Wednesday, May 5, 2010




Follow the population – that’s where the used books, LP’s and CD’s are!

I have lived in the Los Angeles area practically all of my life. I’ve been a serious record collector for about 40 years. I worked in the music business – on and off – from 1976 to about 1998 or so. I still sell stuff (LP’s & CD’s) on eBay. I’ve been writing about music since July, 2002.

Last February, Joe and I drove to Phoenix, AZ to look for used books, LP’s and CD’s. It was the closest large urban area that we could drive to where we hadn’t gone in search of used books, LP’s and CD’s before. We went to 18 records / book stores in a little over 2 days – both of us found a mountain of stuff.

So, in the very near future, he & I are going to drive to the San Francisco bay area in search of used books, LP’s and CD’s. Yes, I was just there a few weeks ago with my GF – but I don’t like to “make her wait” while I sift through the copious piles of used product. We’re going to go through 2 x Amoeba stores, 3 x Streetlight stores and probably 6 x Rasputin’s stores – and next Sunday, we’re going to attend the KUSF Rock’n Swap at McLaren Hall in San Francisco!

So, how does one prepare for a road trip with Joe? I had the Suzuki serviced a few weeks ago (20,000 mile oil change / service), I looked up a ton of stuff on Trip Advisor and Chowhound. I’ve looked at the 10-day weather forecast (dry, clear), the Caltrans website with road conditions etc. Over the course of the last few months, I’ve burned a ton of CD’s.

I think the underlying thought here is that both Joe and I feel like this year will be the last time he & I will be able to drive for a few hours and find used books, LP’s and CD’s in another large urban area. The stores are dropping like flies. Even bookstores in Berkeley and San Francisco are closing! How many of those stores in Phoenix will be there the next time we go there? Streetlight already closed their 24th St. S.F. store, and Rasputin closed their Newark store. I expect Bascom Ave. in San Jose will support both Streetlight and Rasputin stores, as Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley will support both Amoeba and Rasputin stores.

But what about the outlying stuff? Will it still be there the next time he & I have the urge to go foraging for used books, LP’s and CD’s? Also on the books: Yet another visit to Portland, OR. – another city where the used books, LP’s / CD’s stores have vastly changed – even over the short amount of time I have been going up there! No more 23rd street Music Millennium! I’ll be OK as long as Everyday Music is still there!

So, folks…I’m off on a “buying trip” with Joe. I’ll be back Monday night May 10, so likely my next post won’t be until Tues. May 11, 2010. As always, thanks for reading my stuff.


Anonymous said...

I only really did a single "buying trip" with a friend (Charles) and that was when we were going to D.C. to see The Rezillos/Simple Minds one weekend. But the focus of our time, apart from those fine concerts, was music shopping. Ask Charles about the 5+ hours spent in Yesterday & Today Records!

Ron Kane said...

I have seldom spent 5 hours in a record store (well, one that I wasn't already working in!) - Record & Tape Exchange, Notting Hill Gate, London, 1979 - maybe some places in Tokyo...after 2 hours, I usually want to wash my hands, or get something to drink or...

Anonymous said...

It was that good so bodily functions evaporated. I dropped several hundred of the sweetest dollars I've ever had the pleasure of spending in a record store. And everything was so well organized to boot! This wasn't 5+ hours of unfocused meandering. Not by a long shot.