The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Record Collecting #5

7-3-08 Record Collecting #5

So, back to the early 70’s. I could ask my dad to drive me to record stores; it was infrequently that my brother was at home (he was in the US Air Force) – but he was always up for a trip to record stores in Los Angeles when he was in town. I didn’t get a car to drive until approx. ’76 – so I spent quite a while in the 70’s depending on others for my transportation.

In the summer of 1972, I remember riding my 10-speed bicycle to the outlying hippie record stores in the Long Beach Area – all the way from where I lived down to Belmont Shores. I always had to find someplace to lock my bike to – even in ’72. Or I could take the bus downtown to Bagatelle or the Tape & Record Room (both still exist, but in different locations).

I met Paul, who was a year ahead of me in school. He lived one block over from me. He had his driver’s license. Sometimes on a Friday night, he was up for a drive to Larry’s Records on 7th Street – where the miserable old guy there obviously hated kids. In the midst of desiring comedy LP’s from the 50’s and 60’s, Larry’s was a good place to go – it was cheap, and he had lots of old records. My brother had hipped me to Stan Freberg; I found an un-priced LP of “A Child’s Garden of Freberg” (his debut LP!) at Larry’s. I took the LP up to the counter and innocently asked, “How much is this record?” Larry took a blue ball-point pen out of his pocket, flipped the LP over and wrote (as he spoke) on the rear cover: “Dollar forty nine”. My heart sank. This LP was near perfect – and this crazy old guy just WROTE ON THE COVER.

I saw Larry years later at the Capitol Records parking lot swap meet. He was setting up an ironing board upon which to place his boxes of records for sale. He had a dog named “Major” (a collie, perhaps?) I heard years later that he had been a player in either the 40’s or 50’s L.A. record store scene. But when I knew him in the 70’s – he was a bitter old guy.

I once had a super early 70’s LP run to L.A. with a cousin of mine, Johnnie G. He is my mother’s sister’s son. We went to Vogue Records on Hollywood Blvd., and maybe to Aron’s on Melrose (who told me about Aron’s?) – I don’t think we got to Van Nuys or Glendale. I remember getting a white label of “Led Zeppelin IV” (that I eventually sold for not enough money).

As previously mentioned, I found out about Aron’s Records on Melrose Ave., Poo Bah Records in old town Pasadena, Rhino Records on Westwood Blvd. and Moby Disc Records on Victory Blvd. in Van Nuys. It’s been too long – I do not remember who hipped me to this set of L.A. stores. But I couldn’t get to any of them unless somebody drove me. But when it was time for me to start driving, I already knew where all of them were!

= = =

Off to San Francisco for a couple of days...back on Monday or Tuesday 7/7 or 7/8.

- Ron


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