The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Out There #1

Out There (or the musical equivalent of “Exclusive Language”)

Record collectors are sometime social animals – it’s fun to discuss your music collection with someone who knows (basically) what you are talking about. Sometimes, I bring up subjects that get blank stares…by mentioning unreleased records, or by trying to remember (and accurately describe) something I heard on the radio years ago…35 years ago!?

Frits in Holland once sent me a cassette that was a dub of a record that instructed the listener how to clean a ‘rest stop’ on a California highway. In New Zealand, I found an LP called “Mastititus Melodies” – an album of songs about cow udder diseases. In Tokyo, Moichi Kuwahara gave me “The White Cube” by ‘Beach Walker’ – a perfect square box containing 4 x CD3’s – of mostly very soft ambient music – or someone talking…in Japanese. I once won an auction for a 45 on Island Records from England that the seller could not determine how much he wanted to charge me to send it to me – the record (a 45?) was some sort of promotional-only, perhaps “in house” record that dated from around 1968 or so – listed it as “The Ultimate Island Records rarity” – there is a possibility it was the “Change of Address” record that ended up as a bonus track on one of the editions of the Blind Faith CD, but…I’ll never know – the guy never sent it to me!

99 times out of 100, I will have some idea what you are talking about – if it is a phonograph record we are talking about. The odds are actually probably better than that – but I’ll use it – as a familiar benchmark. I have a very well-traveled record collector friend of over 30 years who once described a British LP to me that…he couldn’t remember the name, and – by his description – I had never even heard of…even after 30+ years have passed under the bridge. I’ve asked him about it a number of times – and – by now – I do not think he ever recalls the time he initially mentioned such a record to me. What was it?

I once taped something off of KPFK-FM (90.7) in Los Angeles, about 1972 – it was an extended sequence that was used as an introduction to an ‘after midnight’ show – if you want me to send you a CD-R, drop me a line. I can’t identify the piece of music that immediately follows the short piece by Alice Cooper. For a while I thought it was Cat Mother & The All Night Newsboys, but…maybe not…

I can’t get any clear information about a 45 I once bought at a Sears for 7 cents called “The Magic Fly” – It was on the (obviously very indie) “Infinity Records” and the song began with the phrase, “There is a Magic Fly, his name is up to you…” – being stupid kids, the “Magic Fly” 45 got broken (because it was stupid, as I recall) and thrown away – who was it? Once when I wrote about another hopelessly obscure record “Joe’s Gass House” by The Pharmaceuticals (on Newhall Records) – I actually had someone recognize it, and email me a few times – but – they could not tell me who they were, if they ever made any other records etc. Nothing more to contextualize it.

What are your favorite “outre” records?


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