[continued from last post]
My final encounter with Ron was in the next year. In the summer of 2015 Ron took a surprise visit to Raleigh, North Carolina. By that time he had been retired from his “straight job” when he duly put in his 20 years, for almost two years. He took frequent record shopping trips as he was moving toward 60. I was shocked that he was coming East. This was unusual but he had been asking me about Asheville where we live. He was concerned with the altitude. Apparently, in high altitudes he had a tendency to fall asleep. I told him that the mountain we live on was about 3100 feet above sea level, so I imagine that what drive his decision to go to Raleigh in the Flatlands of North Carolina instead.
He was spending a week there and I had limited resources to visit. I had scant vacation time available, but I managed to eke out a day midweek where I could visit. Raleigh is about four hours one way from where I lived. Driving there and back was untenable. Instead, I proposed splitting the distance from each end. We would meet in Charlotte, approximately two hours from both Asheville and Raleigh. I knew of certain record stores I frequented in Charlotte [Manifest, downtown one] but two stores was hardly a valid record crawl for Ron! I had to scare up some research. Good thing too as I discovered three more stores, each with different complexions, and I mapped out a record store arc. Also including dining opportunities. Charlotte is home to one of my favorite restaurants but vegan raw food would not fly with Ron. He wanted Vietnamese for lunch [down the street from Manifest] and I found an acceptable burger place where a vegetarian could get a decent meal too.
I arrived in Charlotte at 10 a.m., our ETA. I was there for almost two hours waiting at Manifest. The bins were the least inspiring they had ever been in 15 years of visits. I had scant money for the trip. I did a radical thing and brought along a crate of surplus vinyl/CDs to trade in. I found two must-have items. I took the cash offered instead of the trade value since I’m only in Charlotte every now and then. One was the Laurie Anderson “United States” 4xCD box so not forking over cash for that was a good move.
It took Ron a long while to get there and he arrived just as I was about to give up and go home around lunch; sad that for what ever reason, Ron didn’t make it. It transpired that he had gotten mixed up and ended up somewhere in South Carolina in spite of the driving directions I had emailed him. No matter. We left Manifest as it was not very interesting and we were hungry by then anyway. The day’s record crawl was covered in a thorough thread on this blog here. Foremost in our adventures was discovering Repo Record, an amazing store and my pick for the best in the state I’ve visited thus far.
Eventually Ron and I ended up at the restaurant I’d picked for dinner. A funny thing happened to me there as we were chatting and dining. Ron said “you can buy me a drink” from the bar. As a non/never drinker, this was one common part of friendship that had completely passed me by. I have never thought to buy anyone a drink! Until Ron proposed such. And of course, I was so beyond indebted to this guy that I was more than happy to do so! We had a pleasant dinner [though it was a tad noisy in the place, as I recall], and afterward, we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Little did I know that it would be the final time I ever saw Ron.
How Much Do I Owe This Guy?
I mentioned that Ron was completely generous beyond belief. While he gave me cartons of high-grade video tape to use and dozens of videotapes and DVDs full of music videos from his mind-numbingly huge collection; the cream of what Ron imparted generously to me were the hundreds of 7″/12″/LPs/CDs he sent my way. While I should have a full list at some point [if I could ever make that], thanks to the records I keep at PPM, I can provide a list of every title Ron sent me after the Summer of 2010. Here it is.
- Zaine Griff: Figures – Polydor – POSP 458 – 7″ – UK
- Philip Jap: Total Erasure – A+M – JAP1 – 7″ – UK
- Philip Jap: Save Us – A+M – AMS 8217 – 7″ – UK
- Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Tarkus – Victory – VICP-63172 – CD – JPN
- Annabel Lamb: Tell Him! – A+M – AMS 8230 – 7″ – UK
- Annabel Lamb: I Know How Love Goes – A+M – AMS 8240 – 7″ – UK
- Annabel Lamb: Cinderella – A+M – AMS 8257 – 7″ – UK
- Annabel Lamb: The Flame – A+M – AM 182 – 7″ – UK
- Various Artists: Guillotine – Virgin Records – VCL 5001 – UK – 10″
- Spandau Ballet: True 20th Anniv. RM – Chrysalis – 7243 537127 0 9 – US – enhanced CD
- Spandau Ballet: Through The Barricades – Epic/Sony – 32-8P-161 – JPN – CD
- Anna Domino: L’Amour Fou – Le Disques Du Crépuscule/Caroline- CAR-1 – UK – CD
- Isabelle Antena: On A Warm Summer Night – Crépuscule Japan – VDP-1317 – JPN – CD
- Barry Andrews: Town + Country – Virgin Records – VS260 – UK – 7″
- Matt Bianco: World Go Round – Victor – VICP-600047 – JPN – CD
- Carmel: Bad Day – London Records – LONX 29 – 12″ – UK
- Isabelle Antena: A La Belle Étoile – La Disques Du Crépuscule – VICP- 5709 – JPN – CD
- Pauline Black + The Invisible Girls: Mr. X – Illusive – IVE 2 – UK – 7″
- Vice Versa: Music 4 – Neutron Records – PX 1092 – UK – 7″
- Vice Versa: Stilyagi – Backstreet Backlash Records – BBR 003 – Dutch – 7″
- Clémentine: Couleur Café – SME Records – SRCS 8957 – JPN – CD
- Antena: L’alphabet Du Plaisir – Les Disques Du Crépuscule – VICP-28 – JPN – CD
- Associates: Kitchen Person – Situation Two – SIT7 – 7″ – UK
- Leisure Process: Love Cascade – Epic – EPC A 1977 – 7″ – UK
- Cowboys International: Thrash – Virgin – VS 293 – 7″ – UK
- Mari Wilson: Just What I Always Wanted – London – 7″ – USP
- Harold Budd: Budd Box – All Saints Records – WASTBOX1 – US – 7xCD
- Carmel: Set Me Free – London – POOL-20126 – JPN – CD
- Leisure Process: Anxiety – Epic – TA 3504 – UK – 12″
- Ippppu-Do: Normal – Epic/Sony – 25.3H-16 – JPN – LP
- Masami Tsuchiya: Rice Music – Epic – EPC 85935 – UK – LP
- The Vels: House Of Miracles – Mercury – 826 804 – US – LP
- Vaughan Tolouse: Cruisin’ The Serpentine – Respond Records – SBSX2 – UK – 12″
- Alan Rankine: The World Begins To Look Her Age – Attitude Records – ATT18 – FRENCH – LP
- Das Psych-O Rangers: The Essential Art Of Communication – ZTT – 12 ZTAS 24 – UK – 12″
- Fashion: Something In Your Picture – Arista – ARIPD 472 – UK – 7″ picdisc
- Jona Lewie: Heart Skips Beat – Stiff – RIP-2013 – CANADA – LP
- Intaferon: Get Out Of London – Chrysalis – CHS12 2715 – UK – 12″
- Barry Andrews: Rossmore Road – Virgin Records – VS 378 – UK – 7″
- Cowboys International: Nothing Doing – Virgin Records – VS 267 – UK – 7″ + flexi
- Mari Wilson: Beat The Beat – Compact Records – PINK 2 – UK – 7″ + postcard
- The Buggles: Living In The Plastic Age DLX RM – Island Records – UICY-9181 – JPN – CD
- The Method Actors: Rhythms Of You – Armageddon Records – AEP 12005 – UK – 10″
- Way Of The West: Don’t Say That’s Just For White Boys – Mercury Records – MERX 66 – UK 12″
- Way Of The West: Drum – Mercury Records – DRUM 12 – UK – 12″
- Fingerprintz: Who’s Your Friend? – Virgin – VS 252 – UK – 7″
- Fingerprintz: Tough Luck – Virgin – VS 278 – UK – 7″
- Faust: Faust – Polydor – POCP-2155 – JPN – CD
- Faust: So Far – Polydor – POCP-2156 – JPN – CD
- Palais Schaumburg: Easy Go – Phonogram – 880 350-7 – GER – 7″
- Inga Humpe: Planet Oz – WEA – 9031-72268-2 – EURO – CD
Most of that list would be impossible to shake down pretty much anywhere, much less the East Coast. That was just the last seven years out of 33. Alas, I don’t have records for years prior.
While Ron had been generous with the gift of music of the 33 years we were friends, he was the person responsible for my decision to blog. Ron started blogging in 2002 or so. And I would often spend my lunch hour commenting on his early blog on Blogger. Some times, I would comment 2-3 x the amount of writing in his initial post.
Then I realized that I was effectively blogging… during my lunch hour, and on his blog. I absolutely, positively, have a hour to myself five days a week [except when crazy things are happening, like travel, sickness, show days, making up work time] where I can’t be dong anything I’d rather/should be doing. It made perfect sense to finally jump into blogging when I realized this, courtesy of Ron’s blogging and my commenting on it. Unfortunately, Ron’s Blogger blog is gone, but here’s me posting a lengthy reply on his still active WordPress account back in the early days of my own blog.
When I started blogging in June of 2010, I was on Blogger too, for a few weeks, until Google and Verizon’s opposition of Net Neutrality found me boycotting all things Google! I moved to WordPress where it has been a much nicer view! Ron followed me to WordPress shortly thereafter and his WordPress blog from August 2010 to July 2013. After which he got his own domain, with an installation of a WordPress back end.
Next: …Ron Decline