This story starts one Christmas morning in Seattle, decades ago. KEXP's DJ Supreme La Rock (real name Danny Clavesilla) was four years old when he received a gift that would quite literally change his life: a record player.
But rather than play the kid-focused music that came with it, he got into his parents' records from the '60s and '70s, drawn in by the colorful, psychedelic covers. A few years later with his first allowance, Supreme went to the record store and bought Kiss's The Originals. "I never thought of it as collecting," he says. "Then one day in high school, I came home and I couldn't walk into my room because I had too many records."
Supreme doesn't know how many records he has now—"I stopped counting around 50,000"—but his garage is full of vinyl, and the top floor of his home is overflowing too. Even still, he doesn't plan to stop any time soon. "Only when I have to move."
On his love of vinyl
"At one point, I sold almost all of them. CDs had came out. I was like, Oh, these are cool. And then I realized quickly, maybe two months later, that CDs suck. And I started buying back again."
"I noticed [vinyl was] drying up. I'd ask people in record stores like, Hey, what's going on? and they'd say, 'Oh, this British guy came in and bought all of them' or 'Some Japanese guys came.' I noticed people were coming here from overseas and buying all this stuff and taking it back over there, then selling it at a markup. At that point, I decided I better start getting serious."
On what to play next
"There was an article on hip-hop in the Village Voice in New York. They put like 100 of the top records that rock at parties. So that was my first list. I was like, Let me go out and get all these."
"I've tried to play what I can. They're always in rotation. I'm always changing what I'm taking out. Like I played in Miami last weekend. So I go to Virginia next week, and I'm switching all the records out. It'll be different things."
"I take 250 45s. Sometimes I take two bags of those. And then I take a crate of 12-inches, probably about 50. Because you can only travel with so much."