Sunday, 15 September 2013
Jubt On: Digging In NZ
An excerpt from issue #2 of the Soultearoa Shakedown:
JUBT ON: DIGGING IN NZ
As every NZ record digger knows, finding funky record pre-internet in the land of the wrong white crowd was 97% perspiration, 1% inspiration, 2% unaccounted for.
I don't know how our uncles, grandparents and mates partied, but as the collections in junk stores, op shops, and the few remaining regional and suburban record nooks attest, for every one James Brown, Pleasure, or Gwen McCrae record, there are hundreds of South Pacific and Pal Joey soundtracks, Mrs Mills, Foster And Allen et al.
I liked to think I had put in work digging out nuggets in suburban oases such as Jim's Record Spot in Panmure, Revenge Records in Hunters Corner, and many fly-by-nighters over Auckland and beyond. My best ever funky haul was from the pre-TradeMe-era's essential, the Trade And Exchange.
An elderly English gent answered the phone and explained he was divesting himself of his collection, due to its size. After an excited drive to darkest suburban Henderson, I was lead into a small room with every surface covered in the records collected in thirty years of collecting soul and jazz LPs. The gent's name as been lost in the alcohol addled recesses of my memory, but he was clearing the decks of everything "for her", and I walked out that day with an armful of prime sixties and seventies soul, including my first taste of Young Holt Trio, some heavyweight jazz LPs - and pocketed change from thirty dollars.
This would have been 1995 or so, and the old fella had recorded his favourites onto tape. His loss was my gain, and the funky nuggets are still in circulation Thursday nights from 8-10pm on Base FM's 'The Boil Up'.
A small selection of notable NZ digging spots that we frequented circa the mid-'90s:
~ Jim's Record Spot, Panmure (they used to have one in henderson too, apparently)
~ Revival Records, Victoria Street, then up to K' Rd
~ Record Exchange, St. Kevin's Arcade and K' Rd
~ Revenge Records, Hunters Corner
~ Truetone Records (seven stores Auckland-wide - Remuera Rd recalled most fondly)
~ Marbecks and Real Groovy Records (of course)
~ Slowboat Records, Wellington
~ Galaxy Records, Christchurch; Echo Christchurch and Dunedin
~ Ima Hitt and Missing Link, New Plymouth
~ Corner Records (Queen St. and Lorne Sts), Auckland
That's just the record stores. Many small towns could be depended upon to have generous record bins, such as the plentiful Wellsford Second Hand Traders, and second hand book shops in Whangamata and Thames.
We'd love to hear some of your memories of crate digging and record buying in NZ, particularly from the '70s or earlier! Please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recommended reading: www.audioculture.co.nz and www.opdiner.com
Issue #2 of the Soultearoa Shakedown was published the coincide with the NZ Soul All Dayer held at the Britomart Country Club on Saturday 17 August 2013.