Kevin Hillskemper:

Record Weirdo 2012 Recap - A Day Late and a Dollar Short

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The website had some technical difficulties but now everything is in working order - thank you Ms. Jen.

I never got around to writing my "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" essay because I had no place to post it, so I'll just show some pictures of some record stores I visited last year. I made extensive mental notes about each store and what records I bought, but they weren't important enough to remember. What I didn't forget has been further edited for content and possible attention span issues.

Vinyl Isle, Morro Bay, CA. Was the name "Isle of Vinyl" (get it?) already taken, or did they realize that it was just too sickingly cute? I think they made the right decision. Nice little store, small inventory with emphasis on 60's and 70's stuff.

Recycled Records, Monterey, CA. This store has been in the same location for about 30 years and I may have been there before but I didn't get that "déjà vu all over again" feeling. Recycled has a great old classic record store vibe without being dark and musty - the wood shingle interior siding is a nice touch. They have a large and eclectic used inventory and apparently do slam-bang business with new vinyl. The store has sections for genres I've never even heard of, so they must be doing something right.

Magnetic Music, Taos, NM. In addition to used records, this store also has a funky collection of vintage instruments and other antiques. They are small and way off of the beaten track, but they have a pretty good selection.

Big Star Books and Music, Santa Fe, NM. With their cosmic name, I half expected some new-agey store that sells UFO books, mass-produced dream catchers, and CD's featuring drum-machine-and-pan-flute versions of "I'd Rather Be a Hammer Than a Nail." However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Big Star was named after the great Memphis power pop band of the same name. They don't have any vinyl, but they have an always interesting and moderately priced used CD inventory - lots of blues, jazz, and slightly obscure rock. I also like the store because it's in an old house near the train station.

The Good Stuff, also in Santa Fe, is a new store that sells mostly vintage clothing and books, with a small room full of records. The inventory at this early stage is underwhelming, but it should improve over time. Downtown Santa Fe needs a record store, so I hope they do well.

Reckless Records, Chicago, IL. There are several locations of this chain in Chicago, but I only made it to the one within walking distance of where I stayed. With a sudden burst of wordiness, I will call it a vibrant big city storefront shop with an inventory emphasizing the esoteric. Like any good tourist and record geek, I bought a t-shirt.

For no apparent reason, here is a picture of a Chicago style hot dog.

No one will ever notice that I closed a previous story with a hot dog gag. That was years ago.

Record Weirdo - The Movie

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Here is a short movie (3 minutes) I did for a Digital Arts class. The clips are (mostly) compiled from youtube "vinyl community" posts. No, none of these people are me.

Record Store Day 4/21/12

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Before the internet, people used to buy their music at good old-fashioned record stores. Actually, some of us weirdos still do. Now we have our own little holiday. Check out the Official Record Store Day website (or click on the magic logo above) for more information.

Record Weirdo - By The Time I Get To Phoenix

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I was in Phoenix, AZ last weekend. I hadn't been there in a long time. When did The Valley of the Sun get annexed by California? I'm not saying it's good or bad, I'm just saying it.

Close to half-gentrified and half-demolished downtown Phoenix, I was pleased to find Revolver Records - a happy haven of vinyl geekdom. It looked, felt, sounded, and smelled exactly like a record store should. I was also pleased to observe that the store appeared to be thriving - not just with the old weirdos crawling on the floor to peruse the boxes of albums that were tucked into every nook and cranny of the room, but also with younger folks who still care enough about life to practice personal hygiene. I limited my shopping to the upper racks and bought some mid-priced classic-rock comfort food by the likes of John Lennon, the Who, and the second Generation X album that I used to have but lost over time. I've been playing it safe and boring for a while, but the store does stock plenty of the newer stuff that all the hipsters dig. Revolver claims to have over 25,000 records in stock and that looks about right, although most of them have been relegated to the $1.00 boxes on the floor. I didn't want to bother with those because I knew I would end up buying a bunch of crap, but I was forced to. There was a dry-erase board by the front counter with a rock trivia question written on it. The prize for the correct answer was a free $1.00 record. Long story short, I selected a rode-hard-and-put-away-wet copy of "Elvis Sings 'Burning Love' and Hits From His Movies."

Alice Cooperstown is a rock-themed sports bar and restaurant in downtown Phoenix. Yes, it is owned by Alice Cooper and yes, I had to go there. I had no problem with the "Welcome to My Nightmare" chili, which I found quite delicious, but I did have problems with some of the rock memorabilia on display. For example, there was an autographed white Fender Telecaster in a glass case with a plaque stating that it was Jeff Beck's guitar, but if you looked closely at the signature, it looked like "Billy Joel." Another issue was the memorabilia near our table, which were record company certificates commemorating sales or radio play of the dippy Alice Cooper ballads "You and Me" and "I Never Cry" instead of REAL Alice Cooper songs like "School's Out" or "No More Mr. Nice Guy." Other than that, I liked it.


ABQ Record Store Update: I finally made it to Mecca Records. I read some online reviews that said the clerks were rude and condescending. However, I found the clerk to be pleasant and polite. I'll probably go back anyway.

Correction: In a previous posting, I referred to a store called "I Buy Music." The correct name of the store is "We Buy Music." I still don't think it's a very good name.

Art Appreciation

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Matador On Velvet, artist and date unknown

I paid 76 cents for this beauty. One ruthless art critic (my wife) described it as "hideous" and suggested that it would look much better on the wall of my den/studio/man cave than it would in our living room.

Bob Dylan Does Not Eat Monkey Food

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When I was a kid, my dad would occasionally drag my brother and me to a train museum out in the middle of the desert. Next to the train museum was the saddest zoo in the world. The only thing I remember about the zoo was an old disease-ridden monkey in a cage. Next to the monkey's cage was gumball-type vending machine that dispensed "monkey food" (suspiciously like dried dog chow) for a nickel. After getting our nickel's worth, we would throw some food in the cage and the monkey would squeal and scramble for it. Years later, while attending a Bob Dylan concert together in the Livestock Exhibition Hall at the Red Bluff, CA Fairgrounds, my brother and I both recalled that childhood memory. We anticipated the Bob Dylan show would be like the sad monkey we remembered from the train museum zoo - you put a nickel in the machine, it dispenses some monkey food (or a cigarette) to throw in Bob Dylan's cage, and he would respond by singing a song.

We were wrong. Bob Dylan has made a career out of defying expectations. Bob Dylan does not eat monkey food.

When Dylan's recent Albuquerque appearance was announced, I wasn't really interested, but as the date approached my interest grew. Finally, the day before the show, I broke down and bought the cheapest ticket in the house. Upon entry at the venue, I was given a free upgrade due to low ticket sales. I ended up not sitting in either place because there were enough empty seats for me to see the show from several different vantage points. I eventually ended up in about the third row. The only drawback to this prime location was a 70-ish woman who kept shouting "I love you, Bob!" That woman may or may not have been Joan Baez.

This was not a young crowd. In order to buy beer, you needed two forms of ID - a license and an AARP card (rim shot!). Not only that, but the bartenders would also check your file for possible interactions with your medication (rim shot! cymbal crash!).

You can tell that many people attend Bob Dylan shows to merely pay homage to what he used to be rather than to appreciate the artist that he is now. Many observers expecting a greatest hits revue are left dumbfounded. Dylan's voice is not much more than a hoarse croak these days, but he makes the most of it with masterful phrasing worthy of the smarmiest lounge singer. Here how the songs usually go: the band will launch into a loose-but-tight bluesy, jazzy jam based on some vaguely familiar riff and then Dylan will jump in at some seemingly random point. After a key line or a chorus, audience members will finally recognize the song and start applauding. Some will attempt to sing along before becoming hopelessly lost and giving up. Call it what you want, I call it damned fine entertainment. Bob Dylan's demented Southern Colonel suit, with white hat and shoes, was merely the icing on the cake.

Dylan didn't play much guitar. He spent most of the time either behind a keyboard or stepping out front - sans axe - to bleat with his voice or harmonica. Center stage was usually occupied by the still-handsome guitar whiz and former teen idol Charlie Sexton. It was nice of Bob to provide some eye candy for the ladies - all twelve of them.

It may be my imagination, but during Bob Dylan's harmonica solo in "Forever Young," it sounded like he was playing that horrible "Sing It Out Loud" song from that Heineken commercial. Side effects may include...

The Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, July 8

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The Zoo Music series at the ABQ Bio Park continues. Big Sandy even wrote a little ditty called "Boppin' at the Bio Park" to mark the occasion.

Sandy displays his super-power of staying cool in 100 degree weather.


Things were going well until someone spiked the lighting guy's drink with elephant tranquilizer.

Most photos by Julie

The Blasters at the ABQ Zoo - June 17, 2011

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Notice the hands over the ears - it's good to know that rock and roll can still offend. The cliche "If it's too loud, you're too old" is too obvious here. What comes to my mind is "Why did you sit so close?" or "Why not give your seats to the rockabilly hot rod guys at the beer stand that want it to be louder?"


Phil Alvin displays his famous grimace as he is eaten by a giant electric cactus.


The duck pond is very effective at discouraging stage dives.


Before the show, the cactus lies in wait, ready to strike.

Meat Puppets in the ABQ

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Every music geek that ever learned to type has long ago soaked their t-shirts in drool about the albums "Meat Puppets II," "Up On The Sun," and others from the Meat Puppets SST golden era, so I won't bother. I admit to not paying much attention to their major-label output in the 90's and felt rock-snobbishly honor-bound to ignore them when they became legitimately popular. Regrets, I've had a few.

I've been on a Meat Puppets kick lately. Living in the desert has that effect.
It's gotten to the point where I've been rescuing their late 20th century releases from local budget bins. One of my purchases was met with a refreshing blast of record store clerk snideness.
"The Meat Puppets? Are they still alive? Didn't one of them get shot by the cops or something?"
He got better. I also mentioned that the band was playing Albuquerque soon.

Yeah, I went to the show and I believe I saw the clerk there too. A large portion of the crowd was comprised of aging music geeks. You know the type - a little gray or thin on the top and a little thick around the middle. The hair on the chin is either the last remaining concession to hipness or an attempt to not look like their dad. It was like looking in a funhouse mirror and seeing multiple reflections of myself.

The Meat Puppets played for almost two hours. They played songs from "Meat Puppets II," they played songs from "Up On The Sun," they played this song and that song and I couldn't write a standard paint-by-numbers review at gunpoint. The surprise cover songs were "Sloop John B" and "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights." There were too many psychedelic "Jazz Odyssey" type extended jam endings for my taste, but my taste has always been in question. Would you like to hear my rant about why Bachman-Turner Overdrive should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

I bought the new Meat Puppets CD at the merch table. I like it.

He got better.

I'll fix this one in Photoshop.

Another Left Turn at Albuquerque Rock City

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Despite my agoraphobic (that means I'm afraid of fuzzy sweaters) record weirdo tendencies, I got out of the house recently to see Social Distortion at the Historic Sunshine Theatre in Dynamic Downtown Albuquerque. I hadn't seen them in years. I think the last time I saw SD, the drummer was Chuck Biscuits. There is no significance in that and it may not even be true, but I believe that Chuck Biscuits is one of the greatest stage names in history and wanted to say so. It's up there with Muddy Waters and Slim Pickens.

SD (I'm not comfortable with the term "Social D," it sounds contagious) has changed a lot, and not just because of the revolving door membership. For the first time ever, I could not reconcile the band onstage with the Social Distortion that I used to see playing in living rooms and backyards. Mike Ness is no longer recognizable as the gloomy 10th grader in my 9th grade Science class and I mean that in the nicest possible way. All in all, I really enjoyed the show. I liked the extended guitar solos, the big rock production values, and the acoustic set with accordion. I've seen them way back when and I've seen them now. They're better now. If you disagree, you're delusional.

I predict that within five years, Social Distortion will add a horn section.


This may sound extremely unhip to say, which is justification enough for me, but I am looking forward to the family-friendly outdoor concert series at the Albuquerque Zoo this summer. So there. The Blasters are playing the zoo in June, Big Sandy in July, and Junior Brown sometime - I'll have my fact-checker work on that. The Meat Puppets are coming to town soon, but they're not playing at the zoo. Darn. I'll probably go see them anyway.

On the record weirdo front, here are some updates from last time. Krazy Kat Records did not go out of business as I reported, they just moved. I guess they move a lot. I found the store to be not nearly as scuzzy as previous reviewers declared it to be - there were no discarded syringes or diapers and no chickens. Don't believe everything you read on the internet, even if I wrote it.

There is a place called Mecca Records, but they're hardly ever open, so I don't know enough about it to even make something up.

"I Buy Music" is a fairly large store with a huge vinyl inventory. I like the store but I think it has a really bad name. I would suggest something less generic, like "Leaky Roof Records," or something with more imagination, like "I Eat Music." Anyway, they have a separate room down a pigeon-crap-encrusted alley that houses their 1 to 2 dollar budget bin. It's not just a record store - it's an adventure.

There is a store across town called "DVD something-or-other" (not their real name) that advertises used CD's, but they really don't have much. I probably have more CD's in my glove compartment at any given time than they have on the racks. Bad selection, too - we're talking Mariah Carey Christmas Album bad. Based on my first impression, the place is really just a front for renting porno movies to old guys in cowboy hats that drive dusty pick-up trucks. If you're looking for a copy of "Truck Stop Trollops" or "Farm Fresh Floozies," you'll probably find it there.

Sometimes I amaze even myself. I have to admit that those are darn clever fake porn titles, I either unknowingly stole them from somewhere or I missed my true calling.

Oh, and one more thing:


Record Weirdo - Albuquerque Rock City

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Before moving to Albuquerque, I had to do some research on the record stores. I was intrigued by the following online review of a place called Krazy Kat Records:

"this place should be more appropriately advertised as a needle exchange program. Who cares about music purchasing when you have to shovel your way through a maze of used diapers. I will never go here again."

I was disappointed but not too surprised to find that Krazy Kat was no longer in business. Apparently, there was some kind of trouble with the Feds.

In the end, I ended up throwing all of my research out of the window and finding record stores the old-fashioned way - by relying on instinct and my acute sense of smell. Here are my three favorites so far:

Charley's 33's and CD's has a great old-time used record store ambience with lots of new and used vinyl, CD's, promo swag, posters, cassettes (!), and even 8-tracks (!!). It smells of incense residue from the 70's, musty old records, squeaky wooden floorboards, with a slight hint of leather and suede from the attached vintage clothing store.

Nob Hill Music is a small, one-man, storefront shop with a well-organized, fairly priced inventory of used vinyl. The store has an overall vibe of comfort, safety, and friendliness but I like it anyway. It has a sunny oak and pine nose with suggestions of houseplant and Windex.

Natural Sound has kind of a hip and with-it vibe, but not enough to scare me away. It smells like sparkling new shrink-wrapped vinyl, but they also have a good selection of used stuff. They have some books too, which means they cater to the thinking crowd. The records can be pricey, but all of the used CD's are under six dollars (as they should be).

And there were some negatives:
I wanted to like Record Roundup because of the name, but I didn't. They had no records. It smelled of moldy goldenrod indoor-outdoor carpet and hip-hop.

I didn't know what to expect from the Albuquerque Record Convention. It didn't seem to be very well advertised. It has very little web presence. I get the feeling that the promoters want to keep it as a word-of-mouth, insider kind of event. I only heard of it from the guy at Nob Hill Music - the promoter of the record show had given him one (1) flyer as if it were a personal invitation.

The show looked, sounded, and smelled like every other record show I've ever attended. The patrons combined the scents of yesterday's black t-shirt and today's convenience-store coffee, with slight undercurrents of Hai Karate, tobacco, and basement hempfunk.

George Tomsco of the Fireballs was the special guest of the most recent Albuquerque Record Convention. The Fireballs were the biggest rock and roll band to ever come out of New Mexico. They are known primarily for their 1960's hits "Sugar Shack" and "Bottle of Wine." They are lesser known as the instrumental act responsible for the Tequila-ish "Torquay" and the proto-surf "Bulldog." In fact, "Bulldog" is the lead-off track on the great "Cowabunga" surf music box set that Rhino put out a while back.

Not being a fan of "Sugar Shack" or "Bottle of Wine," I was reluctant to approach the table. As George was unpacking a guitar and plugging it in, I stopped in passing and politely looked over the assortment of Fireballs flyers, gig posters, and "Sugar Shack" highlighted CD hits collections. He asked me if I was familiar with their music. All I could think of was "You did 'Bulldog' right?"

This seemed to meet with his approval. Since he was the guitarist in the original version of the band (and the composer of "Bulldog") he seemed more excited by the reference to something other than the Fireballs better-known vocal hits. I mentioned that I had a copy of "Bulldog" on 45 but it was too scratched up to play. He needed no further prompting. He cranked up his amp and launched into a fine, reverb-drenched version of "Bulldog" right there on the spot. It was pretty cool. While he played, he continued making small talk while his fingers went into auto-pilot mode. After fifty-some years, I'm sure he could play that song in his sleep and probably has.

George Tomsco - "Bulldog" unleashed

Among the CD's that George was hawking, I found the excellent Fireballs compilation "The Original Norman Petty Masters" on Ace Records. This is mostly instrumentals but also has a couple of really good obscure rockabilly style vocals. George was nice enough to sign it and throw in a bunch of Fireballs swag with the CD purchase.

In an obscure footnote in rock history, it was the Fireballs who were employed by producer Norman Petty to flesh out some unfinished demos by Buddy Holly that were posthumously released in the 1960's. This can be a sensitive topic to some Holly fans, but I think some of the songs that were tinkered with, like "Peggy Sue Got Married" sound pretty good.

I bought a few records at the record show. Besides the usual nickel and dime stuff, I upgraded my copies of "The Who Live at Leeds" (original folder cover with all the inserts) and The Velvet Underground's "Loaded" (1st pressing, blah blah blah...) for less than 10 bucks each. People in New Mexico don't seem to understand the concept of price gouging. I think I'm going to like it here.

P.S. My favorite reference to smell in a song would have to be "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight" by The Jam - "They smelt of pubs and Wormwood Scrubs." In my memory, the London tube stations smell like diesel fuel. The thugs described in the song would have to be pretty stinky to compete with that.

P.S.S. I found a copy of "Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies" by Pernell Roberts at a yard sale last week. It makes a fine addition to my collection of albums by "Bonanza" cast members. Lorne Greene records are a dime a dozen, but I'm always on the lookout for elusive LP's by Michael "Little Joe" Landon and Dan "Hoss" Blocker.

Record Weirdo Relapse

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Last year, I sold off most of my record collection. I came to the conclusion that two thousand LP's were too many, so I decided to get rid of all of them except for about five hundred. The figure of five hundred was semi-arbitrary. It was a nice, round number and that's how many fit into my sturdy shelf unit. The five hundred was slightly expanded to seven hundred (500 in the shelf, and two boxes of 100 each hidden in a closet). I didn't go complete cold turkey, but I was still pretty proud of myself. I thought I was out of the record weirdo biz - no more buying, no more selling. I didn't write much about it because, in the back of my mind, I feared that I would someday return to my wicked, wicked ways of collection and accumulation.

After about a year, it happened. I fell off the turnip truck and relapsed.

It started innocently enough. A work acquaintance of my wife announced that he was giving away his record collection. It was a long story but here are the details: The collection had been in storage for years, he was losing his storage space, and he didn't want the baggage anymore. He set up a time for several interested parties (myself included) to come by and help themselves to the all-you-can-eat record smorgasbord. "Okay," I thought to myself, "I'll just look through some records, pick out a few that I like and be on my merry way." That didn't happen.

On that fateful day, I showed up a few fashionable minutes late in order not to seem overanxious. I was relieved to find that there were already four or five guys already going through records like a pack of hyenas feasting on a dead zebra. That was okay with me - I would have felt uncomfortable being the sole scavenger at the kill-site.

The collection was nothing if not eclectic. The owner of collection had been collecting since his childhood (so he said) in the 70's. He worked in a series of record stores in the 80's and seemed to have lost interest in staying contemporary about 1990. It followed a logical course. It seemed to start with 70's rock and singer-songwriter stuff, onto 80's new wave, followed by world music/reggae, which seemed to run concurrently with jazz, blues, and the Great American Songbook.

I tried to be selective, but ended up going into a familiar zombie-like trance and seemed to start pulling records out at random, stopping occasionally to wipe the foam from my mouth and chin. Here is a sampling of what I will admit to bringing home. As usual, there is no order.

Joe Cocker - "With a Little Help From My Friends". The best part about this record is the cover - it's great for frightening children. I told my son that if he keeps making faces, his face will freeze that way and he will look like this. My second choice comment would be that Joe Cocker looks like the conjoined twin growing out of Andre the Giant's ribcage.

Bob Dylan - "Great White Wonder". This is not an original, but a 1970-ish reissue credited to "Dupre and his Miracle Sound." Still a nice artifact.

This is Duke Ellington. There were a bunch of compilations like this, and I opted to keep the two-disc set on the flimsy 70's "flexi-disc" format.

Chester and Lester x2. Chet Atkins without all the goopy strings meets Les Paul without all the bells and whistles. I can live with that compromise.

Big Country. I used to like this and I wonder if I still do.

Joe Jackson. His first three or four albums were great. Then he got all "artistic."

Louis Armstrong, multiple jazz comps on Verve and Blue Note. Maybe I really like this stuff and maybe I just like the prestige of having tasteful jazz in my collection. Does it make me appear smart and sophisticated? I don't know. Are you impressed?

Marshall Crenshaw, Smithereens. Lumped together for no apparent reason other than a lot of their records are interchangeable but all of them are worth hearing.

Elvis Costello "Almost Blue." I didn't really like it when it came out but I'll give it another chance.

Peter Tosh "Equal Rights" and "Legalize It." I saw Peter Tosh play the Roxy once. While his drummer(s) were taking an extended solo, he smoked a spliff the size of a horse's leg. Twenty-seven years later, I can finally pass a drug test.

The Specials. I've had several copies of the first Specials album but they've all skipped. Why do I think that this one won't?

Kinks. "Misfits" and their 1980 live album. You really can't go too wrong here.

Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Art Pepper. Listening to these artists may or may not make me smarter, but having the records will make me look smarter. Writing about them, however, will only expose my pretensions.

Santo and Johnny w/"Sleepwalk", Bo Diddley, Richie Valens. Original vinyl from the 50's. Rendered almost worthless as true collectibles due to their "beat to hell" condition, but still really cool.

Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. I love drums. Some of the music is borderline cheesy Dixieland, but the solos are great.

Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis. I really like the popular 50's jazz like this if only for the sake of offending snooty jazz snobs.

The Clash "London Calling" w/lyric sheet. One of my favorite albums ever, but at some point during the last 30 years, the lyric sheet to my vinyl copy of London Calling disappeared. Now I can once again read along as I listen. For those of you that have trouble with Joe Strummer's enunciation, the last line of "The Right Profile" is - as written - "ARRRGHHHGORRA BUH BHUH DO ARRRRGGGGHHHHNNNN!!!!"

The Clash "Cut The Crap" This is a terrible album. It has no redeeming value. I've owned and discarded two previous copies. This album's place in my collection could not be justified as being either a sick curiosity or because I wanted the complete Clash catalog. I justify keeping this copy for the reason of preventing someone else from having it and therefore besmirching their collection. I just have to remind myself not to actually listen to it - ever.

It is one of my goals to remove the guilt from guilty pleasures, for example:
Foghat "Live," You know you really want to hear a twelve minute version of "Slow Ride." Admit it.
Bad Company (s/t) I remember buying this album for 3.88 at the Wherehouse in the Orange Mall when I was 12. "Can't Get Enough" has a great story - Mick Ralphs wrote it while with Mott the Hoople to humiliate Ian Hunter, because Hunter had the vocal range of an Easy Bake oven and couldn't sing it.

The Alarm. I saw this band three times in the 80's - once on purpose and twice by accident.

Anthologies of Ian Hunter, Lou Reed. I also got a bunch of Lou Reed solo albums. I wish there were more Ian Hunter albums.

Lou Reed "Take No Prisoners" is the best live album of all time. Grumpy Lou heckles his audience for an hour while his band plays jazz-fusion versions of his songs behind him. Better than both "James Brown Live at Budokan" and "Cheap Trick Live at the Apollo" put together.

Barbarella soundtrack. Great pseudo-psychedelic music from the only good Jane Fonda movie.

The Monkees "Greatest Hits". Give me a good fake band over a bad "real" band any day.

Badfinger had great hits but spotty albums.

Grand Funk, Thin Lizzy. If I don't hear "American Band" or "Jailbreak" on any given classic rock radio station for a couple days, it's good to know that I have easy access to them.

I have resigned myself to the fact that I must always have a copy of "Frampton Comes Alive." Every time I get rid of one, another one shows up out of nowhere.

Wes Montgomery, Jimmy Smith (lots of both). More nice jazz that even I can understand.

Several BB King albums. I like my blues like I like my jazz - pop infected and easily accessible.

Rufus Thomas "Walking the Dog." Original on the Stax label. Thrashed almost beyond recognition and a definite keeper.

Nat King Cole. Here we have a pretty good compilation covering his earlier stuff including the best version of "Route 66" that will ever be done. Here is my bit about "Route 66" - it's a great song and almost impossible to screw up - both the Stones and the Cramps did it credibly - but I find it impossible to listen to the Brian Setzer or Wayne Hancock versions. When Brian Setzer did it, he wrongly sang "Reno" instead of "Kingman." Reno is nowhere near Route 66! We're talking about 500 miles! It's a good thing that Brian Setzer doesn't drive his own bus. I've been to both places and I admit that Reno is nicer, but you just can't go messing with geography like that. Wayne "The Train" Hancock pronounces "route" as "rowt" and that's just plain wrong - Texas Schmexas. When Chuck Berry recorded "Route 66" he pronounced "Barstow" as "Bars-Kow" but that doesn't really bother me.

Did this appease my savage vinyl bloodthirst? No, it only awakened the slumbering giant. What happened next was somewhat predictable. About a week later, I got the following email:

"For those of you who missed the great LP giveaway last week, you'll have one more opportunity. Five (collectors) did show up last Friday and relieved me of some 800+ albums, but that still leaves me with nearly 2000 lps looking for good homes! (This) will absolutely be the last opportunity, though, for anyone who might be interested in adding to their collection. All are welcome to come, browse, and take!"

So I showed up. The usual suspects had been back for another scrounging but had only taken another couple hundred. There were still about 1400 records left. I volunteered to rescue them from becoming landfill. Instead of responding verbally, he simply began loading boxes of records into the back of my small pick-up truck like they were sacks of steaming cow pies and let it be known that I should leave before I changed my mind.
His recovery was my relapse.

Out of the second lot of records, I managed to give away a few hundred, kept a few, traded a few, kept a few more, sold a couple, kept a couple more, and donated the rest. Some of the records mentioned in this piece were actually from the second batch, but I lost track of what was what.

Postscript: If you would like to view or purchase the remainder of the collection, go to the Goodwill store on Tustin near the 22 in Orange.

Post-Postscript: I have since moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. More on that later.
My entire LP collection fit comfortably into only ten moving boxes. When I moved back to OC from Seattle eight years ago, I needed twenty-four boxes.

Recovery is a long, dirty, dusty, winding, gravel-strewn road littered with run-on sentences and the bloated corpses of collectors who can't say "no."