[continued from last post]
On Sunday we were going to link up with Mr. Ware’s daughter, who was on the tail end of a post-graduation internship with PacSun casual clothing, 3000+ miles away from her old home in Florida or even S.C.A.D., where she matriculated. She was staying at Fullerton College about a hour away, and there was the Orange County Record Show minutes away from the college. But we had the Rockaway concert to stage by 2:00 p.m. that day, and driving that far on Los Angeles would mean lots of time spent in the car. I suggested heading to Fullerton in the dawn-like hours to have what passes for unimpeded driving on the freeways, but as it turned out, Mr. Ware’s daughter had decided to spend the weekend in the city with her friends, and we picked her up in Santa Monica, where we were. Nice form! Now we just got at least two hours back to do what we wanted.
And what we wanted to do was to have breakfast with her. We had heard from Mark Moerman that Record Surplus in Santa Monica was worth a stop, and walking distance from the store that opened at 11:00 was an IHOP. And chasinvictoria, living in Canada, was pining for their lingonberry crepes. So we ate there and headed off to Record Surplus in time to be the first geeks there on a Sunday morning. The store was bringing back memories as it was only a mile away from where I lived as a child before migrating east. All of the street names were familiar though the sights were completely different 45 years later. The Wares sat this one out since it was family catch up time. This left the store to chasinvictoria and I to rifle through.
The store was pretty old school; a little sloppy but not dangerously so. No air conditioning, as is distressingly common among the market segment, but the lighting was good, and the organization was pretty good also. The CDs were about 30% of the stock, so I went there first. Good thing, too, since I found two hot button releases that were on my want list!
Yowza! This had been a Prince orgy during this trip, but the super DLX RM of “Purple Rain” is something I rarely see in stores. It’s always the 2xCD edition instead that I encounter. I wanted those B-sides/mixes as well as the DVD! I had imagined that I would have to mail order this as I’ve been looking for it ever since it was released, but this was the first time I actually encountered a copy and – boy howdy – it was a sealed promo for the Princely sum of $18.26!! SOLD! American! The “new” Suede album was in a DLX US CD+DVD edition that I didn’t even know about, but was very happy to purchase used for $8.28 and if you’re paying attention, you’ve noticed one of the quirky idiosyncrasies of Record Surplus; they price no two releases alike – favoring odd pricings. So either I was getting a discount of about 75 cents, or they were adding a little cream to the till. I’d be churlish to complain about the prices since it’s difficult to get the first one for less that $32!
The bulk of the store was vinyl and I took my time going through it. Any store that had a “Moogh-ish” section [adjacent to the Zamfir section!] was worth paying attention to! I saw some records of interest once I hit the Rock Alphabet section, but not much that I didn’t own already. Nevertheless, such feedback always makes me look closely and pay attention. Any record store that carries much of my collection in stock is likely to have those records I haven’t found yet but dearly want.
Since I was in L.A., I saw some very “L.A.” things that never make it east of the Mississippi River. Stuff like unsold 38 year old stock of Shandi’s debut album on Mike Chapman’s Dreamland Records label. Heck, I rarely even see the first Spider album, which I won a promo of back in 1980. I also ran across the first Rip Rig + Panic album, “God,” in the bins! I never see that puppy. Had there not been a 2013 CD version [finally!] that I bought during my last visit to Los Angles, I would have so pounced on that copy!
I saw Cab Volt’s “Drain Train” in the unusual US 2×12″ copy that I bought back in the day when I was sucking up every double 12″ the band were frantically issuing during their expansive imperial period. When I saw the original 1980 12″ of Toyah’s “Ieya” I got so confused that I had to borrow chasinvictoria’s iPhone to check my Discogs collection to make sure that I didn’t need a copy. There was a 1982 version which was allegedly re-recorded that I don’t have, but only on 7″? I’m confused. Gavin may need to come to the rescue here. I’m still confused. Hey, there was the UK 12″ of Monsoon’s “Ever So Lonely,” which I have never seen in a store. I had to buy mine via mail order catalog in the mid-80s. Even so, this was like a “greatest Monk hits” showcase so far. Lots of love for the bins but nothing I had to buy.
The lovefest continued with rare sightings of Stephen Duffy’s sophomore album, “Because We Love You,” and what th…! I saw the [inferior] US 12″ of “The Razor’s Edge” by Defunkt. Were all of the Defunkt records in this town? I waited 27 years to buy this release and on this trip I had my choice of nationality to buy. Thank goodness I saw the wonderful Neville Brody designed UK copy first! Then chasinvictoria struck pay dirt. Big time.
He held a Radio Nederland transcription disc up that was The Nits on one side and the Mathilde Santing Ensemble on the other! Two of my favorite Dutch artists on a single album. Probably pressed in the low three figures; if that. He seemed to be waffling. The record was $30+ dollars as I recall. Not only had I never seen it, until that moment – I didn’t even know about it! We were unsure whether this was a radio show with tracks we already had on CD and an announcer between them, or a live recording. Since the store had turntables for previewing, I suggested he get to it!
It was a live radio concert. If he was not going to buy it, then I was! He was reluctant because of transporting the record back to Canada in his luggage was not happening. When I told him I’d ship it back to my house with my records and then I would remaster it and send him the files, that seemed to be what he needed to hear. He could pick the record up the next time he visited. For a guy who lives in Canada, I manage to see him every few years at most. Hell, he’d just visited us in June!
I finally saw the one record that I simply had to buy here. Chasinvictoria pointed out to me a Debut LP. Number five – which lived on my want list due to the presence of a unique mix of “Beat Boy” from Visage. Was I happy to see this! And only for $6.39! There are other issues of Debut that I need, but I rarely buy them since they ones I want seem to be sold via mail order only. Records from the UK are prohibitively expensive enough to ship but Debut weighs almost three times the weight of a conventional record due to the conceit of it being a 30-40 page magazine attached to the sleeve! These puppies will really set me back in postage if it came to that! With that we were ready to pay and move on to another record store this Sunday afternoon. But we would be coming to play, not shop!
Next: … The Record Man Orchestra Go In-Store Where No Band Has Gone Before!