Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Where was I?

For a while there I thought that was it for Feel It. A short (and very sunny – yippee!) holiday got me out of the habit very quickly and I started enjoying leaving the computer alone and doing other things. I found I had no urge to play, record, scan, research, compose, post. The weather had a lot to do with this mini hiatus – for a while there it was gorgeous. Also there was a “needs must” in the garden - the hard winter we had resulted in some casualties that needed replacement, but also has seemed to do other plants and shrubs we have a power of good and they have needed some chopping back already.

Interacting with a new (to me) computer had also dampened the blogging urge too I think. It's silly really, this computer has the same operating system, the same applications, most of the same files
(or, at least, the important ones; and the rest of them available on portable hard drive if I want them). Nevertheless I don't feel at home with it yet. I'm still restless with it, I still have the urge to
play with the start up process and various other geeky and largely worthless activities which seem to constantly deflect me from doing something useful with it.

Anyway, a whole two weeks since the last glimmer of life hereabouts, I found myself thinking once again of blog posts (whilst doing the washing up!).

So by way of easing myself back into the groove I will offer up to you one of my latest boot sale finds.

This weekend just gone was the first time I had ventured into the junk strewn fields of England for a few weeks. Sunday proved a largely fruitless search for vinyl as I hit no less than three car boot sales. I had to keep going until I found something worth buying. Even so, it was a meagre haul – three 45s, what proved to be an uninspiring reggae 12” and, just to cheer me up a bit, a German cheese-fest easy listening LP with a scantily clad lady on the front (and back) cover - “Tattoos Aktuell” no less. During my increasingly desperate scavenge around the first two venues I had wondered whether the dealers had been particularly active and bought up every piece of vinyl in sight and a conversation with one seller reinforced this thought. By the time I visited his pitch he had about 30 LPs on show but he told me that he had arrived with about four times as many. The sale was advertised as starting at 8am for buyers, he had arrived before 6am (!) and had been immediately surrounded by dealers who bought just about everything he had (!!). I kinda knew this was the form at car boot sales, but I wasn't really sure that record dealers were that active. But now I know - 6am!! the early bird catches the worm, and I'm useless in the mornings.

Of course it was a long weekend in the UK, and what do Bank Holiday Mondays bring? Among other things more car boot sales! Yes, I snuck out again on Monday for another one, this time with some success. This particular venue doesn't start so early and I managed to get there before many of the sellers had set up. So it was I found myself rubbing shoulders with some of the dealers – a vulture myself. God! You've got to be quick and have a sixth sense for which boots may contain vinyl – or I suppose just be brazen and ask and poke your nose in people's cars even before they've got their seat belt off! Something I'm not comfortable doing. Anyway, I turned round and there was this pile of albums (they hadn't been there a minute earlier I'm sure) – a bag and two boxes full. Already there was a guy in amongst them – like a pig in a trough! He was riffling through the records in the bag at an astonishing rate with one hand whilst his other hand was resting on some of the records in one of the boxes so as nobody else could look at them. Fortunately he only had two arms (and evidently wasn't double jointed so couldn't bring his feet and toes into play!) so there were some albums still free of his clutches. For a fraction of a second I thought of asking if I could look at them (you can tell I'm new at this game!) but I was also aware of a couple of other people moving in behind me, so I dived in and grabbed a handful of albums. In this first grab I found 1st press copies of The Beatles “Abbey Road” and “Sergeant Pepper”. Diving back in I managed to pull out an early Dusty Springfield album (turns out it maybe not so early and I have it already in its original guise), The Monkees “Headquarters”, “Lightnin' Sonny & Brownie” (no need for surnames surely) and - drum roll - my favourite of the bunch:

an early Coxsone compilation album from 1968 - “Blue Beat Special”. (Look at that label! A great shade of blue and in spanking condition - not bad for a 42 year old record).

I handed over £6 for the lot and walked away very happy. The guy who got in first also walked away with about half a dozen albums I think. I heard a guy behind me say “looks like all the good stuff has gone”. The whole episode was over in about three minutes.

The weekend's digging was a bit of an education. It seems the records are there, but can I be hardnosed enough to mix it with the dealers? and can I get up early enough?!

Like the “Blues & Soul” compilation album featured recently, despite a bit of scratchiness every track on “Blue Beat Special” is – er – special, making it difficult to choose what to play. Here are two to give you a flavour.

Alton Ellis - Let Him Try 1968

Soul Vendors - The Whip 1968

1 comment:

davy h said...

Find! But you're right - 6am on a Sunday? Naah!