Easthampton Record Fair reveals artifacts WITH VIDEO

  • Anthony Pasquarosa, of Belchertown, puts an album on a record player he is considering at the Record fair at Fly Wheel in Easthampton Sunday afternoon. In the background is Joao moreno, of Ct. CAROL LOLLIS—CAROL LOLLIS

  • Doug Garton of Northampton looks through albums at the Record fair at Fly Wheel in Easthampton Sunday afternoon. CAROL LOLLIS—CAROL LOLLIS

  • Doug Garton of Northampton looks through albums at the Record fair at Fly Wheel in Easthampton Sunday afternoon. CAROL LOLLIS—CAROL LOLLIS

  • Anthony Pasquarosa, of Belchertown, listens to a record he is considering at the Record fair at Fly Wheel in Easthampton Sunday afternoon. CAROL LOLLIS—CAROL LOLLIS

  • Record fair at Fly Wheel in Easthampton. CAROL LOLLIS—CAROL LOLLIS

  • left, Justin Cohen , a record dealer and DJ looks for a artist for a customer at the Record fair at Fly Wheel in Easthampton. back right is Anthony Pasquarosa, of Belchertown and Bill Alatalo of South Hadley. CAROL LOLLIS—CAROL LOLLIS

  • Above, Jon Owen and Amy Kirchner, both of Leeds, look over some of the hundreds of albums for sale at the Flywheel Record Fair at Flywheel Arts Collective at old Town Hall in Easthampton, Sunday afternoon. Vendors at the event included local record shops and individuals with large collections. In the background is Jason Temple of Westfield. Right, Anthony Pasquarosa, of Belchertown, listens to a record he is considering purchasing. Left, Doug Garton of Northampton looks through albums.

  • Jason Temple of Westfield, looks over albums at the record fair at Fly Wheel in Easthampton Sunday afternoon. CAROL LOLLIS—CAROL LOLLIS

  • Anthony Pasquarosa, of Belchertown, listens to a record he is considering at the Record fair at Fly Wheel in Easthampton Sunday afternoon. CAROL LOLLIS—CAROL LOLLIS

@DHGCrosby
Published: 4/3/2016 9:48:06 PM

EASTHAMPTON – Jon Ruseski of Holyoke doesn’t consider himself a historian, but he is interested in artifacts – vinyl records, specifically.

Ruseski joined visitors from all over New England in attending the Flywheel Record Fair Sunday afternoon in Easthampton. 

The event was hosted by the Flywheel Arts Collective, a nonprofit community arts group located in old Town Hall. Among the 13 vendors at the fair were local record stores and individuals with lofty collections.

“You can come here and find a Beatles record or an Elvis record and that seems really obvious,” said Ruseski. “But you can also find a weird Lost In Space disco record and wonder about why this thing exists, who listened to it, or who it was made for.”

Flywheel board member Chris Dooley said the fair featured records, CDs, cassettes, and music memorabilia from genres including rock, jazz, funk, pop, world music, folk, hip hop, metal, country, avant-garde, and electronic and countless others.

“Records here start at 50 cents and reach up to a couple hundred dollars,” said Dooley. “So this fair attracts students, artists, and music lovers … not just collectors.”

Flywheel Arts Collective has been holding record fairs twice a year since the fall of 2008, according to Dooley. The event was started in order to raise funding for renovating the space, which the collective moved into after outgrowing their previous location in a former doctor’s office on Holyoke Street in Easthampton. Admission was free for those shopping or browsing, but roughly a few thousand dollars was raised for the collective from vendor fees.

“The people share stories about music, trade records, and hang out,” said Dooley. “It’s not just sales, but a reminder that vinyl never went away.” 

Tony Colao, an Easthampton resident with a massive personal collection, brought 550 CDs and a few hundred of his 1,300 vinyl records to sell. 

A four-album box set of Chicago at Carnegie Hall and “Who Are You,” a vinyl record by The Who which was imposed with an image, were standouts in Colao’s collection.

“I enjoy all kinds of music,” said Colao. “I just like to see what will sell.”

But Dooley said more important than rarity is a person’s connection with the music. 

Ruseski seconds that idea, saying that records have a grounding effect on him. 

“I’m interested in records that have an aura,” he said. “That sort of indescribable quality and mystery.” 

Ruseski ran into an album titled “My Beach” by Surf Punks, after passing it over in a store several years ago and finding himself haunted by that decision. He couldn't remember the album name, but the cover stood out to him immediately when he saw it at the fair.

“This record has been some place I haven’t been and this is curious to me,” he said. “Who are the Surf Punks, they have a beach, what is their beach? I want to know about it.”

When asked about several other records he purchased during the event, Ruseski said he truly had no idea what they were.

“It’s about the concept – finding something I had no idea existed in the world, he said.

Ruseski looked down at one of the items that made it into his final purchase – a well-worn black and white album cover, imprinted with handwriting.

“It looks like this record has lived an interesting life,” he said. “I’m really curious about this object as an artifact.”




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