I wasn’t really planning on writing about my latest adventure at yet another record collectors’ swap meet, but after seeing a feature article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the event, I decided to reconsider. Since you just read said article (you read it, right? Go read it!), I’ll just jump into the meat of my finds. The cool things about this meet were (a) it was pretty well attended and (b) the dealers were being more realistic about their pricing. This means that attendees could pick up cool bargains they might not find elsewhere, which in fact is the reason I go to these things. Keep an eye on your local free press for listings or pick up a copy of Record Collectors News at your favorite shop or, heck, drop a few bucks and subscribe to Goldmine Magazine.
Here are some of my choice finds:
I have long wanted to own a copy of this classic of the doo wop genre of rock ‘n roll music called The Paragons Meet The Jesters. But it has always been too pricey for me in decent condition and I’ve never found a copy at a garage sale or a thrift shop. This one is both in good condition and reasonable — sold at half off its already cheap $30 price tag. This classic “rumble” cover art apparently shocked many back in the day.
I also got a sweet copy of The Flying Platters, the third LP by this pioneering rock/doo wop vocal group, which is usually hard to find in decent shape. That I got a copy for $5 is all the more thrilling.
Cool White Label Promos: I also found neat obscure WLPs, including Mott The Hoople’s Mad Shadows LP, Paul Stookey’s first solo album, and The Beach Boys’ In Concert from 1972.
This weekend I got my very first Vogue Picture Music records ever — and for cheap! Usually these things command fairly high prices since they were made only for about a year in the mid 1940s. Its not uncommon to see these going for $100 apiece. So imagine my thrill to be able to get three for $20! I think the seller just was tired of carrying them around from record show to record show. My Win! This is one of the ones I got, a very fun disc, for certain…
I also picked up a mint original pressing of the obscure late period Instant Replay album by The Monkees, which features Mike, Davy, and Mickey, but no Peter. Maybe they’ll play some tracks from this overlooked gem on the upcoming reunion tour. We’ll see.
Meet The Chipmunks I got a sweet upgrade on the first Chipmunks album (when they still looked like actual rodents) on excellent condition clear red vinyl for $5.
Shorty Sez: I’ve been picking up records by west coast jazzmeister Shorty Rogers and am particularly enjoying this 1961 set on Frank Sinatra’s then-new Reprise Records label (for $2.50!). I also got his 1950s-era Wizard of Oz tribute on RCA Victor for a mere $5 (I’ve seen it going commonly for $25).
Buckinghams: I got a sweet upgrade of the second LP by The Buckinghams, this one a promo autographed by two of the remaining key original members who still tour, for $5 in mint condition!
UK Jam: I’ve been getting into The Jam late in life, so finding a mint original UK press of This Is The Modern World for $5 was a deal!
Seeing Clearly 3D: Normally, I wouldn’t be buying an LP by Johnny “I Can See Clearly Now” Nash, but this cover was pretty cool, as it features a lenticular 3D cover image of Johnny. And for $4 it was a no-brainer. Sounds real nice too!
Mr. Magoo too! Who knew that Jim Backus (the voice of Mr. Magoo) made a record in 1956 for RCA? I haven’t listened to this one yet, but the cover is a gem and should be made into a t-shirt!
Live Noise: A live recording by Bill Nelson’s short lived Red Noise? That’s what I said when I found this 12-inch UK single with two live B-side tracks from 1979.
Norman Granz’ Jazz at The Philharmonic series often have really fascinating cover art, including some by David Stone Martin. This one is unidentified with regards to the the artist, but the graphic is really fascinating, and was only $3 (the disc is beat up but now I can upgrade that when I find a better condition copy).
CDs too: I got some great bargain CDs for $2 each, so am now checking out releases I missed long the way, including artists such as The Hives, Joshua Redman, Interpol, The The, and more.
And so goes on the plight of the obsessive music collector.
Just another day in the life…