Ron-Kon II: A Memorial Tale – [Record Surplus] [part 9]

Record Surplus…?! Could there BE such a thing?

[continued from last post]

Record Surplus

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 entry – chasinvictoria got a lead on me at the back wall as I was busy snapping pics

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!

There were some interesting distinctions in the bin dividers…

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.

Ever want that -sealed- Shandi Sinnamon album on Dreamland? The price is right.

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!

Yow! Why is it that I only see this album in Los Angeles?

Did I have this?

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.

Ever seen one of these? In a store? Me neither!

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!

NO! I have not gone to the Dark Side [namely – HoJo fandom]! It’s got a rare Visage mix!

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!

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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21 Responses to Ron-Kon II: A Memorial Tale – [Record Surplus] [part 9]

  1. Tim says:

    HoJo’s a-ok in my book.
    I generally like a good chunk of his early work and the second side of the “Cross That Line” album is a fantastic little suite of overlooked pop songs that he has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – I never liked HoJo much, but the act of seeing him live for just the last seven minutes of his set opening for OMD, who themselves were opening for [gak!] Barenaked Ladies two years ago made me cross the line from disdain to active dislike. I will still give the Godley + Creme video for “Life In One Day” high praise as one of the best of its era.


  2. Mark Moerman says:

    I have a Radio Nederlands Transcription Service disc of Kayak, and thankfully I didn’t have to pay very much for it, as turned out to be tracks from the “Eyewitness” live LP. Did the Nits disc turn out to be unique material? T’other side of the Kayak record, for those with enquiring minds, is a fellow named Hadley Hockensmith,


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Mark Moerman – According to chasinvictoria, who previewed the LP in store, the album is live material. Now that I think about it, it might be material from “Urk,” [checks] but no. I don’t think it is. Only three of the five tracks are common to the double live Nits album and the timings are dramatically different. Since both are in my Record Cell, I should investigate when I have a spare hour and report back with my findings.


  3. Gavin says:

    There is a 12″ on both black and white(rarer) vinyl of the original full length mix from 1980.
    The 1982 re-record on 7″,which I am not personally keen on,was a small hit in the UK and had a really great sleeve (similar to Blue Meaning,but with a red sky)
    There is a superb 1982 pic disc as well,but confusingly,this is the original 1980 recording!
    Well done getting the Debut release with Visage-I have never managed to get that.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Gavin – Good on yer, lad! I knew I could count on you to help me parse the “IEYA” conundrum! I have the 1980 7/12 [black vinyl] and therefore need the 1982 7″ with the “Blue Meaning” variant sleeve! As I don’t think I have any Toyah pic discs [I rarely bother with them, even for “collections”] I’ll probably leave it at that… unless I run across a batch of them for chump change.


  4. KeithC says:

    Nice nuggets you guys are finding. Luv that Duffy release; I’ve got the Japanese CD and its my second fav of his solo stuff. ‘Unkiss that kiss’ is a great bookend from ‘Kiss Me ,,”; . Wish I had the bonus tracks on CD though as the snippets I stream sound quite good.

    Chas: given the heft of the item, if you’re ever passing through YYC and still need a copy of Debut #5m, let me know as I have a mint copy that I’ve never played [no turntable in my life] that you may have. Perhaps a digital trade? %^)


    • postpunkmonk says:

      KeithC – The digital bundle of “Because We Love You” did have that plethora of B-sides and remixes, but I try to go for the vinyl and CDs when collecting. It’s my favorite of his solo albums, specifically for “I Love You.” My favorite of his singles. One day I need to make a mix CD of every variation. Of course, the rest of that album is no slouch either!

      I think you misunderstood. Chasinvictoria bought the Nits NL radio session album [and had me ship it to my home for collecting later] but pointed Debut #5 out to me, which I bought. Greedily.


      • KeithC says:

        PPM – love SD solo stuff and all the LT releases which I have on CD except for Sapphire Stylus which I had to buy digitallly as no one had a physical copy for sale. Even bought the Memory & Desire comp even though I thought I had it all covered by singles etc. Now I have to go check.

        I thought Chas might like the Debut as I was straight on your purchase of it. I bought it for the mag at the time but haven’t actually played the vinyl. Kind of like you in a way, eh?


    • I *do* pass through the lovely YYC airport from time to time, and hopefully I’ll actually get another visit to Calgary one day to peruse their record stores. Thanks for the offer, Keith, but I think I have a copy of Debut #5 already in my collection (apart from the one I pointed the Monk to!)


  5. Tim says:

    How about a Stephen Duffy/Lilac Time GPA?


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – Scandalous, but there are still a few Lilac Time albums I lack. I never see them in stores! I need “Keep Going,” “Sapphire Stylus,” and “No Sad Songs!” I somehow managed to find “Runout Groove” in 2012 when shopping in Greenville before the Thomas Dolby show.


  6. Tim says:

    I never even heard of the last two!
    I bought the first two at a Rose Records that was going out of business. I thought that the cover art was nice and they were probably $3-4 each. Talk about hitting it rich.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – So you did not know Duffy prior to that? I was a fan from 1985 – thanks to Ron Kane sending me video clips of “Kiss Me” and “Icing On The Cake.” By the time The Lilac Time dropped, I had a dealer I bought from who was also a fan, so I got the original Swordfish pressing/mix of the first album.


  7. Tim says:

    I did not.

    I did find Kiss Me after buying these two and the post Duran Duran pre Lilac Time items do nothing for me. I do love my Lilac Time collection, though.


  8. Tim says:

    I was looking at Amazon last night at things done under iterations of the Duffy name and a lot of it scares me. Point of entry was the first album (initial opinion on that one back in the day was so-so) and Paradise Circus (love fest from day one). Went back and found “& Love For All” and snagged that, not as much a deal but, again, an immediate lovefest. A local used shop shortly after that received a dump of someone’s collection of 12” singles and there was a lot of pre-Lilac Time stuff and I grabbed it all…..and liked none of it. Then came that Duffy album circa 94 or 95, Q liked it a lot and they had steered me toward Alison Moyet’s Essex and Terry Hall’s 1st solo album, both of which I liked a lot, so I bit on Duffy. Hated it. I am really leery of the non-Lilac Time stuff. The “I Love My Friends” looks promising but Japanese import only…..pricey used…..twice bitten once shy.


  9. Re: HoJo — I’ve met the man and he’s a nice fellow, I still enjoy some of his songs but I’ve mostly moved away from the ballad-y/soft rock stuff he specializes in. I saw one of his solo acoustic shows and enjoyed it, but he’s been basically continuously touring like that for 30 years-plus, so no I’m not interested in seeing that permutation. Radical re-arrangements and full band might entice me.


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