Summer ’72

12-5-11

Summer 1972

I rode my 10-speed bicycle from my home to a tiny record shop on the Belmont Pier, “Mundae” – a really nice guy named Wayne worked there (was he the owner?).  It was almost all downhill from my house, on the bike.  A nice summer day – July?

Wayne was really nice to me, even though I was 13 going on 14.  I somehow had hustled enough cash to buy some LP’s.  As it was summer, school was out, so maybe I mowed the lawn a few times?  Took Coke bottles back to the liquor store?  Asked my Mom for money?

I had been reading about Roxy Music in Melody Maker/ NME / Sounds – but couldn’t fathom what it sounded like – I just knew it had a King Crimson connection (produced by K.C. lyricist Peter Sinfield!).  The Island UK LP was there that day, for me to buy / try.  I bought it without hearing it first.  I had already developed that kind of trust of the music business, by age 13.  I bet it was no more than $4.99 (whereas a typical US LP would’ve been $2.98, new).

The other LP that looked good that day was David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars” – a $2.98 US RCA LP of it.  I believe I had already sent away for the free 45 EP that RCA had been advertising that featured David Bowie.  So, I took a chance on this ‘new’ LP; it was my first actual purchase of anything by David Bowie.

I may have bought something else that day, but those were the two LP’s that I am left with a lasting impression of my introduction to.  If I did buy something else, it would been under $1, and from the used LP bin; I do not remember!

I got those LP’s home, played ‘em – really listened!  Lyric sheet time!  Roxy Music was not exactly what I was expecting, but…”Re-Make Re-Model” made it’s necessary impression on my young mind, as did “Ziggy Stardust”.  I did not rush back to Mundae and buy “Hunky Dory”, for some reason.  I had heard guys talk in record stores about this guy’s 60’s record!  What?

Neither record that day was anything like King Crimson, my favorite band of the day.

I cycled through Bowie pretty quickly.  My best friend got “Aladdin Sane” as soon as it was released, but…it didn’t click with me then.  I never listened to Bowie again, until “Low” walked the plank, in approx. 5 years.  I lapped up Roxy Music fairly well, “For Your Pleasure” not being quite as good as the debut.  Oh, Eno left?  Grumble grumble.

’72 played out with more interesting records heading my way – some via the FM radio, some I heard being played in hippie record stores.  I actually tried to talk to guys in record stores, to get people to tell me what they liked to listen to.  Where were my bretheren?  I’m not here all alone, am I?  I believe fall of ’72 was when I first heard Monty Python and Genesis, both likely on KPFK-FM (90.7), after midnight.  And the 99 cent bin yielded some wondrous LP titles, too!

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This entry was posted in 1972, England, King Crimson, Listening, Progressive Rock, Record Collecting, Record stores and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Summer ’72

  1. Brian Ware says:

    In 1972 I was driving and had a thriving after school lawn mowing business. I just walked the mower and edger around the neighborhood and had at least a dozen customers. Plenty of walkin’ around money for Brian. I was also buying Hit Parader and Circus magazines, and I’m certain that was my introduction to prog rock bands like Genesis and ELP. I didn’t jump on to Bowie and Roxy** at that point, but Yes, KC, Uriah Heep and Deep Purple could do no wrong. Still plenty of time for Alice Cooper (just to annoy my parents if nothing else) and the CSN&Y crowd, particularly Neil Young.

    ** I read about them constantly, but probably was put off by the glitter and androgyny. Had no problem with T.Rex though.

  2. ronkanefiles says:

    1972 was when I started to try to hear more music than I already knew. It’s really how I got to the German artists etc.

  3. postpunkmonk says:

    I will say that I like “For Your Pleasure” more than the Roxy debut. It’s not as audacious; the first album blew the doors off and was the first post-modern rock album I’d name. It doesn’t quite have the range of the debut, either. What it does have, in spades, is thematic coherence. It’s a far darker album that coheres better than “Roxy Music.” It nails dark.

    As for Bowie, all I heard were the top 40 singles until my sophomore high school year! That would be “Space Oddity,” “Fame,” and “Golden Years;” all of which sounded great to my young ears. I didn’t finally hear “Ziggy Stardust” until high school. A friend spent some time with his older brother for a vacation and came back with cassettes he’d made of his brother’s album collection. We listened to “Ziggy Stardust” and “changesonebowie” …and it was good. I next bought “Scary Monsters” upon release and moved next to “Low,” “Lodger” and “Heroes,” in that order. All phenomenal, except for “Lodger” which I always thought paled next to “Low” or “Heroes.”

    “Heroes” and “Scary Monsters” are my two favorite Bowie albums. “Low” is a close second. Why? I guess it’s The Fripp. It’s The Fripp.

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