They drove 75 miles just to spend two or three hours digging through all the vinyl at the Green Bay Record Convention on Saturday. A dad and his son.
The son — who seemed to be 13, maybe 14, so probably a seventh- or eighth-grader — carried a red canvas bag. By noon, it was full of his finds.
The kid with the red bag eagerly chatted with Steve, the friendly gent selling bowls made of old vinyl records in one of the far corners of the Eagles Club. They compared notes on all kinds of bands, but mostly vintage metal bands. They chatted for a long time, getting deep into specifics.
I eavesdropped. You recognize it when you’ve been down that road. That laser focus. That tremendous detail. That just might be an Asperger’s kid, I thought. Which is cool.
Thinking that gracious vinyl bowl seller might need a break, I started chatting up the kid with the red bag.
“So, what did you find today?”
The kid starts pulling LPs from his red bag.
“That’s a good one.”
Then he pulled out a Krokus record. Sorry, I’m not up on my Krokus.
“That’s another good one.”
Then he pulled out some more — he had about a half-dozen in all — including this record.
“Oh, that’s a good one, too.”
Then the kid dropped the bomb on me.
“It’s red vinyl,” he said.
“Oh, I gotta see that.”
The kid hands it over, and I pull out the record. Yep, rich, red vinyl.
Gotta be honest. One thought flashed through my head. You know the one. Ooooh, wish I’d found that. Never mind that I’ve had it on black vinyl since the ’70s.
Then, just as quickly, that thought passed.
Nope, it’s more fun for that kid to have that red vinyl.
I didn’t look close enough to see whether that was the original red vinyl from 1973 or last year’s reissue on red vinyl. Doesn’t really matter, and I suspect it doesn’t matter to the kid with the red bag.
As he pulled out his records, a small piece of paper floated to the floor at his feet.
“That your wish list?”
No, the kid said, they’re my notes. Indeed, as he made the rounds at the record show and chatted up dealers, he wrote down their tips on what kinds of music to check out next.
Then Dad turned up, carrying three plastic bags with a couple dozen LPs in them. Dad’s in the picture above. He’s the tall guy in the light blue cap and the adidas jacket, digging away on the left.
Dad and the kid and Steve the friendly vinyl bowl seller chatted for a while longer, again in tremendous detail. Guessing Dad might be Asperger’s, too. A lot of us in the record-digging business might be. Which, again, is cool.
Hope the kid with the red bag enjoys these J. Geils cuts as much as I did. When “Bloodshot” was released in 1973, I wasn’t much older than he is now.
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