Sunday, September 5, 2010

Still Down In The Groove Record Collecting LP's Still A Vinyl Junkie

Click and double click on the above in order to enlarge and read it.
By the way I did not buy those records someone else did. There was not much interest in those records since they were library records and some if not all had significant wear on the vinyl. But there were some interesting spoken word LPs among them. That was about all of value there. The other music was common and commerically not of value.

I just happened to be in the library when the Washington Post sent a photographer over to photograph them and they asked if I would pose for the picture. The other guy is someone who worked in the library back then. This article and photograph appeared in the Washington Post on April 7th,1999.

Record Collecting is a great hobby and a great way to learn all about the history of recorded music. And the joy of finding rare LP's in out of the way places. I have been doing this since 1979.

I will tell some record collecting stories from time to time. Some great finds stand out as good memories.

I had a friend who I had bought records from in the past. He collected vintage glassware but he would call me if he found some records. He called me to say he had some records for me and to meet him on Sat. morning at an estate sale out in Fairfax,Va. I said O.K. Sat. is the busiest day of the week for yard sales and estate sales so I told him I would meet him early at the address he gave me.

When I got out there it was around 6am and it was still dark. I went up on the porch and there was no light. I saw a pad of white paper on the door. I thought great these are the "numbers". Numbers are given out to try and create order and avoid a mob scene at sales.

I took the piece of white paper out into the street under the street light. It was blank. Obviously not numbers. I found out later the guy who lived in that house(he was deceased) used that pad for his friends to write notes on when he wasn't home. A real old fashioned message system to say the least.

Finally my friend showed up. The records he had to show me were not what I was looking for but I decided to stick around for the sale since I was already there.
The owner of the house had died of pancreatic cancer. He willed all the contents of his house(and maybe the house also)to his church and they were running the estate sale. That is very uncommon.

His house looked to be in such bad condition that it was ready to be condemned.
When the sale started we were among the first inside. I went into what was some kind of greenhouse just off the living room. Inside were many plants and quite a few 45 rpm records. I started looking through those. Not many buyers had showed up at this point. This sale had been poorly advertised. They did hang some signs outside as I recall.

After a few minutes my friend came into the greenhouse and told me that I had better come in the living room that there were a lot of records there in a cabinet.
I went in there in a hurry. No other record collectors or dealers had shown up at this point.

Over in a cabinet in a corner was a large collection of LPS. I started at the top in the cabinet. It was a real fine collection of rock and roll from A to Z. But as I pulled each one out to examine it for condition I found that all the records were badly scratched. The owner had drunk himself to death I found out later. Obviously he was drunk when he played his records and he scratched them all. None were in condition good enough to buy but I kept looking. Finally I got to the bottom shelf.
There I found the jazz records. It was a really good collection of modern jazz and they were NOT scratched. None of them had any marks on them. He had died before he got down that far. I bought several hundred and headed home.

Before I left I looked at the rest of what was in the house. He had collected American Indian artifacts and prints and pictures and feathers and such. The back yard was some kind of interesting garden gone to rack and ruin and seed.

When I got to my car the fellow in the car parked next to me was calling someone to get their opinion on what he had seen inside.
He was smart because it was not clear whether the pictures inside were merely copies and not worth much if anything at all.

The rule of thumb in going to these sales is stick with what you know.