I heard the news today

Oh, man …

Amazing Records — my local used record store — is closing in a month.

Jim is packing it up and taking it with him as he leaves our corner of Wisconsin and moves back home to northern California.

As I walked across the front of the store this afternoon, I noted the progress he’d made in clearing the boxes and stacks of LPs and 45s that usually clutter the floor. That’s when Jim dropped the news on me.

Ah, that’s why. And why there’s so much new stock in the bins.

Therein lies the mixed blessing in all of this.

For as long as I’ve been going to Amazing Records, there have been boxes and crates full of records I never got to look through. Jim hadn’t looked through them yet. OK, fair enough.

I’d go through the new arrivals and the dollar bins, then say “So, Jim, what else can I look at today?” Sometimes, he’d point to boxes on the floor under the dollar bins. Sometimes, nothing else.

Now, though, he’s going through everything, separating the wheat from the chaff and trying to sell as many records as he can before he moves. He promises there will be plenty to look through.

I still have a month. Here are a couple of tunes, a couple of covers, from the records I found today.

“Life During Wartime,” the Staple Singers, from “The Staple Singers,” 1985. It’s out of print. This Talking Heads cover didn’t do as well as “Slippery People” had a year earlier. This was the Staples’ last record as a family group.


“It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding),” Billy Preston, from “Everybody Likes Some Kind Of Music,” 1973. It’s out of print, save for the Japanese re-issue that’s in the buy link. This is a Bob Dylan cover, of course.


“I’ll be back,” I told Jim.

“Bring lots of money,” he said.

Oh, I’ll try, especially if I pop for that vintage King Curtis LP.

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5 Comments

Filed under March 2010, Sounds

5 responses to “I heard the news today

  1. The Staple Singers covered “Life During Wartime?” Wow! I did not know that.

  2. That’s a bummer. The closest record store to where I live is about 45 minutes away, and despite its legendary status hasn’t been worth digging at for years. It’s run by hipster swine who peel away most of the good stuff (for themselves and E-bay) before the customers can get to it.
    I miss having a place to dig ‘casually’, where you could just drop in, scan the racks for 10 or 15 minutes and maybe grab one or two things of interest.

  3. Oh wow… 2 excellent and never-heard-before tracks.
    Tx for sharing!

  4. This may be a long shot but do you know if he has the Meadow album The Friend Ship? It was never released on CD. It was Laura Branigan’s first CD before she went on to find tremendous success as a solo singer in the eighties. From what I’ve read the album was ahead of its time and the label execs didn’t know what to do with it/how to promote it/or who to promote it too so it didn’t sell well and has been largely forgotten.

    There aren’t many female singers that catch my ear, but Branigan was one of them. I wasn’t crazy about the dance/pop direction her career inevitably took. She had more talent than that and I felt she was selling herself short. From what I’ve read the Meadow album showed what she was truly capable of. She was one of the most emotive singers I’ve ever heard.

    If he’s got it for a good price let me know!

  5. evandad

    Rob meant to leave this comment the other day. WordPress ate it. Rob was gracious enough to send it again. Enjoy.

    If I were to win the lottery (assuming, of course, that I one day begin to PLAY the lottery), and money becomes no object for me, I shall open a mom and pop record shop in the small college town about three miles from my home. You have to be nuts to open a mom and pop record shop anywhere anymore, but they are, I believe, necessary for the perpetuation of a culture, even if they are, in purely economic terms, pretty close to suicide.

    I would name my record store Village Music, in tribute to the great record shop of the same name that stood in Mill Valley, CA, for several decades, and which closed in 2007. Like its namesake, my Village Music would be crammed floor to ceiling with as much music-related memorabilia as I could find; its stock would consist of classic vinyl records of all genres, along with a smattering of used CDs.

    For 24 hours before opening my store, I would fill the air in the place with the music of Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis, John Lennon, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, and Muddy Waters, in the hope of inviting their spirits (living and otherwise) into the place, and in the hope that their karma (the very best karma) might settle in on me and my endeavor.

    If I win the lottery. If I start playing the lottery.

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