Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Most Unlikely Place I Acquired Records (Pt. 1)

'The Most Unlikely Place I Acquired Records' (Pt. 1)

'The Hidden Vinyl Goldmine'
Living in Indonesia for close to ive years was bloody frustrating. Despite the hunt - which never stopped - I didn't ever see a decent second-hand (or new for that matter) vinyl stash. Moving to Thailand I assumed it would much the same. How wrong I was. A million GIs in the late 1960s, 25 million tourists a year since then and a sophisticated and worldly local market all demanded music. I trawled the second-hand stores in Chinatown with little luck - a million people had been there bfore and they were increasingly farang unfriendly. I hit the weekend markets and they were sparse too. And then I hit the motherlode - or at least an inkling of what the motherlode would be: I found a small store in Upper Sukhumvit that specialised in old turntables (the first of many such stores I've found since, but we're not talking about the turntable mall today.) It had vinyl too. Tons of it. I walked out with about 30 still sealed Philadelphia International albums for just over $50. The week after, digging around up north of the central city I found a junk store - with a wall of 12" vinyl dating back to the 1970s. Where is it? I'm not telling. I'm also not telling about the store that has thousands of Japanese records, or the old guy with a hidden room of '80s boogie, or...

Soultearoa Shakedown recommends the Audio Culture and Simon Grigg websites.


I was lucky enough to be in Bermuda for the 2002 Jazz Festival. The place was buzzing - and it was my birthday. I stumbled across a record store on Queen Street called Music Box, owned and operated by Eddy Demello (owner of Duane Records). We got chatting about the Jazz Festival and all things soul. He then dusted off about six crates of wax, some 300 records. I purchased 250 of those 300 for, well, not a lot, to be honest. After a few hours in the shop drinking rum, Eddy asked if I would be keen to spin a few tunes (the recently purchased ones) at the after party for the Jazz Festival - which was obviously a big fat yes. To cut a very long story short, I ended up playing tunes and dancing with Herbie Hancock, Roy Ayers, George Duke and India Arie to the wee hours of the morning. A once in a lifetime event. Eddy was an amazing character and a man who liked hats. He passed away in March this year, so I'll be busting out some of the tunes I picked up in Bermuda. Oh, and one of the LPs I purchased was 'Spacing Out' by the Invaders - currently worth around US$1500.


The strangest place I found records was Hamilton. I can't even remember the name of the store, but after returning home from a few years paying too much money for reasonably average records in London I stumbled across what seemed like Aladdin's Cave; in the form of an old pool hall in Ward Lane, next to the old Tavern where we used to jump around to Swamp Goblin, Watershed and other Black Flag/Cure rip offs in the weekends. A lovely old gentleman had filled the hall with crates and crates of wax, and I spent three or four hours a day in there for about two weeks straight - and I was pretty much the only person there. The surprise lay not so much in that there were records in the Tron - this was the home of Knightshade after all - but what I unearthed there. Minty OG copies of pretty much every good late '60s - early '70s funk release were there. I found pristine soul-jazz records full of classic breaks for a few dollars which would have set me back twenty or thirty pounds in London. I'm sure I flicked past dozens of much rarer private press type fodder - the sort of thing I'm much more interested in now. I even found one of my favourite ever 45s there: 'Do You Care' by The Liberation Singers. What the hell was a rare gospel record from Indiana doing there? I'm still curious as to where any of these records came from - was there a hip club scene in Hamilton in the '70s? No, I don't think so either.

(All taken from issue#3 of the 'Soultearoa Shakedown' fanzine.)

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