Friday, November 20, 2009

Record Collector Nostalgia 2009 #2

11-20-09 Record Collector Nostalgia 2009 #2

My brother told my dad where to take me in Hollywood to look for British-pressed records. There were a number of stores on Hollywood Blvd. that specialized in having British pressings. I learned at such a young age that British records not looked nice and sounded great – some of them had different songs! And there were British Rolling Stones 45’s that had never been released in the US!

I listened to a lot of AM radio approx. between 1964 and 1969 – I can’t tell you where / when exactly, but the first time I heard Jimi Hendrix was on the portable clock radio – blasting out “Foxey Lady” – I had certainly never heard anything like that before! And Cream was very popular, I was interested in them, too.

At age 10 or so, I was played some psychedelic records – things like Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe & The Fish, The Doors, The Fugs – mostly from my older sister Marilyn. For the most part, this was stuff not being played on the AM radio. I didn’t discover rock music on FM radio until…Crosby Stills & Nash time, likely 1969.

My dad dutifully took me to hippie record stores – Licorice Pizza, Phineas, Mundae, PlatterpussLong Beach, California stores. My mom would take me to places like Cal Store, The Treasury, White Front, Zody’s – not exactly hippie places. The big squaresville store was Wallach’s Music City, in Lakewood, CA. Towards the end of the 60’s, I discovered that you could request records @ Wallach’s (i.e. you could ‘special order’ them). Being a kid, I only had enough money for 45’s, unless I could get my parents to spring for whole LP’s. Wallach’s had the best selection of 45’s, no question.

To give you an idea of how long ago this all was – when I bought my Elvis Presley EP’s @ Wallach’s, they were still in the 45 bin – from the time they were first released! Yes, they had all been re-pressed endlessly – but RCA was still printing and sending out EP’s at that time!

So, my first investigation into “Oldies” came towards the end of the 60’s. In “Status Back Baby” on the 2nd Frank Zappa LP, I was told about The Coasters – so I went in search of that. From a box of records found under a bed, I knew I was interested in Sue Thompson, Freddy Cannon etc. It was likely 1968 when I first tried looking up record stores in the yellow pages of the phone book.

In most of 1969 – 1971, my ‘availability’ consisted of wherever my dad would agree to take me. Our family’s cars had 8-track tape players. I had a small Sony portable reel-to-reel, and a Philips compact cassette recorder. During these years, I also started riding my bike to record stores – The Wherehouse, American Records…and other places that weren’t record stores, per seDooley’s Hardware etc.

Being a child, my concern was – at that stage – where can I get the most music for the least amount of money? Who had the cheapest 45’s? The Singer Sewing Machine Store?

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