What's All This Then

Why should I care what this guy has to say?

The correct answer is that you shouldn’t. We’re all entitled to our opinions. Develop your own. I try to be sane and rational, but that may change with the level of caffeine intake. I’m just telling my stories in the hopes they may amuse and/or inform others. And... I Confess... I'm showing off my bitchen collection a bit.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Austin Record Shopping Adventure 2017

I recently visited Austin, Texas for a business meeting.  As I always do when visiting other cities, I go to the vinyl shops.   Austin is one of the best places to do this in the country.

First Stop was End of an Ear.

They've moved to a larger location since the last time I was here.   Nice store with friendly clerks.   They even threw in a free canvas bag when I told them I was playing record store tourist.

The building itself is kind of nondescript, but I expect that will change as they settle into their new digs.

I came away with this stack.

I had just enough time to get back to the hotel for a business dinner at The Salt Lick.   Don't look at the picture if you're vegetarian.   One individual in our group was a vegetarian.  He decided to make other arrangements for dinner.

The following evening I was on my own and hit up two stores on the other side of town.

First up Breakaway Records.

A nice little store seemingly in a residential area.

In addition to vinyl, they sell restored vintage turntables at reasonable prices.   A few of the kiddie players line the windows.    They also are fans of the Technics SL-D2 models as am I.  It's the house turntable in the store.

I came away with this stack

What  - Let It Be?   All those records and you don't have a Beatles title.    Rest assured.  Long ago I replaced my beat up Beatles albums I had since elementary school with UK pressings.  The UK Let It Be had no gatefold.   The record pictured here is pretty hacked up,   I bought it for the cover.

Next up was good old Antone's

Nice store.   Found some decent titles reasonably priced.    There was a guy in the store who couldn't decide which Eagles record to buy, so he kept playing them while the clerk advised that he might like Hot Tuna.  Thankfully for my shopping enjoyment, the clerk put on Burgers for him to sample.

I came away with this stack.

And I ain't done yet.  Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth fame was playing in town.  I snagged a ticket in the afternoon.  I bought the vinyl they had on sale at the gig.

And those you familiar with Austin are probably asking  - "What about Waterloo?"    Sure it's a huge store with lots of vinyl.  The biggest in the state.  I find it too big and expensive.  Every time I've been there I've waked out without any records.    Just too overwhelming for me. I actually get bored going through the bins.    Call me a grumpy old man, but I have the same issue with Amoeba Hollywood and Amoeba Berkeley.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Name Game

A stupid game that's so catchy it stood the test of time.

Shirley Ellis - The Name Game (Congress 1963)

You can't say she's a one hit wonder as she had another hit, The Nitty Gritty.

It's a fun game to play,

but there are rules you must follow:

Using the name Katie as an example, the song follows this pattern:
Katie, Katie, bo-batie,
Banana-fana fo-fatie
A verse can be created for any name, with X as the name and Y as the name without the first consonant sound (if it begins with a consonant), as follows:
(X), (X), bo-b (Y)
Banana-fana fo-f (Y)
Fee-fy-mo-m (Y)
And if the name starts with a bf, or m, that sound simply is not repeated. For example: Billy becomes "Billy Billy bo-illy"; Fred becomes "banana fana fo-red"; Marsha becomes "Fee-fy "mo-arsha

I feel sorry for those named Chuck or Mitch.    They couldn't play at school.

It's on Congress Records.  If only our congress could hammer out something as time tested.

The record bears a stamp of a previous owner with an address in Altadena, CA.  I wonder if they expected it be returned via the USPS if found.  I'm tempted to drive by the house to see what kind of neighborhood it is.  I'm sure it's quite different from how it was in 1964.

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Korean Let It Be

I know nothing about this.  I saw it in a record store in Santa Barbara (Warbler's I believe) and had to snatch it.

The cover bears an uncanny  - and I presume intentional - resemblance to The Beatles Let It Be.

I can't help but think this was the final album by some big band in Korea.  The music is pretty awful.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Other Side of The Doors

The Doors were primarily an album band.  Singles were scarce.  Even scarcer were the Non-LP B Sides.   I'm only aware of two released during their existence.

Wishful Sinful b/w Who Scared You  (Elektra 1969)

The second single from their poorly received The Soft Parade LP.  The first single, Touch Me, was a hit.  This one - not so much.  Seems The Doors tried to expand their sound with a horn section.  It didn't resonate so much with the fans.

Who Scared You was not included on the album.

The Doors returned to their blues roots for their final album, LA Woman, in 1971.  It was a big hit.  Jim Morrison's death shortly after its release certainly didn't hurt sales.   The first single pulled from the album contained a Non LP B Side.

Love Her Madly b/w (You Need Meat) Don't Go No Further  (Elektra 1971)

The B side covers of a Willie Dixon composition.  Vocal by Ray Manzarek. 

My cringing at this label shouldn't go unnoticed.   The '70's sure produced some doozies.  Most companies who tried to 'modernize' their labels ended up reverting to a more classic design (Capitol, RCA, Warner Brothers).  Perhaps I'll post on that later.

And then we get a posthumous bonus.

Jim Morrison Music by The Doors  - Roadhouse Blues b/w (really who cares?)  (Elektra 1971)

After Morrison's death, The Doors tried to carry on.  They released two more albums that ruled the used bins for most of the decade.   As a money grab, they found a tape of 'rock god' Jim Morrison reading poetry.  They set out to record background music and make it appear to be full fledged Doors album.   There was one heretofore unreleased live Doors track tacked on the make people shell out for the album.  Fortunately for those of us that didn't buy into the concept, the one track was released as a single.

Note how Elektra reverted to a more classic design.

Friday, June 9, 2017

I Think This Might Be the First 'Rock' Custom Label

In the '70's, occasionally records came with a custom label.  These labels extended the design of the cover art into the label itself.

The last time I pulled out the below title, I began to ponder when custom labels began.   I think this one was the first.

Apple Jam - The bonus disc from George Harrison's All Things Must Pass.  (Apple 1970)

The third record included in George's landmark release.  All those songs that didn't make it on Beatles records burst forth when he was free.  The jam record presents a nice contrast to the Phil Spector production on the 'regular' records.

Oh yeah, the music.  It's a loose jam featuring Derek and the Dominoes plus George Harrison and Dave Mason.

Custom Labels weren't all that common as most releases tended to feature the current company label.    Releases with one era appropriate company label would then change to the current company label.  It seemed odd to see early Beatles records carry the Apple label, then the red Capitol label (the one with 'Capitol' on the bottom) or the green label with the short lived round logo.   They should have left them alone.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


The Mothers of Invention - Mothermania The Best of the Mothers (Verve 1968)

I've been looking for this title for quite some time.   (yes, I know I could have probably just popped  onto EBay and snatch it up, but that's no fun).  It's a greatest hits compilation delivered to Verve records by Zappa as a lovely parting gift (aka contractual obligation)

So why would an obsessive record collector such as myself search out a greatest hits record when I have all the original Verve albums already?   There are a few reasons.

This record was compiled and remixed by Frank Zappa.  The mixes are hotter than the originals on Freak Out, Absolutely Free and We're Only In It for The Money.

There is a different version of The Idiot Bastard Son.

and - after the photo of the back cover - all in German.

During the compilation process, Zappa snuck in the censored verse in Mother People which was replaced by a snippet from Lumpy Gravy on We're Only In It For the Money.   Not sure if anyone from the record company noticed or if they didn't care at this point.

Verse goes.....

Better look around before you say you don't care
Shut your fucking mouth about the length of my hair
How would you survive
If you were alive
Shitty little person

As an aside, Verve made them add 'Of Invention' to their original name 'The Mothers'  Judging by the front cover, they didn't care about this anymore either.

The inner gatefold shows the mouths of the band.

And on the original Verve label.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Beatles on Apple

In 1968, The Beatles launched their own record company.  The first release was this....

The Beatles - Hey Jude/Revolution (Apple 1968)

At the time, picture sleeves were usually just garish pictures of the bands. The Beatles were no exception.   For Apple, they opted for a simple design in both the label and the sleeve.

A simple 'The Beatles on Apple' in cursive against a black background.  Non Beatle releases simply said 'Apple.'   The label was unique at the time as the name of the company is not shown anywhere.  The photo of the apple said it all.

For the B-Side, Apple releases showed a cross section of the Apple.  Unique at the time to have a pronounced difference between side 1 and side 2 in a standard record company label.

And as an aside, my pressing of this title is an original as evidenced by the tiny 'Capitol' logo at the bottom of the B-Side.

Revolution has never sounded better than the original mono cranked up to 11.