You ever pop into a favorite pub, have a couple of beers and the bartender gives you a free one? Kind of like saying “Hey, you come in here often, spend some money and aren’t a douche… have one on me!”
Something kind of like that happened recently at the local record store 4000 Holes.
I’d been in and out of that place dozens of times, almost always lighter in the wallet when leaving. The owner, an older guy with an encyclopedic knowledge of The Beatles, was always nice to me and patiently answered my dumb questions… but I didn’t think he ever remembered that I’d been in before.
This time he had just acquired a personal collection of some thousands of records from the estate of either a concert promoter, DJ or record store owner. The records, mostly 60-80 rock was almost all in near mint condition. Many were promos including recommended track lists, tour dates and the like. There were so many records that it overflowed the “New Arrivals” section of the record racks and he had built a temporary rack to handle the processed pieces from this collection.
The rest, undiscovered, un-molested and un-priced, were in a dozen or more boxes on the floor in front of the counter.
“Would it be OK if I looked through these?” I asked sheepishly. “Sure, go ahead!”
There were dozens of things in these boxes that I craved, but being more on a thrift store budget, I focused on a few records that filled gaps in The Collection… Heart, CCR, Rush, an unplayed British pressing of Second Chapter from Danny Kirwan (for an upcoming Fleetwood Mac Friday).
I also found this:
U2’s 1983 release War.
I’m kind of in the same boat with U2 that I was/am in with Fleetwood Mac; I know quite a bit about some of their career and almost nothing about other bits. I’d like to remedy this.
I first heard U2 on their live Under a Blood Red Sky Red Rocks album:
And I was quite a fan of the songs Gloria and I Will Follow, neither from this record.
Anyway, this particular copy had a water stained cover… but the antistatic sleeve the vinyl was in protected the record. The vinyl looked VG+… I wonder what he’ll take for this.
At the counter, he looked a few things up (the Import Kirwan), knew precisely what others would cost and started to tally things up. We haggled a bit over price, but when I looked around and started to consider what it would take to maintain the overhead of this record shop; the power and lights, heat in the winter, AC all summer… all based on dudes like me walking in the door (open 6 days a week) and dropping a few bucks…
Do I really need to talk him down $5? $10? What if everyone did that, would this place survive?
Finally, I just told him straight up, “Whatever you price them at is OK. I love coming in this store and want it to do well. Just ring ‘em up!” He got through the CCR and Heart, reminisced a bit about the Kirwan, added the Rush and tossed the U2 on the pile. “That one’s on me. With that water damage… I couldn’t put it out on the floor anyway. I hope you enjoy it.”
I do. I most certainly do!