9-24-12 On The Road Pt. 2
Jazzer Herb Jeffries born 1911, Film maker Pedro Almodovar born 1949; on 9-22-73 The Rolling Stones “Goat’s Head Soup” LP was No. 1 in England; on 9-22-79 Gary Numan “The Pleasure Principal” LP was No. 1 in England; 9-22-79 XTC “Making Plans For Nigel” 45 charts at No. 17 in England.
Blank tape was less expensive than vinyl LP’s, for the most part. I started making tapes of phonograph records. My dad must’ve seen me fumbling with a microphone, so he showed me how to connect the tape deck to the amplifier with wires. I knew where my brother’s records were: I started making tapes of my new favorite stuff from them.
I could go in the closet in the den, pull back the woolen blanket and access his ‘forbidden’ collection! 7 ½ or 3 ¾ i.p.s.! My brother had “rock music” – Bob Dylan “Highway 61 Revisited”, for example.
When my 2 older sisters used to ‘babysit’ me, it was one of their ideas to play me “Freak Out” by Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention; “Wowie Zowie”! But when my oldest sister got married and moved out, I lost access to her Frank Zappa LP’s. But – she did continue to encourage me, by giving me Frank Zappa LP’s for my birthday! My late sister who was closer to my age had a boyfriend who had a LOT of records.
Record collecting overtook pets, postage stamp collecting, coin collecting, comic book collecting…you could get a goldenrod-color 8 ½” x 14” sheet from Wallach’s Music City that had the LP chart on one side, and the 45 chart on the other side, probably published every week (or every other week). You could also pick up a small booklet on the counter of the record store (or record department) with an abbreviated chart, as generated by any number of radio stations.
I could try talking to other kids at school or other friends my age, neighbors…but I needed to talk to ‘adults’ who took music / record collecting seriously; people who thought it was important.
By about age 10 (roughly 1968 or so), I looked in the phone book, the yellow pages, to be exact: “Phonograph Records – Wholesale and Retail”: “Dad, can we go to 131 W. 5th St. in downtown Long Beach?” – Licorice Pizza, my first “hippie record store”! There were nice “hippies” that worked there – and they gave you free licorice, from a large box of it on the counter (which was decorated for The Rolling Stones “Flowers” album).
There were so many records in there that I knew absolutely nothing about! Frank Zappa LP’s that I didn’t know existed! Everybody loved The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, didn’t they? Even then, I could imagine how amazing it would be to work in a record store; to be able to hear as much music as you wanted, and to stuff yourself on free licorice.