Put your records on

Fontana collects vinyls

For junior Cross Fontana, collecting records has become a way for him to characterize significant time periods in his life.

“When I listen to my records I can remember when I bought it, and it reminds me of what was going on in my life at that time,” Fontana said.

A large part of his collection, including vintage Led Zeppelin, Wild Cherry and Rolling Stones albums, was inherited from his father.

“When I was 10 years old my dad gave me his vinyl collection that his mother gave to him when he was my age,” Fontana said.“I didn’t have a turntable at the time, but I thought it would be really cool to be able to listen to these records and it inspired me to get a turntable and start collecting records. I started going to flea markets, looking online and picking up any old records I could find.”

Collecting records has given Fontana a way to connect with his friends and family.

“I’ve made a lot of friends through vinyl. I meet people at record stores, music clubs, school and online,” Fontana said. “The relationships I’ve made with people through vinyl have been some of the most rewarding friendships I’ve had in my life.”

He became close to one of his best friends, junior Shane Murray, because of their shared taste in music and love of records.

“[Cross] and I first started talking in the seventh grade when I posted a picture of my record player; he commented that his was better than mine and we started talking about record players and music from there,” Murray said. “Now every year for each others’ birthday we give each other a record and listen to it together.”

Fontana’s collection is made up of mostly vintage records. He now has 255 vinyls.

“I think [vintage records] sound better. The way that the needle runs through the grooves sounds so crisp,” Fontana said. “All of my Beatles records [are my favorites]. I haven’t finished the collection, but I’ve been collecting Beatles records for a long time. They are all vintage; none of them are remakes. I try to get original ones; they are all from 1967 to 1969.”

Fontana “loves” searching for albums and often spends days in LA searching for “the best” albums he can find.

“I’ll go anywhere that sells good music. I go to the Record Recycler a lot and I used to go to flea markets in Downtown LA; it’s really fun to hang out down there all day and pick up whatever you could find,” Fontana said.

He feels that the sound quality and experience that vinyl offers is “an experience unlike any other.”

“Vinyl has always offered a more intimate experience. There’s something wonderfully interactive about putting on a record, listening to a side, and then flipping it over to hear the other side,” Fontana said. “ It makes the listening experience something in which you are physically and emotionally involved; It’s social and fun. Vinyl can be fragile, yes, among other imperfections, but those end up being part of its charm.”