Capn. Willard and His Wormholes.

My title isn’t the name of a band, although it ought to be.

Read on …

Music not heard by others is like a caged bird without a song (Doyscoy)

There was a time when a limited number of paper-based publications offered detailed reviews of books and music, both studio produced and concerts. Personal connections were strengthened  through browsing each other’s book shelves and record collections and recognising mutual interests.

That time was before the advent of the internet some twenty years ago, a development which reduced information to ephemeral bytes and pixels. A dozen years ago blogs introduced the welcome notion of self-publishing, and Jakartass rose to some prominence with main media interviews and a book commission. However the hoped for coherence I offered was soon to be diminished with the instantaneous reactive ‘social media’ of Mugshots, Birdysong, Wotsupdoc, etc, when ‘Likes’ became a measure of self-value rather than a genuine inter-action with realtime personal ‘let’s have a pint together’ communication.

In 2013, broadband connectivity finally reached Jakartass Towers, and I watched YouTube for the first time. I discovered that in other countries there was a wide number of blogs which focussed on music and offered album downloads and I realised that most of my three long-lost record collections could be replaced in digital format. Those downloads became a welcome addition to the few CDs I’d been able to find in local shops.

There was also the bonus of being able to add to my knowledge of music which had originally passed me by in physical form, probably because of greater budgetary needs.

A major source, a haven, was Willard’s Wormholes which became a morning must visit site. The Captain’s wealth of knowledge about so many major and minor artists added immeasurably to mine.

Of greater importance, however was the sense of ‘family’ the site offered, a community of seekers as well as givers. Much is made of the heinous pirating of music, but so much of the music he highlighted was not commercially available.

Above all, there were the Reader’s Links pages where community members became identifiable through their uploads. We were polite, said “please” when asking if anyone, by any chance, had ‘ABC by XYZ’, and “thanks’ for the shares.

[Download this pdf file of my Readers’ Shares (2nd edition): many of the links are still ‘live’]

And this is how we feel about Willard’s retirement from the fray.

Doyscoy: Willard sent me an e-mail about two weeks ago saying it was his 10th anniversary of running his blogs, and he had a great run, but it was time to go. He didn’t want any fuss about it, so he quietly turned off the lights little by little. All good things come to an end. I wish Willard the best in his next life.

The end of Willard’s Wormholes reminds me that life is short. Share music as often as possible.

VSOP: Willard set the standard for music blogs… however, he’s not dead… thanks Will, rest up and maybe the itch will return…

Paviatomsk: Willard’s site was a haven for music lovers everywhere, intelligent , insightful and informative. Thanks for everything Willard!

Cdevinemastermind: Willard’s knowledge of music, his writing and reviews were a huge value add. I will certainly miss that.

Tony C: Much respect, Willard and all of you for all that do and have done for the rest of us

SquareTomato: I also want to express my appreciation to Willard, and the folks who contributed to his site. We can’t say thank you enough.

Heartsofstone: Willard had an incredible run. I hope that he reads how appreciative so many are of all of the hard work all these years.

Slipperman: I wish Willard good luck in the future and want to thank him for all his hard work.

JimGahanna: I wish Willard all the happiness that he has provided me in discovering music.

Moleman: Many thanks Willard for turning me on to so much great music. I wish you every future happiness.

Aoxomoxoa7: Wave goodbye to the great blog of Willard & his excellent music – Happy Trails & maybe see you in the future, cheers

Allegria: Too sad that Willard’s blog is gone. I can’t believe that his rich source of great and often rare music (incl. reader’s links) maybe never returns.

Indiana Scott: Like everyone else here, I am missing Willard, not necessarily for his music but his insight he brought to that music. Remember the Wormholes! My hat’s off to you Willard, sir.

Rico Reed: Willard, You were a friend I never met. Thanks and enjoy time off. Hope to hear from you again. Maybe The Willard Holiday Special?

Phillydog: Grateful thanx to Willard for everything, ever. 😦

Mrsdimsworthy: The world is a little drabber without his wonderful blog but bless him for his efforts which enriched so many of us!

SteveShark: So sorry to see Willard gone. As an occasional uploader, it was a fine, sharing place.

Jeff Gee: A lot of great music I wouldn’t have known about if not for Willard. Best of luck, Cap.

Herbal T: Respect to Willard. Thanks for turning me on to so many great tunes.

Milner: Thanks, Willard. Turned me on to a lot of tunes and always had a great atmosphere

Rodderz: Thanks Willard for all the great sounds. We’ll all miss you. A lot of us are getting to that age now. Best to you and yours!

BTLFAN: Wanted to express my gratitude for Willard’s site. So sorry to see it gone, but hopefully he’ll show up again sometime!

Slidewell: More than a music blog, Willard’s was a virtual library, where exploring new sounds (as well as turgid sci-fi flix) was an adventure! Best wishes to you, W. There’s now a gaping (worm)hole on the web that will be legendary.

Pr: Fondest Wishes and Thanks to Willard and all his posters; he definitely enriched my life.
Free Wormholes for all !

JimmyTheExploder: Wishing all the best to Willard. What a spectacular site. Helped my musical knowledge immensely.

PhotoHop: R.I.P Capt. Willard and his Wormholes. A lost treasure indeed!

Loopy: Willard’s posts for the last 10 years STILL had working links; that’s how good it was. Not to mention his Readers Links, which had thousands of working links too. He nurtured his blog like a bonzai tree.

Oskie: Thank you Willard for music I grew up with. Music I missed while growing up and music that put many smiles on my face, as well as my wife and friends. You’re a gem! Thank you and may good vibes always be with you.

Hungry Pirate: Willard helped me complete my Warner/Reprise Loss Leader collection. I will miss him.

Rolster: I also would like to give big thanks to Willard for all the wonderful shares throughout the years.

Dmac2120: Just wanted to say a big thanks to Captain Willard for giving the gift of discovering new music. Words can’t really explain the joy from trawling through his pages. I wish you well

Geraldoz: I too want to say many thanks to Capt. Willard for so many years of good music. i will miss you, your commentaries and your blog. May you sail the 7 seas in comfort and happiness.

Doctoronsen: Thanks Cpt. Willard. What a huge source of background knowledge and insight your blog was. All the best!

Julien: See you soon Captain Willard. Merci pour tout.

Sun Ira: Add me those appreciating the time spent with Willard and mourning the blog’s passing. Thank you Willard. My brain and music collection are better for the encounter. Sail on!

Mmclm: Thanks to Willard, just wish I’d had time to get all the MOJO downloads.

Ffurrball: Adding my “aloha” to the great Cap’n Willard, and wishing him smooth sailing… wherever he goes.

FrankZappelin: If I may add my voice to the throngs missing Willard’s, I’d like to say thank you for such a great site. I was thrilled to find it, enriched by it, and will miss his good taste, great info, and everything about his site. Best of luck to you, sir, thanks for so many years of great music.

3-Pin: My thanks also to Willard for the great insights and information he brought to the site. I found music there I wouldn’t see or hear anywhere except while living in my past. You will be missed.

I Alone Am Best: Many thanks and happy trails to Willard from me, too!

Supersonic75: Willard, thanks for an insane amount of wonderfully curated music, great and informative writing, and for corresponding back and forth. I hadn’t been on the site in a while but continue to enjoy all of the great things I found on there over the years. Thanks so much again!

Caffeineoverdose: Big shout-out and thankx to Willard for his generosity and for your perseverence to have lasted that long. Whichever paths that you’re taking, i hope it goes well for you.

Andyman71: Like many others here, very sad and bummed out about Willards blog closing. Thank you Willard for sharrng all that great music that I would’ve never ordinarily seen and checked out !! Happy trails up the river and as always, never get out of the boat !

Snarf: …been trying to think of what to say. It comes down to Thanks For It All, Williard. I hope you are well and your new boat sails peacefully…and (selfishly) may sail here again someday.

Ian W: I just wanted to add my appreciation to those already expressed – Many Many Thanks Willard for going way beyond the call of duty! We will miss you

Transatlantic: Very sorry to hear about Willard’s retirement of the site(s). Learned about so much from him and those generous sharers. Kudos to the Cap’n for keeping on for years.

Oskie: Thank you Willard for music I grew up with. Music I missed while growing up and music that put many smiles on my face, as well as my wife and friends. You’re a gem! Thank you and may good vibes always be with you.

A true understatement from DJ Daddy Kool
I wonder how, given I am a huge music junkie, that I have never heard of this Willard blog. I guess from all the feedback I missed a good one.

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77 comments on “Capn. Willard and His Wormholes.

  1. 11th May.

    Willard has sent me an email offering his thanks for this “very nice page”.

    In the immortal words of George Harrison, all things must pass, so we all have to move on, albeit with regrets for not having delved deeper down the wormholes…

    But there is a lot of music – past, present and future – to discover, so see you down the trails sometime.

    J

    Postscript
    That the Reader’s Links (e.g. BORL. SORL) also proved popular is evident from many of the comments below.

    As Matt Williamson has written, “Willard and other blog operators of good quality offered us the opportunity to share our music to the world not looking for feedback or any recognition but just being able to share.”

    If anyone is interested in co-administrating a Readers Music Swap Shop, please email me.

    • When I copied the blogroll I hoped the names would turn into links. Unfortunately they didn’t, but as someone used to say, ‘Google is your friend:’

    • Willard’s was the first stop every morning, I miss him and his impeccable way of doing things on his music blogs. He has enriched me and the hobby by leaps and bounds! Thanks fall far short.

    • Like many non commercial artists out there Willard and other blog operators of good quality offered us the opportunity to share our music to the world not looking for feedback or any recognition but just being able to share. Here’s one of my albums that I placed on Willards, and I thank him and people like yourself for that.

  2. I too wish Willard well, his readers helped me fill many missing links in my digital collection. My best wishes to all his contributors to BORL and his comments sidebar. Thank you all.

  3. Willards was my favorite site and will sorely be missed. Thank you to the Captain for all of the hard work. You were….UNDOUBTEDLY….the BEST.

  4. So grateful for all the work that goes into these blogs.
    Thank you Willard! And thank you for the info on the happenings with the Wormholes.

  5. Willard banned me as he lost patience with my first effort at sharing but I still respect what he shared and for his fans I hope he returns as he was much loved.

  6. I discovered the good Cap’n about 8 years ago, it came at the right time for me. I never uploaded but I once requested something and Peter got it for me. A nice sight, respectful uploaders. I caught up with stuff I’d sold, got bored with or never heard. Thank you Cap’n, good luck for the future.

  7. Willard’s was such an awesome place. I can’t believe it’s gone. Didn’t realize how important it was to me, but then again I did as I was on it almost every day learning about all that great music. I mean, just as a bonus it was probably the cleanest, best organized, best use of the blogging platform I’ve ever seen. If I had any warning I probably would have rewound to post 1 and started from there.
    Ah well.

  8. Thank you Willard for all the good times that I can relive over and over by playing the music. Thanks for all the info and thanks for the Friday movies! You are truly a musical and internet legend!

  9. Much gratitude, respect and thanx for you Willard – your site was my favourite.

  10. Just wanted to pay my respects to Willard too. He will be missed. And my thanks for keeping the Wormhole memory alive.

  11. I’m in mourning at the loss of the Wormholes. It’s not overstating that I loved that blog.

    I wish Willard the best and hope his next venture is as successful as the Wormholes were.

  12. Willard was a giant and will surely be missed. Just dropped by to say a VERY BIG THANKS A LOT dear Friend.

  13. Also chiming in to say Willard was an interesting guy. I don’t know how many people actually used his site as a buying guide, but I’ve bought dozens of releases after finding them there.

  14. Thanks so much for the additional information. Willard’s retirement is a huge loss (thanks so much for everything Willard) for many reasons, but a major one is that it was such a fun place to go.

    • I agree! No controversy, great stuff to read, nostalgia and new things too. The most fun online.

  15. Thank you for everything, Captain and Willard … It was a fantastic season of sharing everything we love … good music and its main feature: listening to it together and knowing it is our life, even if it lives in our anxieties and fears, sometimes …
    All gratitude to you …

  16. I’m sorry to hear that Willard has called it a day. Willard’s Wormholes was the best always full of interesting music and opinions. You’ll be greatly missed Captain and I for one will always be grateful for pointing the way towards some great music. Thanks Willard.

  17. The Wormhole had become such a constant, a steady reality that I’m afraid I took it for granted. (Perhaps others did, too). I remember a year or so, ago when I couldn’t get on the site…panicking. (what a relief when it was back). I was happy to upload a few things, and after making a mistake on something, got an e-mail from The Capt. himself! Wow. ( I still have it, for real )
    This place was so comprehensive, thorough, professional.
    And, yes – sadly missed.

  18. Want to add my thanks for all the time and effort Willard put in. What an amazing, glorious run. Also a personal thanks to him for agreeing to put an early music blog of mine on his wall–and then allowing me to swap it out for a later one. Thanks again, Willard!!!

  19. I was a bit stunned to see Willard’s site gone, and have been googling around to try to find out if it was taken down or just retired of his own will. I’m glad it’s the latter. 🙂 It was a great site to discover interesting corners of music and get things that weren’t easily available otherwise. And I loved the banter and comments on posts.

    Thanks for having this spot for us to find out the news and make a comment, Jakartass – and to Willard, if you read this, we really appreciate all you have done! Many glad tidings!

  20. Thanks for clarifying the immense loss of Willard’s Wormholes , Jakartass – the weekly movies were a ritual for me and as for the music…all things must end I guess but the loss still aches…maybe one day??

  21. There are and were a lot of great blogs out there great music sites and writers but NGOOTB and WW were quite unique. I’ll miss checking in to see the latest drive-in cheapo sci-fi flicks. The nostalgia simply abounded at WW and those good feelings are what I’ll miss more than the tunes themselves. Thanks and all the best W wherever you are.

      • NGOOTB was Willard’s previous blog before the Wormholes, also fantastic. Never Get Out of the Boat.

        • Forgot to add — that quote is from the movie Apocalypse Now, which is where the nickname “Willard” came from and also why people referred to him as “Cap’n.”

  22. I am so sad to see Willards Wormholes closed down, but I understand the reasons why. I am very grateful to Captain Willard and ALL of the music fans who have shared their wonderful records and rare recordings with us throughout the world. Without their contributions so many of us would have never had the chance to hear these great bands and their musical masterpieces.

    Thank you to all Music Fans and Thank you to Captain Willard !
    I wish you all the best and a long life.

    Cheers
    MAX

  23. So wonderful to see all of these tributes to Willard’s Wormholes. I was a follower from the NGOOTB days and marveled at Willard’s tenacity to restart his blog every time it got taken down. I hope he is enjoying his time away. I honestly wondered how Willard had any time to enjoy all of the music he was sharing. It was unbelievable to try to find a specific release of something I needed to hear to balance out an artists collection and almost always seem to find it on Willard’s site.

    Thanks for putting this page up, Jakartass.

  24. I found Willard much too late. What I did enjoy in the short time I knew it was a great joy in discovery and renewed love for so many recordings. The internet will be less now than it was

  25. Besides what everybody else already has written, I think I’ll miss the writing most of all. Insightful, descriptive, really helping me make up my mind whether to d/l or not. Willard deserves a rest now.

  26. Thanks a million, Willard – enjoyed every word, lots of tunes, and awed by your output. Definitely my favorite place on the whole web. Sigh…

  27. Is there any way we could all give him 10 bucks and it could go back up just for one more year? or one more season? No new posts necessary. I really miss it and want to explore the back pages a few more times.

  28. Another voice who is sad to see the closing of the Wormholes. The site was also great because of the regular uploaders to whom an equal debt of gratitude is expressed. A great site, it will be sorely missed…..

  29. Willard, you had a great run!! Thanks so much for reading my mind and second guessing my wants, my fantasy releases that I’d release & share if I had the bucks and contacts. You were the coolest Bargain Bin a music freak could hope for. Thanks for all the hard work with NGOOTB and then WW!

  30. I only discovered Willard several months ago and am enjoying the fruits of his labor, but now wish I had time to explore even further. Anyone, please post whatever you got from Willard when and where you can and let us know so we can still harvest the fruits of Willard’s labor. Thanks.

  31. ‘Twas good while it lasted, I feel good that I got some of my stealth concert recordings Out There. So big final thanks to Williard—if that is her real name.

  32. Sadly, I took a hiatus from daily Wormhole visits in mid-February…only to find today that the master has folded his tent. I’ll never know the gems I missed. Willard (and the Wormhole community) have been the best! Thanks to his generosity, I’ve discovered a lot of music over the years.

  33. Thanks to Jakartass for illuminating the tunnel at the end of the light.

    Glad it was a happy ending … for Willard. Very sad day for the rest of us. You opened so many new doors, broadened so many horizons and brought back so many memories. So long and thanks for all the spins.

  34. So good to know what happened to that splendid fellow and his blogs that gave me so much pleasure over the years. I learned a lot from Willard, and if he ever reads this, I hope he knows that his efforts were appreciated.

  35. Thx Jakartass for sharing the info about Willard’s sudden closing. I was afraid the Copyright Police had gotten him! Cap’t, thank you for your intelligent info, incredible music, and very special Community you grew for we who love music. Happy Trails, my Brother!

  36. I am extremely grateful for the chance to offer my thanks for the many, many gems that Willard offered up over the years. You did amazing work, sir!

  37. I came across WW two years ago and visiting became a daily ritual. Many thanks to Willard and friends for all they shared.

  38. I wish there were a place for all of the great writing the site housed. Willard did a fantastic job of introducing obscure albums & artists – as did many in the community. The Roy Wood story from one such fan is just one amazing example – good luck Cap’n!

  39. I still miss the Nilsson blog, and now Wormholes is gone too. Damn. Thanks to the Cap’n for many years of a great site. I’ll miss checking out the links and posting comments.

  40. I was fortunate enough to “work” on the Loss Leaders series with Willard a few years ago, and what great fun I had (even hooked me up with an Eric Von Schmidt album that I was looking for!) Sad to see him go, but completely understandable. His presence will be greatly missed. Enjoy your “retirement”” Willard!

  41. Willard, I salute you. You ran probably the greatest curated music site I’ve ever encountered, and gave me countless opportunities to enrich my life with formerly lost gems and many digital versions of stuff I have on vinyl. I’ll miss your unparalleled taste, your fierce and exacting standards, and your incomparable reader contributions. Most of all I’m glad you went out on YOUR terms, rather than being taken down by corporate cretins. Ave atque Vale, and may we meet again one of these days.

  42. My thanks too to Jakartass, for answering the question I googled, and which brought me here: “WHAT HAPPENED TO WILLARD’S WORMHOLES?”

  43. Miss the site and the community Willard brought together.
    Please bring it back for a couple of months just to let us go down a few wormholes!

    All things must pass, Bob, so we all have to move on.

    J

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