Bong Teck Liung’s decades-long love affair with vinyl records

Bong giving his thumb-up to the 'King of Rock & Roll' Elvis Presley LP album at his shop.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, April 7: The resurgence of popularity and interest in vinyl records is fantastic for music enthusiasts like 62-year-old Bong Teck Liung.

For Bong, every time he puts on and listens to the song and lyrics of ‘Yesterday Once More’—an evergreen song by The Carpenters—it always reminds him of his radio and television repairman days that started in 1989.

Bong who is semi-retired and has his former trade tools in special storage, shared that his love of music has led him to acquire and collect over 1,000 vinyl records of oldies and pop songs from the 70s and 80s.

He said that if there are interested parties, he is willing to be parted with them in good faith one by one at a price.

Bong said he is glad that vinyl records are making a comeback and opined that music lovers should have a closer rapport with the songs they play and listen to.

“People now want to have songs on vinyl records despite it being a little more expensive, but still affordable.

“I have some premium original collections of singles and albums of good singers of yesterday years which are still in immaculate condition. If they want, do chat with and see me.

“Most of these I have now was part and parcel of my trade profession in those days but there are people out there who could be interested and I have many who come and see me,” he revealed.

Bong plays a vinyl record with his favourite songs on a turntable.

Bong explained that back then, he not only repaired radio and television sets but also repaired record players like turntables, cassette players, amplifiers and speakers.

“That era we could say that my shop was thriving.

“I did most things related to electronics equipment and sound systems, and possessing vinyl records was part and parcel of the trade,” he disclosed.

Bong lamented that in the late 80s and 90s, the analogue storage era was slowly taken over by magnetic tapes, compact discs, and other electronic devices and later the Internet.

“So in this part of the world, vinyl records were taken over by new storage technology. And that is why analogue storage became more expensive and its players slowly disappeared in the market in Sarawak and even West Malaysia.

“Maybe in the West especially in Europe and the United States, these forms of analogue storage are still being used but not here in Sarawak despite making a comeback. We just hope more people here will acquire vinyl records.”

Bong said interested parties could always patronise his shop not only for its wide selection of vinyl records but also for the equipment to play them.

“I have a vinyl record long play (LP) tracks album with a price tag of RM300 and above if there are interested parties. I do have a few thousand ringgit worth of branded players, amplifiers and speakers too on display for sale.

“If they do have old functional equipment, they could come and seek repairs from me.”

Bong’s functional vinyl record turntable and other record players and sound systems available for sale at his shop.

Bong revealed that besides LPs, he also had extended play (EP) vinyl records and collections of songs in English, Chinese, Bahasa Malaysia and Iban.

“My favourite English oldies are those by Nat King Cole and the King of ‘Rock & Roll’ Elvis Presley, and of course in the 70s, songs by The Carpenters, Kenny Rogersl in the 80s by Freddie Aquilar and the discotheque beats of Boney M and Modern Talking,” he added.

Bong used to operate his repair business in the vicinity of the Main Bazaar (late eighties) when he started out in the profession, then moved to Electra House in 2007 before moving to Stutong Community Market in 2010.

While DayakDaily was at his shop, he played several songs to share his interest in music, on one of his branded turntables which is als available for sale.

His shop L&J Enterprise is located at No. GB2, First Floor, Stutong Community Market and operates daily from 10am to 3pm except on public holidays.

For more information, call 017 222 9567. — DayakDaily