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Interview with Chad Polenz

[ Conducted in September 2005 ]

Can you introduce yourself for those that don't know you?

I'm Chad Polenz, 29 years old originally from Schenectady, NY but I live in Virginia Beach now due to my service in the Navy.

What are the stats on your collection?

I have a detailed list of everything I have if you want it. I have over 100 CDs, 20 records. Lots of miscellaneous stuff like books, magazines, VCDs and other bootlegs.

What level of collecting are you currently at? Do you need one of each country or only one of each song?

I try to get everything that was ever issued by them. People come to my house and see my BBoys CDs and wonder why I have 4 different copies of the Hello Nasty CD

So what do you say when your friends ask why you have 4x copies?

Because they're different issues and have different versions of songs on there and some have extra songs on there.

Do you collect Beastie side projects as well?

Somewhat. I have an original BS2000 LP. I have a Bjork maxi single CD that Mike D did a remixed song on it. Don't have much of the Grand Royal artists at all except for some compilation CDs that include a BBoys song on it, like the Tibetan Freedom Concert.

How many years have you been collecting? How did it all start?

It started when "Check your Head" first came out. I went to a few music shops and noticed they had the maxi single CDs for a few of the songs off that album and I wanted them to hear the remixes and b-sides. When I was short on money I sold them and then in the summer of 1999 I got heavy into ebay and started getting BBoys CDs for relatively cheap and just couldn't stop because there was so much to get.

Being in the Navy, are you out sailing around the ocean most of the time or are you located in the same spot all the time?

It depends on the ship's schedule. We went on a 7-month deployment overseas last year from February to September. We go out every once in a while to keep the ship on its toes - for drills and training, etc.

So while you have been off on deployment, have you had a chance to pick up rarities from foreign locations?


Can you put a value on your collection?

Not sure. Definitely over $1,000

Do you have it insured?

I have renter's insurance which covers everything I own in my home.

What do you store everything in?

I have the CDs on a CD shelf, the records, books, magazines, tapes are on a bookshelf.

How do you keep track of it all? Do you use a simple list? spreadsheet? database? special program?

Just a list on word perfect.

Why do you collect?

Because the BBoys are the best musicians ever and they put out so much damn stuff it's a challenge to get as much of it as possible.

Do you sell and trade records/cds as well?

I was thinking of trying to make my own copies of bootlegs but I never get around to it.

What were the last 3x items you bought?

Just some CD bootlegs

What do you consider to be your best find?

The vinyl limited edition of the anthology. It cost about $100 and lots of lost ebay auctions before I finally got one. That or a 3-disc DVD set of just about every TV appearance they've ever made.

Your worst experience with collecting?

I bought a 7-CD set called "The Motherload" and the guy I got it from said he was going to email me the files for the CD inserts but he never did.

Do you wake up some mornings and think "stuff it, I don't want to collect Beastie Boys stuff anymore"?

No, I just take a really long break for looking for anything when money gets tight.

What does your girlfriend/parents think of your obsession?

I don't think my parents know. IF they do, they don't care.

If your girlfriend said "it's me or the collection", what would you say?

That would never happen.

Have you ever spent so much on records/etc that you had to eat 2 minute noodles for a week?

Came very close to that. It was a combination of blowing all my money on BBoys stuff and not having a job that lead me to join the navy.

Do you lie in bed worried about your collection?

Umm. no.

Have you ever set your alarm to watch an ebay auction end?

Yes many times. But I do that to a lot of ebay auctions.

And finally, what is the best Beastie Boys rumor you have ever heard?

None really. Just that they were breaking up for being gone from the music biz for so long.