Jonathan Scott – The Vinyl Frontier.
Jonathan Scott is a writer, record collector and astronomy geek. He received his first telescope aged eight, using it to track Halley’s Comet in 1986. His new book, The Vinyl Frontier, tells the story of the most epic mix-tape in the galaxy.
In 1977 NASA sent Voyager 1 and 2 on a Grand Tour of the outer planets – a journey that will take them beyond our solar system to drift forever in the unimaginable void of interstellar space. With this gloomy-sounding outcome in mind, NASA decided to do something optimistic. They commissioned astronomer Carl Sagan to create a message to be fixed to the side of Voyager 1 and 2 – a plaque, a calling card, a handshake to any passing alien that might one day chance upon them.
The result was the Voyager Golden Record, a genre-hopping multi-media metal LP. A 90-minute playlist of music from across the globe, a sound essay of life on Earth, with more than 100 photographs and diagrams, all painstakingly chosen by Sagan and his team to create an aliens’ guide to Earthlings. The record included music by J.S. Bach and Chuck Berry, a message of peace from US president Jimmy Carter, facts, figures and dimensions, all encased in a golden box.
Jonathan Scott has written for Record Collector magazine, edited books about Prince, Cher and the San Francisco psych explosion, and penned articles on Nirvana, the Pogues, the Venga Boys, Sir Patrick Moore and Sir Isaac Newton in a variety of magazines. If he’d been in charge of the Voyager Golden Record, aliens would assume humanity had three chords.