It was last Saturday evening when attending the Les Filles De Illighadad show at Mothlight that I happened to see the notification via the sort of social media that I actually pay attention to; a poster taped to an electric pole! There was apparently to be a Record Show in Asheville on September 28th at Salvage Station; a venue I had only been to once to see Parliament-Funkadelilc a year or so back. 11 AM and free admission. Well, I hoped that it was better than the last Record Show I attended two years ago. That was last Saturday. As payday approached and I began to build into a frenzy of my imminent discretionary budget [$20/pay period] that Simple Minds DLX ED of “Live In the City of Angeles” was whispering into my ear. 4xCDs for only $19 and just $7 shipping from the UK for the book package? By Friday I was ready to press “buy” but then I remembered the Record Show the next day. Better that I should check it out first, and then fall back to the Minds’ album if it was a bust. As the last two shows I’d been to in my city [just two shows over a seven year span] had been modest, barely there events.
After waiting an inordinate amount of time to pick up my CD in the mail from Gary Daly at my Post Office, I barely made it to Salvage Station at the 11 AM start time. I parked on the site and made my way to wherever the show was being held. The show was being held inside of the large bar area, with about 20-25 dealers set up and ready to sell. I did a quick reconnaissance to get a feel and it was about 92% vinyl.So naturally, I first went to the single dealer selling nothing but CDs! Better still, The entire stock of hundreds of CDs [except for a small shoebox worth of “special titles”] were priced to move: $3.00 apiece! So I dug in in spite of seeing a lot of Frank Zappa at the end of the alphabetized section where I first looked.
The Zappa set the tone for most everything that was here. It was heavy on prog and jazz fusion, but anyone who has noted the details here @ PPM is probably aware that I have those dark Prog Roots, and I’m not really ashamed of showing them [in spite of Echorich’s haranguing]. Fortunately for us, I moved on to the front of the alphabet and saw some quasi familiar signposts. Lots of Bozzio/Levin discs. Possibly intriguing, but not necessary. This told me that if I saw the “Group 87” CD in these bins, I shoudl not bat an eyelash. I next saw the Eddie Jobson “Zinc” album that I’d been intrigued with for a long time. I’ve wondered what Jobson came up with on his own since I admired his contributions to Roxy Music so much. I remember when “Zinc” came out and it was stuck in my mind as the highest profile Jobson album, so I might as well start there. It was a US pressing on the specialist reissue label One Way Records. It probably sold now for much more than the $3.00 I would pay.
Then following that I hit personal paydirt: a cache of Mick Karn albums that I was more than happy to buy – especially for as little as $3.00! The long lamented “Titles” was in there and I snatched that up greedily. Also his fourth album, “The Tooth Mother,” which I had never seen before. I also got a US compilation of his solo work that was salted with remixes and rarities. I was going to pass on that one at first; then I came to my senses! After all, this was Mick Karn!
Then I found an early Ryuichi Sakamoto album with jazz guitarist Kazumi Watanabe. “Tokyo Joe” was also capped with a cover of the great Bryan Ferry song adding further Monastic interest. Finally, there was what looked like almost a full collection of Rush CDs. I’d recently “finished” my preferred Rush “anti-imperial” period of albums from 1980-1991 where the Canuck power trio were most strongly besotted with New Wave. I looked for the debut album, which my wife would have wanted if only for “Working Man,” but that one was practically the only one of their catalog not in evidence. Many live albums were there, but I have not gone there. I pondered the “Counterparts” album that saw Peter Collins, who had done such strong work with the band in the mid-80s return to the fold, but I eventually settled on the left-field mid-60s rock covers EP “Feedback.” This was apparently Rush having a lark for their 30th anniversary in 2004 and saw them making an EP [Rush… releasing an EP?!!] in exactly the same vein as Ramones had explored on “Acid Eaters.” The similar playlist also included an early Who tuns as well as Love’s “7 and 7 Is.” Then I bought what became Rush’s final album, “Clockwork Angels.” Their last stab at a concept album for old time’s sake [gulp!].
After paying the dealer, I asked the seller [presumably Randall himself] where he was from and he was a local guy. I go to these shows to get stock that came from further afield and this was an ironic turn of events. Especially since I spent $21 of my $20 budget at the first place I stopped at. I next saw a dealer with a large stock of 7” records. I rarely see the discs in record store any more as they take up valuable space that could be better off selling 180g “vinyls.” But most of what I want is on the flip side of a 7” disc, so I give chase. This dealer had some good stuff, priced to move with a $5.00 box and a $3.00 box. So at $3.00 I would be paying exactly what I would have in the first place if I had more than lunch money ca. 1979 to buy import 45s with.
Holy… have I ever seen early WAH! singles on 7” Or Rich Kids? Sure, sure, I have “Song To The Siren” on 7” but what about “Kangaroo?” I never even knew that it was a single. Then there was a full cache of Skids 7”ers. I recently saw some in Akron at Time Traveler, but this looked like almost every single in the bin. There’s the severely groove-crammed [19 min – same as the 12”]“Biko” EP from peter gabriel, which we just mentioned lately.
Then I found a disc at the back of the $5.00 that made my Spidey-Sense® tingle: The Boys Next Door OZ “Shivers” 7” from 1979 on Mushroom Records. Nick Cave fans know that this was the band that morphed into The Birthday Party. I bought that one just on principle. I just never see records like this one. And it looked immaculate. The cheaper box at left had one thing that I needed: a copy of The Passions brilliant “Africa Mine 2×7”. My copy, obtained in the 90s via mail order, leaves much to be desired in terms of noise, so I hoped that this one would be different. I next moved to the 12″ bins from this dealer.
I did not see anything absolutely necessary, but I was tempted by the OMD “Souvenir” UK 10″ which was obviously a first pressing. It had a sleeve without a spine [unlike my re-pressing from 1983-ish] and the biggest Monk-bait® in the original hype sticker, but at the end of the day, I was able to pass on it. I was talking with the dealer the whole time. He was downsizing as he was getting his kid’s college bills now. Ouch. So this was personal stash stuff. No wonder it was so well-kept and obscure. While perusing the boxes of 12″ records, I noticed a stack of “Capital At Play” magazine and then the penny dropped. This guy was obviously rocknurse from the Discogs forum, where we had “met” as it became apparent that we were both Ashvillians. He was the managing editor of the mag which I had designed an ad for my company to place in it a year or so back. We exchanged greetings and then the conversation moved to another level. More than just record show small talk. We ended up chatting for about 20 minutes, and I was happy to finally meet Fred, as he was known to his family. I had thought about linking up for the occasional show with him since he seemed to be cut from a similar cloth from his collection.
After buying his records, I knew he was definitely simpatico. He gave me his business card as I lamented that I had no Post-Punk Monk® business cards to dispense in turn. Believe me, I’ve thought about it, but the budget is just not there. Though there’s no way I’m going to England next March without a stack. So meeting up with Fred was a real pleasure, and fully unexpected at that. That I bought some things from him was even more surprising, since viewing his online store @ Discogs revealed much congruency with my taste, yet nothing in my want list. That was not the case today.
I next moved to a dealer on the next aisle over. I saw some nice things on vinyl that I would have bought on CD had the cards played out differently. Like that great German pressing of Rupert Hine’s “The Wildest Wish To Fly.” I used to have the US edition with the sculpture cover and some track substitutions, but that was long gone. It was CD or bust for me now. Then I saw the second Real Life album, “Flame” in a very clean pressing that had a ton of luster. This was on my want list and sold at $6.00. Then I ran across a great Heaven 17 12″ that took me a while to source, but it’s in the Record Cell now. Finally.
Then I investigated a dealer with what looked like a huge stock of Japanese vinyl. This always gets investigation!@ usually it’s a few discs per the best of stores, if they even have a section. Usually it’s a single box worth of goods. This guy had several thousand JPN LPs. A motherlode. The dealer was wearing an “Autobahn” T-shirt as well, and when he saw my King Crimson “Radical Action”shirt he commenced with the conversation. A lively gent from Dalton, Georgia, if I recall correctly. Of course his Kraftwerk section was thick. Here is a record we should all own below!
He also has a Shriekback record I am kicking myself that I did not buy. Even though I did not “need” it, how many time am I going to see a copy of this to buy for $8.00!
I was doubly crestfallen that I did not pick this up when I got home and discovered the nagging thought of “did I already have Real Life’s ‘Flame?'” was spot on correct. How much better than I should have spent that money on this instead? Then, I found the Big Kahuna. The record that was a solid two figures and one I would have bought if I had the money for it.
Gott Im Himmel!!! A JPN pressing of The Tourists “Reality Effect!!!” I have the US edition that misses two cuts on LP, then I have the Portuguese pressing that looks and sounds like a pirated copy, though for all I know it is legit. I never see a UK copy of this title [only the US pressings] but I found the German pressing online and I want the cleanest, hottest pressing of this possible, so the German one has been in my want list for years. Only VG copies from Germany have manifested. With the commensurate shipping costs. It goes without saying that this JPN copy was obviously the best sounding copy of those two songs on vinyl that I could ever hope to source, but it was $40. And I had already spent $32 of my $20 budget. And had run out of slush funds. But the dealer helpfully gave me a business card after our chat session, so if worst came to worst, I could mail order it from him at a later time; after sufficient saving up.
For those unaware, I grew up with JPN pressings in the 80s/90s being among the most expensive discs one could buy. LPs with obi were premium items of $30-70 on average. His JPN pricing was closer to 90s style than what I’ve seen in the new millennium, which has seen JPN LPs drop steeply in price to $5-20 levels for many things I’d be happy to buy. The $40 he was asking was probably a record he paid $20-30 for in the 90s and he was trying to not lose an arm and a leg on selling. Fair for the 20+ years he’d probably schlepped that disc around for. Now that I know there’s a JPN copy of this, it’s on Discogs for about half his asking rate, but copies without obi, and with shipping from JPN. He may yet get my business.
This was a more than adequate Record Show, for the first time in about a dozen years. At least I can say that the scourge of the 90s [thousands of bootleg CD-Rs of mainstream artists I hated crowding out all of the 7″12″ singles I was gunning for] had been dealt an absolute deathblow by the internet. Thank goodness! That was one good thing I can pin on Napster! I need to keep my eyes peeled so that I don’t miss anything like this happening in my area again, and memo to self: connect back up with Fred/rocknurse and see if we can get together and talk music again. He was our kind of people.
- Real Life: Flame – Curb Records – MCA-5639 – US – LP – record show/$6.00
- The Passions: African Mine – Polydor – POSP 384 – UK – 2×7” – record show/$2.00
- Boys Next Door: Shivers – Mushroom – K-7492 – OZ – 7” – record show/$3.00
- Mick Karn: Titles – Caroline Blue Plate – CAROL 1675-2 – US – CD – record show/$3.00
- Mick Karn: The Tooth Mother – CMP Records – CMP CD 1008 – GER – CD – record show/$3.00
- Mick Karn: The Mick Karn Collector’s Edition – Times Square Records – TSQD 9901 – US – CD – record show/$3.00
- Ryuichi Sakamoto + Kazumi Watanabe: Tokyo Joe – Denon – DC 8586 – JPN – CD – record show/$3.00
- Eddie Jobson: Zinc – One Way Records – S21 56846 – US – CD – record show/$3.00
- Rush: Feedback EP – Atlantic – 83728-2 – US – CD EP – record show/$3.00
- Rush: Clockwork Angels – Roadrunner Records – 1686-176562 – US – CD – record show/$3.00
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