Interview with Paul Major

Paul Major is one of the originators to obscure psych and private press collecting and many of the records he found and documented are now seen as classics, such as Fraction, Peter Grudzien and Marcus. Paul started buying records when the psychedelic movement was at its peak in the late 60s, digging through the local K-mart’s dollar bins looking for anything that looked “psychedelic” and was able to pick up many rarities by today’s standard (e.g. Morgen, Easter Everywhere by The Elevators and The Moving Sidewalks). In the 70s he became aware of private presses and real people music (a term coined by him) and started to distinguish between those records and major label releases. This “realization” happened when he for the first time heard Attic Demonstration by Kenneth Higney and since then private presses has been his prime interest as a collector. During the early 80s he turned record collecting into a profession. His main sales channel was his homemade catalogues, which was sent out to other likeminded collectors. With the catalogues, he also introduced these types of records to a much wider audience and among the collectors receiving the catalogues was the psychedelic scholar Patrick Lundborg, who have said that “Paul Major is perhaps the single most important person for re-discovering the whole "private" and "local" music scenes of the 1960s-1970s" and that "The Acid Archives book is basically an extension of what he did in the late 1980s and early 1990s.”*

Paul went into the record label business in the mid-90s when he started the label Parallel World, which both released contemporary artists as well as compilations and reissues, including Bobb Trimble, Blo and Steve Linnegar’s Snakeshed, which at that time must have been known to only a few hardcore collectors. Talking to Paul is like getting a history lesson in the development of obscure record collecting and together with several other devotees, he was part of laying the foundation to the collector community that we have today.

His musical history and the story about the catalogues have been made into a book called “Feel The Music: The Psychedelic Worlds of Paul Major”, which will be published by Anthology this spring. 

Kenneth Higney-Attic Demonstration (Kebrutney, 1976)
-Children of Sound
Marcus-From the House of Trax (No label, 1978)
-The City of Inbetween
Ilian-Love Me Crazy (Kitty. 1977)
-Grease Lips (or See What You See, which is the correct title)
Steve Linnegar’s Snakeshed-Classic Epics (Snake, 1982)
-Kamakura Dragons

*interview with Patrick Lundborg for Dig It! Magazine and can be found here