I felt at home here. The person that had invited me to come to the U. I stayed in his apartment on 22nd between 1st and 2nd for a while, and he showed me the ropes of the city. I was also friends with the painter Joe Coleman and his wife at the time, Nancy, who put me up for a while and showed me around New York, introducing me to people. Then things began to snowball and a lot of what seemed close to impossible in Sweden was really easy here, like making connections and getting things done. I was the first employee for a famous indie rock label called Matador Records, and I also started doing a radio show on WFMU together with one of the co-owners of Matador Records. I started writing for punk fanzines, but also professional music magazines like Spin. New York pretty rapidly became my home. I was also friendly with the people around Grand Royal, which was the Beastie Boys magazine. Bob Mack who was the editor of Grand Royal was an old friend. There were always inklings of hip-hop culture and punk rock culture and by working with Gerard Cosloy and Chris Lombardi at Matador Records, we got to explore the history of punk rock in New York. Before I got my first real job in New York, I would literally just walk around town and flip records. I would then go and flip them at a specialist punk rock record shop downtown and make to bucks. I would do that hustle fairly regularly. Sometimes I would do that hustle with rare books too. I would go and find some really desirable rare books for cheap in one book store then run them over to another rare book store and flip them. I had a bit of success in the record business. I was also involved in the founding of a major distribution company for Time Warner called ADA which is still in operation today. In , my second child was born and because my ex-wife was very ill after the birth of Sophia, I was more or less Mr. Mom for a few years. After about three years of being Mr. Mom, I wanted to re-enter the workplace. We also had a little bit of money because we had sold a company that we had started. Going back into the music business just seemed terrible. Throughout my time working for Rick, Chris, and Gerard—and also when I briefly ran an independent reissue label called Omplatten, and we made reissues of psychedelic music and Tropicalia music from Brazil—what I enjoyed the most about all of this was the archival and historical aspect of working with music. I had also been involved in putting together boxed sets of anybody from Ornette Coleman to Charlie Patton, or from the history of electronic music to the history of punk. He came over and stayed with us for a while and would play me these records and my mind was completely blown. There were only a couple great books on the history of hip-hop. I was also really interested in how universities and museums treated contemporary popular culture, subculture, and alternative culture. I started to research all of that, and then it just hits me that the timing is now to establish a really significant archive on the history of hip-hop. It was now. From my past in the record business, I knew a lot of the nightmare stories about when big chunks of jazz heritage or early blues heritage just got thrown in the dumpsters and lost.
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