Elijah Wood is a vinyl DJ, and that is no small feat.
By day, Elijah Wood is best known as the man who played Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. But by night, Wood doesn’t want to be recognized for his acting credentials. He wants you to know him as a man who not only loves vinyl, but knows how to put on a heck of a good show too.
That’s right, Elijah Wood is a passionate vinyl DJ, and he’s got the record collection to make it happen.
First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room. Though Elijah Wood’s love for vinyl isn’t exactly new, some of you familiar with celebrity DJ culture might be a little skeptical. The reception has been… how do we say, less than kind to the likes of Pauly D and Paris Hilton getting behind their own turntables. But make no mistake, this is a notion that doesn’t bother Elijah Wood. He’s a man who loves to DJ, and he only ever thinks of being a “celebrity DJ” when it’s brought up to him.
“I get why people would feel a certain way if they know me for movies,” Wood told The Vinyl Factory. “It’s interesting how we tend to compartmentalize people in a simple way and the preconceptions that come with that.”
So no, don’t expect to walk into a club and listen to “DJ Frodo” mix and match the latest four-on-the-floor club beats. In fact, don’t even expect club beats, because that’s not what Wood plays.
Under the name Wooden Wisdom, Wood Djs alongside music supervisor Zach Crowie and plays an eclectic mix of international music from the 70’s through the 90’s. In fact, it was Crowie who encouraged Wood to move from his iPod to vinyl, which Wood describes as a “life-changing moment.”
“[Zach Crowie] was like, ‘Dude, just bring records. Don’t bring your iPod. You can do it!'” Wood explained to Entertainment Weekly. “And I was like, ‘I just don’t know!’ Because the thing with me was that our tastes are really similar, but they’re also really varied, so the thing about an iPod is that I could go anywhere in a night and not have to be stuck with a certain kind of genre, I could kind of go multiple places, and I was used to that freedom. And he was like, ‘No, just bring records.’ And I did, and I was petrified. It was great, and I never looked back.”
Though Wood doesn’t have an exact number of how much vinyl he owns now, Crowie claims that he has “far less” than Wood. To give that further context, Crowie estimates that he has “5,000 LPs and a couple thousand 45s.”
Though critics of vinyl have classified the format as dead and outdated, Wood’s interest in classic records becomes less and less of a niche hobby every year. In fact, 2017 was the 12th consecutive year of increased vinyl sales, with vinyl LP sales equaling 8.5% of all albums sold. Some collect vinyl for the gorgeous album art, while others like the classic sound of a vintage turntable. For Wood, he just loves having physical media.
“Putting a needle on a record is almost like you’re making a commitment to listening to something. And because everything else digitally is so scattershot, and we listen to things in playlists, or we don’t even listen to things in full, there’s something so meaningful about taking us back to actually focusing again on listening to music, and it not being this kind of negligible, kind of throwaway thing.”
“As a DJ, the thing I love about it is that it’s an active process, so you’re constantly having to work, physically. Looking through records that you want to play next, putting another record on, you know, cycling through it to find out where you want to queue. You know, it’s a physical process”
As Wood’s partner-in-crime Crowie puts it, Wood will “be on a film shoot and just [be] buying stuff online the whole time, and it’s amazing, ‘cause he’ll come home to a stack of records, just like boxes and boxes.” As far as we’re concerned on Celebrity Inventory, Elijah Wood is an inspiration for collectors everywhere. We don’t always find celebrities who are openly in love with their collections, but when we do, it’s always a magical moment that warms our hearts. Even if Wood was the worst DJ in the world (which we can objectively say he’s not), his passion for vinyl would still be amazing to behold.
Don’t call him DJ Frodo, but certainly call him what he is: a DJ whose vinyl collection could make even non-collectors jealous. And yes, he does happen to be a celebrity, but that’s a detail.
If you’d like to check out Wooden Wisdom‘s skills for yourself, listen to a sample of their work here.