogs shop minty-vinyl. I also run a small label called Slowboy Records.

Can you tell us a bit about Slowboy Records and its history?

Slowboy started as a label around 2000 with a release by the touch and go band Enon. We soon released all different kinds of genres from free jazz to punk.

Releases on our label include music from Bonnie Prince Billy, Billy Childish, EA80, Peter Brötzmann, Thee Ohsees, Brian Eno & David Byrne, Fucked Up, and more.

We later we opened a record store. Included was an art-gallery with music-related art and a concert-space in front. After more than 80 exhibitions and concerts in 12 years we closed.

Later, I reopened a new/smaller shop inside the 69m2 concept store, where I also have my working space and my archive.

What made you decide to start your own label, and can you tell us a bit more about the label?

A huge influence was/is Tim Kerr from the Big Boys, an old 1980’s texas punk legend. We re-released their first lp Where is my Towel?. It was originally self-released in 1979 and has a DIY against all odds spirit, a silkscreened and hand-painted cover and very clever punk music. We have tried to mostly follow that path in a straight line.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Listening to music all day.

What was your most unexpected find in recent years?

Finding a 1950’s Sun Ra record at a small record fair near the end of the day. It wasn’t in the 1€ bin, but it was fairly priced and made my day.

If we were digging through your personal collection, what would we find?

All kind of genres. Mostly underground music or a little aside the mainstream. A lot of early UK DIY, Killed By Death (KBD), US punk, but also jazz, avantgarde, krautrock and new wave records.

Is there a record that you would never sell? Which one and why?

Basil Kirchin - Worlds Within Worlds album cover

Basil Kirchin – Worlds Within Worlds Part I+II

Released in 1971 on Columbia. For me, it has everything: great music, great artwork, a mystical journey, far ahead of its time, and still really unique. Besides that, there are a hundred more records I would never sell…

What is your best memory about record selling?

When Henry Rollins walked in a day after we closed our old store and spent a lot of time and even some money. It was the perfect finish for a nice time we had. He is such a nice guy to meet and I was so impressed with his musical knowledge and sense of humor. He patiently answered all of my questions :-)

What is your favorite record shop to visit and why?

In Germany: Black Plastic in Dortmund. You can find everything here: from cheap to expensive, from jazz to metal. It is always worth a visit when you are around.

In the Netherlands: Vinylspot in Rotterdam. It is the best shop for jazz, but also nearly all other genres.

Lex has always a huge selection of rarities.

How do you see the future for record shops?

I think, if you are able to offer the right records for the right price and combine your record shop with a good internet-presence it can work.

What is your number one tip for buyers and/or sellers on Discogs?

Be respectful, patient and friendly. There is always a solution if there is a problem.

Anything else you would like us to know?

I hope that Discogs will never be sold to a company like Amazon or eBay.

Check out the records available at the minty-vinyl Discogs shop and follow the Slowboy Records label for updates on upcoming releases!
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