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Unbelievable tale of a man reunited with his beloved vinyl collection after chance encounter

What are the chances?

LAST JULY SCOTTISH musician Aidan O’Rourke ‘inherited’ something special.

His neighbour had spotted a black record case by some bins near his Edinburgh home, and knowing O’Rourke loved his music, brought it home for him and left him a note saying he’d left the gift at the bottom of the stairs.

Neighbour note

Inside was a large collection – 250 or so – of 1960s soul and r&b 45s; singles to you and me.

O’Rourke knew it wasn’t any old collection, telling DailyEdge.ie that it was a “treasure trove” of music.

Given how much I value instruments and music I knew that it was totally a mistake that they’d ended up at the bins.


O’Rourke asked musician friends if they might know who owned the collection. He posted about it on Facebook. He went to record shops and farmers markets. He even went to the police.


People were saying ‘they’re yours now’. I got used to having them, but something didn’t feel right about selling them. If we had a few people round we’d stick them on and enjoy them.

Fast forward to last Friday night, and O’Rourke was attending  his friend’s The Unthanks gig in Edinburgh. Stopping by the after party, he was given a copy of the band’s latest vinyl, and after a couple of drinks headed home, with his new gift in his hand.

I was walking beside a guy headed in the same direction, and he spotted the vinyl and we got chatting.

The man was a vinyl collector, he said. He told O’Rourke a story about how he was DJing in a local pub last summer, maybe a few drinks were had, and when he woke up the next morning, he realised that his beloved collection was gone.

Nobody from the pub knew were they were. He was devastated.

I asked what they were and he said “around 250 45s. My lifelong collection”.
I said “I think I’ve got that box”. He stopped in his tracks, and said “don’t wind me up mate” and burst out crying”.

O’Rourke took the man home, and sure enough, there was his collection.

He picked them up, kissed them, then picked me up.


The man told O’Rourke that he couldn’t possibly realise how much the collection was worth. The 45s were almost all rare first editions, some of them signed.

He stayed and we chatted about music for a while and every four or five minutes he kept saying “I can’t believe it”.

The pair exchanged numbers and plan to meet up this weekend.

Aidan O’Rourke and his band Lau have a new album out on 4 May. He has a solo EP out on 27 April.  

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About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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