9-27-12 On the Road – Pt. 5
Jazz pianist Bud Powell born 1924, Robbie Shakespeare born 1953 ; 9-27-80 Simple Minds “Empires and Dance” (Arista issue) LP charts at No. 41 in England; 9-27-80 David Bowie “Scary Monsters and Super Creeps” LP was No. 1 in England.
Once my brother got out of the US Air Force, at least I had someone to talk to about rock music. It was still kind of awkward for me to try to talk to guys in record stores.
As Junior High School turned into High School, I somehow found out about the Capitol Records parking lot swap meet, in Hollywood. It used to start at 6:00am on Sunday morning, guys out in the parking lot with flashlights, looking through cardboard boxes of records on the ground; some people set up tables, so you didn’t have to squat to look at records. My brother used to take me there.
After a few short years of this activity, we somehow discovered that the swap meet was starting much earlier than 6:00am! People were coming out the evening before! (Probably, we were on our way home from a concert, we drove past Capitol on our way to the freeway, and saw the people) – Eventually the swap meet moved across the street from Capitol Records…then across town…then I found other swap meets…
It’s difficult to remember how I got around, if my dad or brother didn’t take me places, before I got my first car and learned how to drive. I did have a few friends who already had their licenses, who were game. Most certainly, I had ‘facilitators’, to my ‘cause’ – a cousin, a friend from school, a neighbor…
I did learn how to drive to Hollywood before I learned to drive! It’s roughly 30 miles from my home, and the freeways weren’t all that complicated. And you got off on Hollywood Blvd., or Sunset Blvd.! I knew the way! And I did learn to ask guys in record stores where there were other record stores.
I did start by listening to the AM radio on a little transistor radio, making the transition to bedroom / headphones by the early 70’s / end of the 60’s. I eventually landed on KPFK-FM 90.7, the “Pacifica” station in Los Angeles. After midnight, it went “free form” – and I got to hear an absolute ton of interesting new music! There were a wide variety of DJ’s that I listened to, some of whom I used to call on the phone! “What are you playing now?” “Where’d you get it?” Yep, my “scope” was widening!
Before you have your first job (when you are in school), you don’t have a lot of money. You can get more records if you can find them for sale inexpensively. I have a theory about double / triple albums: Fewer people buy them when new, so fewer double / triple albums make it to the after-market easily. I remember when $3.00 was too high of a price to pay for a used LP. A new album only cost $2.98 (in a discount store).
When LP’s only listed for $4.98 / $5.98, it was possible to find almost anything for 99 cents or less. If you looked at enough places.