A Matter of Some Delicacy…

Last Saturday morning, I trekked over to Harvest Records, who were having their 6th anniversary sale. Harvest is what passes as the best record store in the area. They’ve succeeded in becoming a magnet for the young and hip, and power to them for that, but I’m old and post-hip, so they’re really not a store I feel the need to visit more than twice a year in a “that’s interesting” kind of way. I surrendered my hip credentials around 1990 when I stopped loving the fruits of contemporary youth culture as fully as I previously had. Given that my taste in music was already left-of-center/peripheral, I shouldn’t have been surprised when any music values I championed had their day by 1990.

Be that as it may, I arrived there by 11:30 and the joint was jumping. The small, oddly shaped store was writhing with shoppers seeking the dual enticements of great selection and one-day only sale pricing. It was when I entered the building that an old, familiar smell assaulted my senses.

Peter Townshend knows that cognac is a cruel mistress, but B.O. is simply unacceptable!

No, I’m not talking about musty vinyl. I’m talking about stinky, pungent young men who seemingly never bathe. And they are often there were records are for sale. Many was the occasion when I was attending record shows back in the 90s, when I would leap out of bed with the excitement of a record show on a Sunday morning, only to find myself a couple of hours later in a large room filled with pungent, smelly guys in black tour shirts jostling the boxes to the left and right of me. More than once my desire for new, obscure records hit the proverbial brick wall and I just left in disgust at the repugnance of it all.

Let me assure the gentle reader that my personal modus operandi is to always bathe before lurching out of my home to mingle with the loving public whether for business or pleasure. I’m not asking for Paco Rabanne, just some interest in basic personal hygiene. On this particular Saturday morning, I was freshly shaven and showered/shampooed just an hour or so earlier before beginning my public day. Like I am on every Saturday morning when I venture out.

But Harvest was filled to the brim with young, fuzzy, Asheville indie-rock types in Birks and shorts, who amazingly enough, smelled just like the fat, hairy (older) metal dudes in black tour-shirts that attended record shows in Orlando, much to my olfactory dismay. So to lay my preconceived notions to rest, it’s not the music at play here at all with the slack hygiene. It’s just the dudes. Thankfully, about a third of the shoppers at Harvest were female. A big change from record shows in the 90s. That mitigated the aroma on offer somewhat. But what is it that causes young (or not so young) men who are record collectors to eschew bathing? Is this just a pursuit largely comprised by losers and loners??! Even when didn’t have a girlfriend or wife, I still had basic self-respect.

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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4 Responses to A Matter of Some Delicacy…

  1. ronkanefiles says:


    Is it really humid where you live? There are some smelly record collector guys here, to be sure – but not in great numbers, that I have seen. The swap meet I regularly attend is a bit whiffy, but Amoeba Records in Hollywood doesn’t seem to have such smelly patrons, no matter when I visit. Yes, there are polished, tattooed shave head women and male Depeche Mode fans that reek of some sort of patchouli…I think it’s the people who smell of incense that really bug us. Does this mean that they sat in their cars with the windows up smoking dope before venturing into Amoeba? Possibly…and doused themselves with hermetic potions to try and mitigate the “pot smell”…

    I have even seen smelly women at rubber stamp conventions – so maybe it’s the “Convention” factor at work. “I pay 6 bucks to get into a community center, I ain’t taking no shower first!”.

    Rest assured, I bathe daily – and try to stay out of “humid” situations. Even when I had longer hair, it was always clean. After all, my parents were hairdressers!



    • postpunkmonk says:

      Actually, where we live is technically a rainforest climate in many parts of Western North Carolina. And Orlando, please! So yes, I suppose it could be the humidity. But I’m freshly bathed and it gives you a couple hours of grace period before you start to stew in your own juices. But yeah, Florida was a “pig-on-spit” climate! You may have something there.


  2. Brian Ware says:

    Yeah, but there are varying degrees of this phenomenon. Summer in Orlando will have you breaking into a sweat walking from the front door to your car, but you can usually tell the difference of someone who is basically clean and just a little ripe from a long afternoon at a swap meet as opposed to someone who hasn’t changed that Ramones T-shirt in three days.


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