This website took forever to plan out and arrange. Where do you start when you've got about 19 years worth of stuff you've collected? And what about the other person's 19 years worth of stuff? Well, holy mackerel, Andy.
First, it helps if a brilliant graphics expert finds you and lights a fire under your butt about getting a website for your favourite band put together, kindly offering to assist with all the scary technical stuff (not easy for him when one of your first questions is "what's a database?"). Then you start at the beginning. You list the records because first and foremost, the music is what this is all about. Then you keep plowing though everything else, from the Packed! printer's proof (a layout of the artwork for the album cover) right down to the Middle Of The Road jukebox insert (both coming later!).
You sink some serious cash into a scanner so you can put pictures of everything into the computer. (Or you could pay more to have it done and not even have a scanner to show for it.) When there are approximately 150 albums, 170 singles, 100 CDs, plus a load of cassettes, only one thing is certain - when you scan, you scan alone. No one wants to do it, but someone has to. You stay up until 3am piecing albums together (since each must be scanned in two sections), then get up at 7:30 the next morning and continue.
You check your facts about the band. You re-check them. You call friends and relatives to make sure you haven't remembered a meeting with a band member incorrectly. You get some wacky idea and wander way off track. You streamline one thing and throw everything else out of kilter, dig through boxes full of magazines and newspapers, search the scrapbooks for the best pictures. The catalog numbers have to be double- and triple-checked and you wonder... do you really need to scan the three-foot cardboard wings promo? Yes, and it must be done in four sections and fitted together.
The thing I discovered is, there is absolutely no way I'd do this for any other band. But somehow, when it's 2:30am and I'm starting to feel tired but I really want to get this bit of scanning done or that history page written, and Chrissie's voice is pouring from the headphones into my ears, the guitars are jangling, the drums crashing, I don't mind it at all. I actually sort of... enjoy it. Just like when I was 18 years old and Jim Kerr returned my Pretenders scrapbook that he'd borrowed overnight. He said, "Great book. It was a lot of work, eh?" I answered, "Not for the Pretenders."