Facing the prospect of spending a day trolling around the city, perusing the same stores we always visit, looking at the same merchandise we always see, my senses were on high alert, seeking a break from the mundane. While meandering in a local indoor flea market, my eyes fell on THE prize. It was an audio system, circa 1980 something, missing it’s lid and sitting, wedged forlornly, on a rickety plastic shelf among an assortment of empty votive holders and winking Jesus knives. The Soundesign beauty beckoned me closer. As I approached, I noticed the pricetag: $14.99–too rich for my miserly blood. Then, as if on cue, a cardboard placard inched it’s way into my line of vision–“Everything in this booth 1/2 off”
“Woohoo!” I exclaimed, waving my wife over as she rolled her eyes. She smiled at my little-boy excitement and sighed inwardly, knowing that I had latched onto another one of my flights of fancy. I could hardly contain myself for the rest of the evening, hurredly throwing groceries and other sundry goods into our cart, itching to get home and sample the sweet hissy-pop goodness that is audio on vinyl. As we entered the house, I quickly put away the groceries and rushed to my hidden stash of LPs. “Where have you been hiding those?” mused the missus.
“Oh, I had them put away.”
“Well, let’s see what you’ve got…”
I pulled out The Rolling Stones Some Girls.
She nodded approvingly.
I pulled out Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
She nodded, unsurprised.
I pulled out Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
She said, “I should have known.”
Then I pulled out a couple of more albums.
“Wait, go back, was that Purple Rain?”
“Yeah, and I’ve got Jethro Tull, too.”
I had her. She was hooked. We finished setting up the record player, and loaded it up. It sounded great!
“Can we go back to town tomorrow and hit the thrift stores for records?” she pleaded.
The rest of the long weekend was a whirlwind of thrift stores and roadside junkshops as we raided every source of LPs we could think of. You would not believe the treasures we found, many going for as little as 25¢ apiece. The haul we ended up with is much like our CD collection, varied and strange. We have everything from whistling Fred Lowry to “Teach Your Pet Bird to Talk.” The true treasures of the weekend were priceless, however. No amount of money could buy the fun we had, searching together, for rare, forgotten music we had never heard before along with tunes that we just knew would carry us back to our quickly fading youth… priceless indeed.
I’ll be putting up pictures and reviews of some of my favourite gems, periodically. For those who want to see pictures of the collection, TWGW has pictures on her blog.