From a GQ interview
Fans go to go great lengths to appreciate bands. One way in which to admire and appreciate a band is to collect their records. A fan of The Black Keys’ who has shown the most appreciation via his comprehensive Black keys’ record collection is Peter Blomkvist from Sweden. Many years of collecting every possible CD and vinyl pressing published by The Black Keys’ has resulted in arguably the most complete collection of any fan.
The Black Keys Fan Lounge recently asked Peter to explain a little bit more about his collection and some of the interesting aspects to it. What follows is in his own words.
My name is Peter Blomkvist, some of you may know me from the forum. I have collected The Black Keys’ records since they released Thickfreakness.
Before The Black Keys, there was something really missing in my head. They created what I so much wanted to hear. I sincerely think they made the best songs since possibly Led Zeppelin II.
I buy all the records I can find released by The Black Keys from any country – promos, vinyl, CDs, etc. Japan, Europe, America and Australia are the countries that I have concentrated most on. I live in a small town in the middle of Sweden, and I don’t really know about the rest of the world, but the distribution of vinyl records really died out here in the 1990s. The Black Keys are one of the bands that got me interested in the vinyl again. I experienced that great feeling of a real album again. It felt wonderful.
I have, to this date, about 120 records by the boys. I hold the test pressing of The Big Come Up closest to my heart. I got that from a newly made friend on the internet. A big thank you to her!
Other highly prized records are white label vinyl promos of both Attack & Release and Dan’s solo record Keep it Hid. One of them was a Christmas present from a friend of mine.
It’s not that easy to know the value of many of these rare items but I guess that the three records mentioned above are the ones of most value. I don’t really care much about that since I have no intention to ever sell my collection.
I don’t think that I’ve payed more than about $100 for a single record, and I believe that was for the 7″ Devo/The Black Keys vinyl. It was worth every penny.
Since this is my own collection and I don’t ever plan to get rid of it, all records are played and listened to, as they should be.
There is a small amount of The Big Come Up demos out there. The first thing, I believe, recorded by the guys. I think I’ve read somewhere that Dan and Pat don’t want this material to be publicly heard but I would love to get that one for my collection. That’s the missing piece.
You can follow my collection on my site: www.theblackkeys.se. You can also help me find the records I have not yet managed to find by sending me an email. This page also has a very close to correct lyrics collection of our heroes.
The Black Keys even got me to suddenly decide to start playing the drums. Wich I have done now for approximately seven years. And after having started in a Black Keys cover band, I am now the drummer in a duo called “Eivor”.
We are getting closer and closer to our first record release and I will appreciate very much if you took a look at our Facebook page and listened to us. Visit: www.facebook.com/eivorband.
Thank you Black Keys, thanks to The Fan Lounge, and everyone else.
Sincerely / Peter Blomkvist
Artist Todd V‘s documentary “Outside In: The Life and Art of Alfred McMoore” is to be screened over two nights at a special event at The Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas, prior to The Black Keys’ shows on February 19 and 20, 2011.
For those who are unaware, the Akron resident and artist Alfred McMoore was the inspiration for The Black Key’s name. Sadly, Alfred died in 2009 aged 59, his legacy, however, lives on through his outsider artworks.
Todd V’s film (you can see a trailer for the film at the bottom of this post) explores the life of Alfred McMoore, the creative links between his schizophrenia and his art and how he influenced those who he came in contact with throughout his life.
Todd V will be attending the screening in Las Vegas and will hold a question and answer session about the film.
The Black Keys Fan Lounge recently asked ToddÂ about his film, Alfred McMoore and the involvement of The Black Keys whose music is used in the soundtrack of the film.
Since most people have only seen the trailer of the film, can you give a broader synopsis of the film you have made?
The film is a series of sit down interviews with some of the folks from the area who knew Alfred best. Starting, of course, with Chuck Auerbach, and Jim Carney, both of which are prominent figures in the film, but also Harry Ruppel the owner of the art supply store where Alfred bought his supplies. Barbara Tannenbaum, from the Akron Art Museum, and others. The film also includes rare footage of Alfred at his home and at work in his bedroom, filmed by one of his handlers at Community Support Services. It introduces the audience to the man behind the artwork, and one of the influences of Dan Auerbach. We also get an in depth discussion from many of the interviewees, as the the influences in Alfred’s work, and how he created his work.
You live in Akron, as did Alfred. When did you first hear about Alfred McMoore? Did you ever meet him?
I had seen Alfred around Akron, but never knew who he was until I was at The Black Keys benefit concert for CCS in Alfred’s name the year after he died. I actually got to help install his work, and was simply blown away by its scale and style. It is a truly unique artistic blend of obsession and excellent drawing style. In retrospect I really wish I could have met Alfred.
What drew you to Alfred’s story and what is it that makes his art?
I am an artist myself, so I am always interested in meeting other artists, but I am always especially fascinated by true outsiders. Artists who are not bothered with conventional technical training. I love artists who are not necessarily motivated by a particular movement, or technique, who simply create, because they ‘have to’. They have this drive to express themselves artistically, and it really doesn’t matter what anybody else has to say about it. Beyond that, I found it interesting that, despite his disconnection due to his schizophrenia, Alfred seemed to connect to a lot of people through his art, and he loved to share it with others.
How important was the involvement of Dan Auerbach’s Dad, Chuck, in the project? I can imagine he was probably both keen to have Alfred’s story told but also protective of his legacy?
Chuck was a major reason for the success of this film. He was able to direct me to all the right people who knew Alfred. Chuck also has a large collection of Alfred’s work, so we had something to show in the film. He has also been a critical part of the editing process, and even helped to negotiate the use of the Black Keys music in the film. I think its safe to say I could not have done this film without Chuck’s involvement.
Pat Carney’s Dad, Jim, of course wrote a defining article about Alfred for the Akron Beacon Journal while Alfred was still alive that bought him into public focus and he also wrote his obituary for the local paper. Does he feature in the film?
Yes, Jim is one of the people that we interviewed in the film, and he has some really wonderful insights about Alfred in the film.
What have you learned about the connection between mental illness and the creative process? It seems these themes are explored in the film with experts in this field?
Mental illness figures quite heavily in the world of outsider art. It both facilitates its creation, and creates an interesting view into the human mind as you take the time to really look into the work created by true outsiders. It is interesting that as pointed out by Barbara Tannenbaum, there aren’t any true outsiders anymore. Unless someone had been living in isolation on a desert island, we are all influenced by art in one form or another. Be it in graphic design, articles in magazines, television, movies, whatever, we are all influenced to one degree or another. The interesting thing with Alfred in particular, was his NEED to draw. It seemed to calm him, and without it, he seemed to be under duress.
Did you have a specific goal to enlighten the audience about mental illness and seek better respect for those in our community who are generally badly treated because of their illness?
My goal was really to highlight Alfred as an artist. His mental illness was merely a part of who he was, but I would prefer to define him by his art, and by the way he affected the community around him. I am always interested in giving unknown artists the credit they deserve to creating their work and putting it out there. This really grew out of a story I was developing for my show Arts Quest and became a full story all on its own. I am always looking for more artists to meet and interview!
What was Dan and Pat’s involvement with the film apart from allowing their music to be used? I note you posted on the Forum that two Chulahoma tracks were used and you were seeking approval for other music to be used?
Unfortunately for us, this was the year that Dan and Pat moved awayâ€¦ I know it will be good for their careers, but we all still wish they were here with us in Akron. That being said, I have not had a chance to actually sit with either of them to discuss Alfred. I really appreciate Dan giving me permission to use the songs in the film though!
The Black Keys have often noted in interviews how they consider themselves to be an outsider band which seems influenced from Chuck’s art dealings and their involvement with Alfred, or at least their understanding of his perspective. Can you elaborate on this Outsider theme and the influences on the band as you see it, Alfred’s art and perhaps how it has influenced your art?
Chuck’s home is full of outsider art. Clearly, being surrounded by the art, and the fact that Chuck and Dan loved frequenting little out of the way blues clubs had a major influence on what Dan now creates. I think his music really shows that. His sound is so unlike anything coming out of the modern day music machine. He is no Justin Beiber and I think we are all very glad he isn’t! Dan’s music is unique and he seems to create something straight from the gut, much like the outsider artists he has seen his entire life.
Any plans for the film to tour at other film festivals? At other events coinciding with The Black Keys’ touring schedule?
At this point, we are simply screening the film around the country where we can find a host. Keep an eye on the website and you’ll be able to see where it is screening next.