PCC Swap Meet (on 3-6-11)


PCC Swap Meet (on 3-6-11)

Last Sunday, we returned to the Pasadena City College swap meet, after a long absence.  Ever since they moved the ‘record collector’ part of the show up into the parking structure, it hasn’t been the same.  Still with a bit of persistence, I found some oddball vinyl stuff last Sunday – alas, no 7” singles!

HISEMAN, JOHN A NIGHT IN THE SUN, KUCKUCK DE LP ’82 solo album by the drummer of Colosseum and Tempest; recorded in Brazil, $6

LOVE AND MONEY STRANGE KIND OF LOVE, FONTANA UK LP British pressing, gatefold cover, never seen a copy before!  Weird letter from the ‘radio promo’ label folks to “Hip FM DJ’s” included – imagine sending an LP to a radio station in 1988!, $6

MENTAL AS ANYTHING BRAIN BRAIN, A&M US 12″ promo-only 12” single in a plain black sleeve; Long version / short version, $2

MENTAL AS ANYTHING IF YOU LEAVE ME CAN I COME TOO?, A&M US 12″ promo-only 12” single in a plain black sleeve, $2

MERCURY, ERIC s/t, MERCURY US LP promo ’75 amazing R&B LP (I am only missing one Eric Mercury LP now), and this is still not on CD in 2011, $4

PROPAGANDA DR. MABUSE, ZTT UK 12″ W/PS (12 ZTAS 2) I never saw a copy of this before, only ever the Japanese version (Polystar JPN 13SI-238) $6

YELLO I LOVE YOU, ELEKTRA US 12″ promo-only 12” single, cover rubber stamped “Special AOR Mix” – 3 tracks, $2

I was told (by 2 different people, no less) that the records I was looking through belonged to a single individual, one of whom was designated “a reviewer”.

Also found a few cheap CD’s:



GILMOUR, DAVID s/t, COLUMBIA US CD re-mastered, sealed, $5


V.A. SUMMER OF LOVE Vol. 1, RHINO US CD, ’92 CD of late 60’s hits, $2

I have to be honest, I don’t buy many CD’s at swap meets.  But I am a sucker for inexpensive Realworld label CD; the Gilmour titles got re-mastered when all the Pink Floyd titles got re-mastered, I guess – and I do like those albums.  I got the Leo Kottke for it’s Procol Harum cover version.  And the Rhino compilation CD is a nice effort, with some off stuff on it – there are maybe 6 tracks here that I did not already own on CD.

So, last Sunday was a good day for my record collector persona.  I literally do not know where I could’ve found any of this stuff in a store, much less for the prices paid (in cash) at the swap meet.  Makes me want to go to more swap meets!

Record Collector Nostalgia #1


Record Collector Nostalgia #1 (12” Singles)

For some reason, I always get into a Record Collector Nostalgia mode around the beginning of December.

I started working at Licorice Pizza Records in July, 1976 – approx. 2 days before the USA Bi-centennial.  Disco / dance music was popular, but it interested neither myself or my friends much.  12” were a real curiosity.  I think the first one I kept was John Miles “Slow Down” on London.  There was always the question:  “Where do we put these?”, as it was too early for there to be enough of them to fill a bin.  By 1978 they were a bit more common – and the 12” single fully arrive by 1980 or so.

There was a time when if I got a 12” single of something, I did not necessarily try to find a 7” of it.  These days, I am happy to have one or the other, or both – particularly with groups like Simple Minds.  There are even instances where the 7” has tracks not on the 12”, and certainly vice-versa.

After “Saturday Night Fever” got to be so big, even a rock-n-roll record store had to have disco 12” singles.  I also remember 12” single stores in Hollywood – Prime Cuts, for instance.  I always liked 12” stores – they never knew what to do with the material I liked – Kraftwerk, anything from England etc.  I found my Damned “Eddie & The Hot Rods” cover at a disco store, for $1.  I still have my promo-only US Kraftwerk 12” singles.

The most preferable ones were British 12” singles that had covers, inner sleeves and spines.  It took a few years for Japanese 12” singles to show up, but they eventually did – I treasure my Sade 12” singles from Japan – they sound good, too.

The poor cousin of the 12” single is, of course, the 10” single.  They just get lost, when you put them in the A-Z bin.  There are some great ones – notably The Method Actors “Rhythms Of You” (it finally made it to CD recently).  I love to collect these, and I have eBay’d some nice Kirsty MacColl ones.

Much later, I came to value 12” singles because I understood that until much more recently, not many 12” mixes of things ever made it to LP or CD – with artists like Grace Jones.  It’s fun to try and guess how many BPM something is – I saw a watch in a store recently that determines this arcane fact.  Is this 45 or 33 1/3?  A fade or cold ending?

When re-buying my vinyl collection, I always had good luck in San Francisco finding Scritti Politti 12” singles – and other similar material.  Yet there are some that you just never see at all – like any Rupert Hine ones (Damn it, I’ve got Thinkman 12” singles, but I cannot lay my hands on any Rupert Hine solo ones).

So, an old memory:  “Where do we put these 12” singles?”  Who will buy them?  By “Saturday Night Fever”, the answer was obvious: lots of people. Denizens of the dancefloor, Gangsters of the Groove, Boogie Oogie Oogie!

Writing to Record Companies


Writing to Record Companies

I started writing to record companies when I was about 11 or 12 years old.  Sitting here at 52 years old, I don’t remember my exact approach – perhaps I wrote inquiring about a specific record?  or a whole ‘line’ of records?  The letter posted today is from Phonogram in Chicago.

I am pretty sure I wrote to them asking which LP’s they were going to be releasing on their new Vertigo label.  I don’t think they sent me a catalogue or anything, just a form letter telling me “Thanks for your interest”.  The letter shown here is from 1971, approximately.

I also wrote to the Decca Record Company ltd. in London – no doubt asking about The Rolling Stones.  They sent me a lovely catalogue of Rolling Stones titles, right around the time of the “Stone Age” compilation.

I wrote to Island Records in London at least twice, as I have two sets of early 70’s UK Island catalogues in my possession.

When I wrote to Virgin Records in England, they sent me a giant poster for Gong “Angel’s Egg”!  They would put my inquiry around 1973 / 4.  I think before they were a big record label, they were a chain of record shops in England that had a mail-order service.

Speaking of mail-order, I remember ordering records from King Carol Records in New York City.  Somehow, I found out about them, and I wrote, requesting a catalogue, which duly arrived.  My ‘find’ from there was the first time I ever encountered The Dusk ‘Till Dawn Orchestra “Sea Drift” LP on Elektra Records – Mort Garson!

And, of course, I once ran a mail-order company, ANZ Imports.  Our specialty was vinyl from Australia and New Zealand.  Another ‘arm’ of the company sold Japanese-pressed Blue Note jazz LP’s (that were all out of print in the US in the 80’s).

So, mail-order has always had a presence in my record collecting universe.  I usually never hesitated to write to artists whose music I enjoyed.  I wrote to (and joined) countless ‘fan clubs’ over the years.  Recently, my It Bites fan club folder fell out of an LP copy of their 2nd album, when I opened it up – so, was 1989 the last time I joined an “Appreciation Society” for a band?  Maybe…

I am presently experimenting with an idea for a small mail-order record distributor that I would own and run.  I would only stock records / CD’s that I actually liked and / or could wholly recommend.  I would contact my artist friends directly, and request to distribute their stuff; I might also generate a small re-issue label – for stuff like Lavvi Ebbel and I Am Joe’s Music – artists that nobody else is likely to ever want to re-issue.  It’s just a thought at the moment, but… Just what the world needs: another record company.

Grace Jones – 12″ Singles


Grace Jones – 12” Singles

12″ AMADO MIO                                                                                               MANHATTAN US    V 15551

1990 4 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″ APPLE STRETCHING, THE                                                                   ISLAND UK              12WIP 6779

1982 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

12″ BREAKDOWN                                                                                           ISLAND US              PRO-A-920

1980 3 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

12″ CRUSH                                                                                                      MANHATTAN US    SPRO-9981

1985 3 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

12″ CRY NOW, LAUGH LATER                                                                    ISLAND US              0-99916

1983 3 TRKS no pic sleeve

12″ DO OR DIE                                                                                                ISLAND US              IS 1008

1978 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″ HUNTER GETS CAPTURED BY THE GAME                                      ISLAND UK              12WIP 6645

1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″ HUNTER GETS CAPTURED BY THE GAME promo                         ISLAND US              PRO-A-892

1980 1 TRK promo, no pic sleeve; 1-sided

12″ I NEED A MAN                                                                                           BEAM JUNCTION   12BJ 1004

1977 2 TRKS with pic sleeve (’76 recordings)

12″ I NEED A MAN                                                                                           CLEVER FR            8420

1984 4 TRKS with pic sleeve (’76 recordings)

12″ I’M NOT PERFECT                                                                                   MANHATTAN UK    12MT 15

1986 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″ JA GUYS / NIPPLE TO THE BOTTLE                                                   ISLAND US              0-99964

1982 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

12″ LOVE IS THE DRUG                                                                                ISLAND UK              12IS 266

1985 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″ LOVE ON TOP OF LOVE                                                                         MANHATTAN US    V 15508

1989 4 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″ ON YOUR KNEES                                                                                    ISLAND US              DISD 8869

1979 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″ PARTY GIRL                                                                                              MANHATTAN US    56050.1

1987 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″ PULL UP TO THE BUMPER                                                                  ISLAND UK              12WIP 6696

1981 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″ PULL UP TO THE BUMPER (Remix)                                                   ISLAND CAN           IS 1089

1986 3 TRKS with pic sleeve, ‘Megamix’

12″ PULL UP TO THE BUMPER (Remix)                                                   ISLAND UK              12IS 240

1985 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″ SEX DRIVE                                                                                                ISLAND US              535500.1

1993 4 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″ SHE’S LOST CONTROL / PRIVATE LIFE                                            ISLAND UK              12WIP 6629

1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″ SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM                                                                       ISLAND UK              12IS 206

1985 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″ SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM                                                                       MANHATTAN US    56012

1985 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″ WALKING IN THE RAIN / PULL UP TO THE BUMPER (Remix)      ISLAND UK              12WIP 6739

1981 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

Grace Jones is an artist that is all about 12” singles.  Despite there being a wonderful 2CD collection, many of these are still not on CD, as of 2010.  I saw her in concert at the Hollywood Bowl in 2009 – fabulous show!  Where’s the DVD of “Grace Jones – A One Man Show”?  I still have my Beta Hi-fi and laser disc copy!  Wonderful Wally Badarou keyboards on many of these fine 12” singles.  Doubtlessly, I am missing a few, but I have tried to find all of her 12” singles.