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Topic Title: MEMBER NEWS FEATURE: Wolfgang Schneider
Topic Summary: Wolfgang Schneider Captures Memories with Music
Created On: 8/5/2010 3:06 PM

 8/5/2010 3:06 PM

Maureen Byko

Posts: 41
Joined: 2/19/2007

The nearly 5,000 vinyl and compact discs that line the walls of Wolfgang Schneider’s living room hold more than music for Hydro Aluminum’s Research and Development Center head in Bonn, Germany. Each one represents a moment, a memory, a step on a life’s journey that began when a 13-year-old Schneider walked out of a German record shop in 1965 clutching his first album—Rubber Soul by the Beatles. “I saved my pocket money for months to buy it,” he recalled.
Schneider came of musical age when modern rock was being defined by the jaw-dropping innovations of the Beatles, the rebellious spirit of The Who, and the raw energy of Jimi Hendrix, among other great artists. “It was an amazing time,” Schneider said. “The music that was being made gave you a new feeling for life.”
His ability to purchase shelf-mates for Rubber Soul was constrained, however, since German law at the time fixed prices for LPs, making them cost-prohibitive for most teenagers. That all changed in the early 70s when the law was repealed, causing LP prices to drop dramatically and opening the floodgates to a new world of music and musicians. Schneider was finally able to add steadily to his collection, focusing on “pure rock music—guitar, bass guitar, drums, and a lead singer.”
Schneider’s love for and curiosity of music soon flowed into other aspects of his life, with business travel and professional colleagues exposing him to new genres and artists. “Aluminum is a very international business, so I was able to meet people who could discuss and give recommendations of local bands from all over the world,” he said.
In addition to collecting the luminaries of modern music, Schneider said he also makes a point of getting to know the work of local heroes, such as Joe Grushecky in Pittsburgh. His interests now run the gamut from the old-style blues of Muddy Waters to the alternative “Americana” sounds of artists such as Wilco and Band of Heathens.
Every chance he gets, where ever his travels take him, Schneider tries to visit local music stores, and largely eschews purchasing his music on the internet.
Read more about Wolfgang Schneider and his record collection in the August issue of JOM.


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