Tim’s Vinyl Confessions

Tim’s Vinyl Confessions Ep. 390: Rare CDs II With Mike Ladano

“Mr. Lebrain is back, and this time he brought a ton of his Japanese import CDs. Or should I say, he grabbed a stack of rock! We once again go through our rare, out of print, imported, and otherwise hard to find discs. A follow to our first episode on the subject which can be seen here.”

Sunday Screening: Tim’s Vinyl Confessions – Tim and Mike discuss Freedom by Journey

Tim Durling approached me about doing this Journey show…six months ago?  A year?  Two years?  We have been waiting for this Journey album a long time, and a rocky ride it has been.  Does this album live up to the hype?  Tim and I are remarkably alligned on the new Journey album Freedom.  Dig in.

My text review of Journey Freedom can be found by clicking here.

Tim’s Vinyl Confessions Ep. 358: Coney Hatch Retrospective w/ ANDY CURRAN

Thank you to Deke and Tim for my fifth sit down with Andy Curran! This time, we ran through all of Coney Hatch history for a special episode of Tim’s Vinyl Confessions.

Tim’s Vinyl Confessions Ep. 355: HELIX Appreciation with Mike LeBrain

Thanks to Tim Durling for having me on his show once again for this Helix special. It was a history lesson for the viewer and a Show & Tell session for us! See our rarest, most cherished Helix items and give us an R while you’re at it, won’t you?

I did make one mistake I need to correct: It was not Rick Trembley who played at the 30th anniversary concert, but the late Ron Watson.

This is one of the best shows I’ve ever been involved with. Worth watching the whole thing.

Thanks for all the love! 10 Years of Record Store Tales on the LeBrain Train

A huge thank you to my co-host Harrison the Mad Metal Man, and my guests Tim Durling, Brian Richards, and Uncle Meat!  Being awash in the love and admiration of my friends is a really special thing, and I thank you for making my 10 Year Anniversary show perfect.  I was worried tonight’s show would be a little narcissistic.  Perhaps it is, but it did my soul a lot of good.  I feel energised to keep writing.

Highlights of tonight:

  • Some fascinating Tim Durling talk about rare 8-tracks and his book Unspooled.  Tim’s book features a previously unreleased EXCLUSIVE chapter of Record Store Tales, only available by buying Unspooled.  (Copies still available.)
  • Brian Richards reviewing the new KISS official bootleg CD.
  • Brian also showed off his Top Five Metal Compilations.
  • We revealed the true identity of one-time commenter “nolongeracustomer“.
  • Top Five Record Store Tales from Lana – a list I appreciated so much.
  • Top Five lists from Harrison and I – Reviews, and Meat posts.
  • The return of the Nigel Tufnel Top Ten – special lists from Harrison and Mike.

Thanks to my guests, my co-host and my friends who made this all the wonderful experience that it has been.  I appreciate you all.


Celebrate 10 Years of Record Store Tales on tonight’s LeBrain Train

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike & Friends

Episode 101 – 10 Years of Record Store Tales & mikeladano.com

It’s my party and I’ll throw it if I want to!  10 years is a good enough excuse, right?

Join me tonight for lists, guests and tunes.  Tim Durling, Harrison Kopp and longtime reader Brian Richards are on deck.  If you wanna join the party, drop us a line!

There will also be a big secret revealed for the first time tonight!

Friday March 11, 7:00 PM E.S.T. on YouTubeFacebook and also Facebook!

BOOK REVIEW: Unspooled – An Adventure in 8-Tracks by Tim Durling

UNSPOOLED:  An Adventure in 8-Tracks by Tim Durling (2022)

Every collector is different.  We cannot be painted with a single brush.  I, for example, collect music formats that I have the equipment to play.  I don’t own any reel-to-reel and only a couple 8-track tapes for that reason.  Tim Durling on the other hand doesn’t care.  He loves 8-tracks even though he has no way to play them, nor does he really have any interest in getting into the players.  Restoration of the players and tapes themselves is a expensive hobby that many do enjoy, but Tim is all about the collecting.

A single Journey tape sitting in a desk drawer was the modest beginning, years before Tim really dove into it.  His passion for collecting the bands he loves is at the heart of Unspooled, Tim’s first book and a great resource for 8-track tapes.  If the praise that Martin Popoff throws down in the forward isn’t enough to convince you, then I give up!

Unspooled is a visual feast.  Every page pops with vivid print, and many are loaded with photos of tapes that you never knew existed on 8-track.  Tim was fascinated early on to learn that record clubs such as Columbia House sold 8-track tapes through the mail, long after they were available in stores.  These “RCO” tapes can be very difficult, but rewarding to find, especially when you have a love affair with collecting.  See for yourself, how pretty the 8-tracks look when photographed next to their cassette, CD and LP counterparts.  How many albums do you own in four formats?

Tim includes lists of known RCO tapes from 1981 to 1988.  Wait…1988?  Yes, somebody in 1988 was still ordering 8-track tapes from record clubs!  Astounding.  And Tim’s got the proof.  He also has pictures from his childhood (sweet GI Joe’s, dude!) and of obscure tech like the infamous 8-track to cassette car adapter.  Chapters are named after related songs, but there are plenty of surprises along the way.  I’ve never seen a Bruce Springsteen box set on 8-track before.

Interviews and stories from friends and experts help colour in the picture a bit.  Information you wouldn’t just find yourself.  For example, what is a “coffee can tape”?  8-tracks were notorious for unspooling and being difficult to fix.  Often customers would carry the mass of unspooled tape in a coffee can to be repaired.  And here’s something else I didn’t know, but should have expected.  Counterfeit tapes are a problem now in the collector’s market.  Some of these tapes go for serious coin today.  Stuff that you used to find at a garage sale for 10 cents, or worse, in the garbage.  Contributions comes from characters such as Marco D’Auria the Contrarian, Ryan Murphy from RushFans, and yours truly, LeBrain.

Yes, that means I am biased, but I don’t think my review would be any different otherwise.  Take Martin Popoff’s word for it.  Limited copies of Unspooled are still available.  Contact Tim’s Vinyl Confessions to order yours.

5/5 stars


Tim’s Vinyl Confessions Ep. 353: Journey Talk with Mike LeBrain

I did another taping with Tim Durling on early Saturday morning, my favourite time on my favourite day.  The subject:  a band that just announced the title and tracklisting of their new album Freedom:  Journey!

It’s been a crazy time for Journey, with plenty of lineup upheaval and uncertainty. Tim and I address all this while going through our favourite Journey rarities from the catalogue. We discuss every Journey lead singer: Greg Rolie, Robert Fleischmann, Steve Perry, Steve Augeri, Jeff Scott Soto, and Arnel Pineda. Enjoy this chat as we gear up for the next chapter of Journey!

Don’t You Know These Are 2000 Lists? Top 5 from the year 2000 on the LeBrain Train

Lots of surprises and a couple F-bombs on the show this week!

Normally you would expect Tim Durling (Tim’s Vinyl Confessions) and I to agree about everything.  This week, we did not!  Instead, Eric Litwiller and I matched nearly album for album.  Meanwhile, John T. Snow (2Loud2OldMusic) snuck in some really different picks.  Plenty of discussion, disagreement, love and laughs!

We started the show with an “ABSUЯD” unboxing and a special surprise from Aaron!  Thanks for watching!  If you missed it you can catch it below.



Upcoming Schedule:

  • Friday February 25, 7:00 PM:  Top Ballads with Eric, John, Harrison, and Rob Daniels
  • Saturday February 26:  Tim’s Vinyl Confessions – Journey
  • Friday March 12, 7:00 PM:  Ten Year Anniversary of Record Store Tales
  • Friday March 26, 7:00 PM:  Two Year Anniversary of the LeBrain Train with Tee Bone
  • Friday April 1, 7:00 PM:  The Prank Show featuring Michael Morwood and Chris Thuss

The Millennium Show: Top Five Albums from the year 2000

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike & Friends

Episode 98 – The Millennium Show: Top Five Albums from the year 2000

A suggestion from the Meat Man — why not do our top albums from the year 2000?  The turn of the millennium was a weird time in metal.  A lot of bands were still suffering from the fallout of the past decade, while others were in the midst of big comebacks.  But there were so much more than just metal in 2000, as you will see with tonight’s lists!

The panel this evening:

Give ’em a follow while you’re at it, and make sure you don’t miss tonight’s show!  As always, the best way is to catch it live so you can participate in the comments.  And as usual, there will be special unboxings for those who show up early!  There could be something “ABSUЯD” in there.

Saturday February 18, 7:00 PM E.S.T. on YouTubeFacebook and also Facebook!


Upcoming Schedule:

  • Friday March 12, 7:00 PM:  Ten Year Anniversary of Record Store Tales
  • Friday March 26, 7:00 PM:  Two Year Anniversary of the LeBrain Train
  • Friday April 1, 7:00 PM:  The Prank Show featuring Michael Morwood and Chris Thuss