In the last couple of months my visits to car boot sales have dropped off a bit. Realising just how much of an early bird you have to be to stand a chance of finding the good stuff I found that, arriving at a sale, that buzz of anticipation had deserted me - and that was half the fun. Also I have endured a few largely fruitless visits in a row.
But last Sunday I was awake early, and it was a beautiful morning, so I leapt out of bed (artistic licence – ha ha) with something approaching my old ‘boot sale fever’.
Hopes of an early attack were soon dashed though. We have been decorating our shower room and as a result had taken the handle off the door. Yes, you guessed it the door closed behind me and, unable to open the door, I got stuck in the room! Our shower room is on the ground floor, off the kitchen. My daughter was asleep one floor up and my wife was asleep two floors up. I have some of my best ideas in the shower so I initially wasn’t worried. Just have the shower and I will think of something, I surmised. But the reality was there weren’t many options. So in the end I had to resort to banging on the door (I resisted shouting “Help” at the top of my voice). Fortunately my wife is a light sleeper so after about 30 minutes she rescued me – and has got a lot of mileage out of the story since!
Did that 30 minutes make any difference to my chances of boot sale success? Probably not, as a seller told me he had had buyers looking over his stuff at some ridiculously early hour again. Nevertheless it proved to be an enjoyable trip. There were a few dealers and vinyl lovers selling and I struck up some good conversations and came away with a small haul of vinyl that ticked quite a few boxes.
On the purely musical front the Trojan single I’m featuring here is definitely my favourite of the haul. Reggae vinyl is usually difficult to find at car boot sales – it was never mainstream, and savvy buyers hoover them up. I found this one amongst a stack of run of the mill 70s/80s singles, mostly pop. It was hiding in a Phonogram sleeve marked “Crown Heights Affair – Galaxy Of Love” which is probably why it had been overlooked. This is in fact the second Ken Boothe Trojan 45 I’ve picked up in recent weeks.
After a few dormant years Trojan was briefly reactivated as a label in the late 70s. This single was released in 1979 I believe, and it’s a double header gem. “Who Get’s Your Love” was the title track of an album released around that time which did nothing, and “Is It Because I’m Black” is of course the Syl Johnson song that Ken Boothe originally recorded in 1973. The label says this is from Ken’s 1973 album “Let’s Get It On”. I have heard two versions of this song, this one has horns so I don’t know if it equates to the 1973 album track, or if it is a later take.
John Lydon (of Sex Pistols, PIL, and butter advert fame) made some guest appearances in the late 70s on BMRB and Capital Radio where he was interviewed and played some of the favourites from his record collection. Lots of Reggae featured, including a track from the above mentioned album and “Black”. Looking through his choices he undoubtedly had/has excellent taste. John described Ken Boothe as a “man of talent” – I can imagine him saying that. He is right of course.
Both tracks can be found on this CD (if you can find it at a good price).