Paul Major :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

As anyone who tuned into the Aquarium Drunkard Show on Sirius/XMU last Friday is well aware, Endless Boogie's Paul Major knows private press. A longtime record dealer, his catalogs, including Feel the Music and Sound Effects, helped establish much of the vocabulary associated with rare psych, folk, rock, and outsider records. Now, working with Anthology Editions, he's compiled  the book on the stuff: Feel the Music: The Psychedelic Worlds of Paul Major.

In addition to scans of the rare original catalogs, which featured Major's hallucinatory, illustrative music writing, the new book gathers essays by friends and compatriots Johan Kugelberg, Glenn Terry, Michael P. Daley, Stefan Kery, Patrick Lundborg (The Acid Archives) and more, all of which help illuminate not only the music that has defined Major, but also his unique character and ethos.

"It's this crazy full circle vibe," Major says. "Before I started playing music, I wanted to be a writer and a journalist. So that's what I got my degree in...I got sidetracked by music and finally a book comes out [featuring] all that crazy writing I did for the catalogs back in the day."

Endless Boogie :: Vibe Killer

While Major's deep knowledge sets him in a league of his own among record aficionados, it's his enthusiasm and dedication that truly define his work. 20 years ago, he formed Endless Boogie, and the long-running rock band is still choogling along. On Boogie's new lp, Vibe Killer, Major sounds ever at home along the cyclical riffs and bone-grinding   fuzz, his voice ragged and sneering. "We have probably rehearsed ten times since 2013, but it just doesn't matter, the Boogie never stops," writes his Boogie bandmate Jesper Eklow in Feel the Music. "I mean, it should be stopped, but it can't be."

Likewise, when Major speaks, you get the sense you could spend hours listening to him, his conversation style free flowing and punctuated by belly laughs. He's still jonesing for new tunes and far out sounds. The book, the new record -- it all feels like part of some cosmic, unplanned event he's just happy to have shown up for.

"The universe kind of all came around," Major says. "I've got some kind of harmony that I don't understand."

Aquarium Drunkard: You write in the intro of the book that there was some "magic power in the actual physical object that enhanced the experience." Early on, that's what hooked you. After all these years, do you still feel that way?

Paul Major: Oh yeah, I do. I think the thing that's changed is my need to own them or not. [Laughs] I used to have to have them all. That changed. Records became a currency for me to survive, my way of making money. But I still get the thrill when there'll be something I never saw, one of these legendary records. I get a charge of the actual artifact. "This is the actual thing that exists, the historic object." But I can just listen to the music now -- I don't have to have an original pressing. I guess I burned out on that after decades of doing the catalog. But oh, I love when I see one of those records. A lot of them are 40 or 50 years old now. That's another head twister, that these early psychedelic records are half a century old now.

Only the good shit. Aquarium Drunkard is powered by its patrons. Keep the servers humming and help us continue doing it by pledging your support.

To continue reading, become a member or log in.