Let’s just call it being in the right place at the right time… divine intervention seems too strong a term (even though that’s how it feels).
I had previously written about going to our local record store 4000 Holes to pick up a gift for my wife. There ended up being more to the story than just that…
Just before I was ready to check out, a woman came in the store requesting the owner look at some used records she was trying to sell. The owner asked her to bring in the used vinyl and he would take a look.
The woman and her elderly aunt had about 10 boxes of moldy musty records in the trunk of their car. I don’t like to standing there with my hands empty so I pitched in to help. What I saw was amazing!
I recognized several record spines: Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, Miles Davis, Soft Machine. There was more weird jazz in some of these boxes and I had ever seen.
The owner of the store went through these boxes rather quickly and proceeded to pull 20 + records for his resale. Some of these I recognized: David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust record, Frank Zappa – 200 Motels, The Police – Synchronicity, and Bing Crosby – Greatest Hits.
I was amazed when he offered the woman some cash for the 20-some records and suggested that she donate the remainder to local charity for tax write off… there was black gold in those crates! After their deal was done I helped the woman load the remainder back up in her car and asked the record store owner if it would be okay if I offered buy some of the things he didn’t take.
“Sure!” he said “be my guest!”
Now, I’ve had some sketchy record exchange experiences over the last 10 months but this was a new one for me. I proposed that the woman pull into the alley behind the record store where I was parked and that she let me look through her collection and I would buy her leftovers for $1 per disc…
What was left behind really surprised me! Many well-known jazz artists (though no titles that I recognized). Artists like Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, Ornette Coleman and Charles Mingus!
There were Blue Note, Verve, Impulse, and many foreign labels I had never seen before!
I found three Miles Davis records: Get Up With It, Workin’ And Steamin’, and In A Silent Way… Most had some mold or water damage to them, but the damage seemed to be superficial to the covers only. From what I could see, the vinyl remained in visibly VG condition.
And then I saw it: I couldn’t believe my eyes! Included in these boxes was a Track Records pressing of The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland. You know, the one with all the naked women on the cover:
I could barely contain myself! Every record picker I know is looking for this exact album!
I’m still stunned and amazed at my good fortune to be in the right place at the right time here! As far as I can tell, most of these records have been well cared for for most of their lives. Unfortunately they had been improperly stored recently (which probably accounts for most of the mildew and damage, but quite a few of them have cleaned up and played admirably.
The funny thing is I wasn’t even supposed to be at the record store when this happened. I typically go quite a bit earlier in the afternoon. But, because I was sharing a great day with my wife, I got a late start on my record picking adventures… which led to this.
I must have done something right somewhere along the line. Thank You karma!