Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My “Hippie” Record Collection


My “Hippie” Record Collection

I recently got the first three Jimi Hendrix Experience albums on CD – the re-mastered by Eddie Kramer editions, all of which come with a short film on DVD, about that particular album. Watching the DVD’s, I thought to myself: “Man, if I would’ve known everything that Eddie Kramer is saying about how they recorded these albums back then!” – I would’ve dug ‘em even more than I did.

So, what else did an 11-year-old Ron have in his record collection? My tastes in rock music back then were very much subject to the tastes of my brother and sisters. I could only really easily hear whatever was in my grasp – in my house (or the houses of my childhood friends). Bob Dylan records – everything from “Bringing It All Back Home” to “John Wesley Harding”; Big Brother & The Holding Company, the first album and ”Cheap Thrills”; Country Joe & The Fish, the first three albums; Jefferson Airplane “Surrealistic Pillow”, “After Bathing At Baxter’s” & “Crown of Creation”; Cream – as many LP’s & 45’s as we could find!; Frank Zappa: “Freak Out”, “Absiolutely Free”, “We’re Only In It For The Money”, “Lumpy Gravy” and “Cruisin’ With Ruben & The Jets” (the original version of which recently made it’s CD debut); Traffic – first three albums; Procol Harum – first four albums; The Moody Blues – “In Search Of The Lost Chord” and “Days of Future Passed”; The Fugs – all their ESP label albums; The Who “Happy Jack” and “The Who Sell Out” – my brother sent me “Direct Hits” from Germany, so it was then called “The Best Of” (Polydor Germany); The Doors – as many LP’s ads had been released at the time; Love – certainly the first three albums; “Cosmic Sounds of the Zodiac”; my sisters had records by Judy Collins and Leonard Cohen, too. And, of course, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. I recently played my mono UK LP’s for “Between The Buttons” and “Aftermath”; same goes for “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver”! Nice, clean UK mono original LP’s.

There were, of course, many more – but these are the ones that immediately came to my memory – what if I had to re-collect my “hippie” record collection? I would start with the above mentioned titles. White bread suburban “hippie” records. Not exactly counter-culture – but I do definitely remember having a hard time with my dad about Jimi Hendrix (being black). Good thing he didn’t examine any lyrics sheets back then (well, there weren’t many anyway) – but I think he would also have objected to some of the lyrics on records by Frank Zappa, Country Joe & The Fish or The Fugs.

Before the 1970’s, it really helped to know the above described music – it made you conversant with other similarly-inclined young people – but, of course, I was “too young” to ever really be accepted by real “hippies” (any who didn’t work at record stores). Part of my late 60’s experience was being treated nicely by “hippies” who worked at “hippie record stores” – the two names that spring to mind are Jack Baker at the Licorice Pizza, 131 W. 5th Street, downtown Long Beach and Wayne at Mundae Records on the Belmont Pier in Belmont Shores, Long Beach. Neither of these guys thought it was weird that a little kid wanted Wild Man Fisher records in 1969.

Special thanks to my dad and brother, both of whom drove me to Hollywood – in search of phonograph records (British imports!).

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