a personal Holy Grail found

Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
As many of you know, I own a used record store in Milwaukee, WI. It all started because I had too many records (and not enough work). I had to give up collecting records for myself when I started the business (or all the good ones would have gone home with me.....not good for business). But back when I was an avid collector, one of my favorite bands was the Kinks (and they still are). I had all their LPs, but I had heard tales of something that existed that was beyond what you could find in the record stores.

As the 60s progressed and the Kinks continued making better and better records, their sales in the US market fell off. Reprise records came up with a fancy little piece of promotion for their then soon-to-be-released LP "The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society" (one of, if not THE greatest rock albums.....period). The promotional piece was a box labeled "God Save the Kinks" and came with a Union Jack pin, a Kinks postcard, and sorts of other silly little bits for the program manager or promotions man to play with and decide how hard to plug the new album from these eccentrics from the UK. Also in the box is a collection of past glories and a few unreleased tracks.

I had seen the "God Save the Kinks" listed in price guides and heard it described as "rare as hen's teeth". Every once in a great while, the LP that was included in the box would show up for sale, but it seems people looked through the box and checked out all the "goodies" and then after some period of time they just tossed it all in the trash. I mean, what would be the point of hanging on to all this extra stuff. The LP was the only important part, right?

Anyways, I was always keeping an eye out for this rare bird at record shows or record collecting chat forums. It didn't matter really.....I've now since heard all the music, and I don't collect records......it would just be neat to see it.

Today, it showed up. It just walked into the store. A very nice young woman has been selling me some amazing records every couple of weeks for months. Someone in her family owned or worked in the business years ago. I never know what will be in her next batch. It's a fascinating glimpse into what was being released at the time. Because rather than seeing the usual collection of records that people curate based on their taste. She's bring in a complete cross section of what was coming out. Rock, folk, classical, blues, jazz, easy listening, show tunes......the good, the bad and the ugly....truly some of everything.

She and her son have been researching a few boxes every week (to make sure she doesn't get fleeced). Obviously I'm not the kind of guy to take advantage of people by giving them pennies for their rarities and selling them for hundreds. I'm giving her pretty big piles of cash for bringing me the goods (and to keep her coming).

I'm quite sure no one here really cares, but I had to share this with someone. I'm just so excited.......for the me of 15 years ago. But I overpaid for it......she was considering putting it on the Bay. I HAD to have it if just for a little while. I'll get my money back, but probably not much more.

Do you have a story about finding a personal Holy Grail that you want to share? I'd love to hear it.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
That's a great story! I loved the Kinks - I was first in line and got ten front row center seats for a show of their's in Tucson back in about '78 or '79. Four of my buddies and I each took a date (which none of us had ANY trouble finding with those tickets!) and had a hell of an evening that lasted well into the next day. Very hard to believe that's well over 30 years ago...

Some people will no doubt lose respect for me on this one, but I spent various periods of my youth and younger adulthood as a part-time Deadhead. I was never one of those folks who forgot to also have a life, but I'd go see 'em when I got the chance, even travelled to see them a few times, and I had a pretty good tape collection. The second time I saw them was in January of 1978 in Eugene, Oregon at a show for which there's something close to a consensus that it was the finest show they played after they took a break in the mid-70's. Close Encounters had recently hit the theaters and Garcia did a solo jam to the theme from that movie that was well beyond legendary - he'd toyed around with it it for a few nights before that but that night he hit it in all its glory. The entire second set is as good as the Dead ever got (after about '72 or so - before that they could REALLY take it out into the stratosphere and occasionally find LIFE out there!). I spent a LOT of my youth checking out live music and I saw some incredible shows from a variety of acts (rock, jazz, R&B, Blues, bluegrass - all over the spectrum - even some country rock) and this was without a doubt the most amazing night of music I ever heard played live. There were some pretty great close seconds, but they were seconds nonetheless. Anyway, I'd never had any trouble finding reasonably good tapes of any of the other shows I'd seen but it took years of keeping my eyes and ears open for different snippets to piece that show together. And one day the diligence paid off and the whole show fell into my lap - all but about four songs from a really decent soundboard recording and the rest from a great audience recording. So I could listen to and relive the whole thing. Which I still do occasionally, despite spending very very little time or energy on the Dead any more. That was something of a holy grail. But it didn't cost anything coming or going (I've shared plenty of copies of that show before the whole database showed up digitally online) and I got to keep it!

By the way Luke - has John Cusack ever played you in a movie? :cool:

-Ray
 

thekeddi

Top Veteran
Aug 15, 2011
South Australia
Awesome! Congrats on the find :) I love anything Kiss and am so disappointed that I had to sell the collection many years ago, I even had a tour jacket from a roadie. Live and learn I guess :-(
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
I like your story, Luke. And what I admire is that even though this record is your personal Holy Grail, you expect stick to resell it.
The woman who sold it to me was happy that it was going to somebody who really loved it. I told her that I did, but there were other things that I wanted more than that for $500. (a new lens, maybe?) So I will definitely sell it. The most frustrating part for me is that the LP included in the box is still sealed so I can't even really enjoy it without affecting the value. And I've never been the kind of record collector who just needs to HAVE records. I love playing them. Of course I love sealed vintage records. But I love playing them even more.
 

Amin

Hall of Famer
Jul 3, 2010
Very cool story, Luke! I've never been a collector of anything, but the Kinks are one of the first bands I can remember listening to.
 

eastwes

New Member
Aug 18, 2012
Great testimony Luke! I use the word "testimony" because collecting records is a RELIGIOUS experience -- and I can relate... What are you spinning it all on?!?

You might enjoy having a look at my plattenspieler here:

My own personal collection of vinyl now numbers perhaps 5000 LPs or so. Small by some standards...

Cheers!

Wes
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
Great testimony Luke! I use the word "testimony" because collecting records is a RELIGIOUS experience -- and I can relate... What are you spinning it all on?!?

You might enjoy having a look at my plattenspieler here:

My own personal collection of vinyl now numbers perhaps 5000 LPs or so. Small by some standards...

Cheers!

Wes
Wes, your plattenspieler is a joy to behold. Mine is decidedly more workmanlike. At home, I never listen to records anymore unless I'm testing a spot so I can describe if there is any noise for an auction listing. So I just have a used Technics 1200 with a Grado cartridge. At work, I play everything on an old CJ Walker 55. It's an old British deck......kinda like the poor man's Linn. A simple low mass suspension design. My old employee calls it the miracle turntable. Every record that I play on it sounds great and it seems to eliminate a lot of record noise. It's a well worn old workhorse. It has a Japanese Grace tonearm also with a Grado cartridge. If I ever got back into serious listening, I'd probably still keep that turntable and just plunk down for a more serious cartridge, but I left the lunatic world of high end audio years ago and am glad I did.

5000 LPs is definitely small by some standards, but is big by most. To me it's about the top end of what I consider manageable. But I'm helping an estate of a local collector (and have been for the last year) to sell off a collection that was probably around 10,000 LPs and maybe around 15,000 45s. I have a couple crappy snapshots of the 45 collection I should look for.
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
Kiss solos still sealed! cool! If you don't mind, how much will you be putting on them?
I think those will go to auction. The prices fluctuate wildly. Sometimes they can be had as cheaply as $40, but I've also seen them go for over $100. Obviously, I'd like get closer to the $100 price. I've been saving every sealed album that's come into the store for a long time. Next year, I'm going to list them all at auction at the same time and watch the feeding frenzy. Collectors + sealed records = crazy bidding wars = new camera gear :biggrin:
 

Amin

Hall of Famer
Jul 3, 2010
I think you might be a collector of gadgets. It doesn't need to be old to be a collection. :wink:
Oh, I've collected many things: rocks, comic books, gadgets, mixtapes, fountain pens - just never tried to collect anything rare!
 

TraamisVOS

Hall of Famer
Nov 29, 2010
Melbourne, Australia
About 20 years ago a guy I used to know was living/transitioning between places, he was living temporarily upstairs of a bar. He lent me his record player and entire amazing jazz record collection. I had that collection for months and he was happy that I was really getting into jazz through his records. I really got into Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Monk, Miles Davis, George Benson, and whole ton of other Greats.

I had to give it all back when he found a permanent place to stay and I eventually lost touch with that guy.

Over the years, I bought some of that music back on record and later on CD. But for a very long time I couldn't find Art Blakey's 'Witch Doctor', an awesome hard bop record they released back in 1961, with the Jazz Messengers which comprised of Wayne Shorter on sax, Lee Morgan on Trumpet, Bobby Timmons on piano, Jymie Merritt on bass and of course Art Blakey on drums.

I would ask at various record stores every couple of years and they'd tell me it doesn't exist anymore. Even when I started getting on to the internet and eBay, I could never find it. Until very recently, I suddenly discovered it was reissued on CD, FINALLY.

So about 20 years later, I finally heard the hard bop sounds of The Witch Doctor again and it was just as awesome as I remembered it back when I heard it on record.
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
I definitely went through a long phase of listening to nothing but hard bop. Lee Morgan is still my fave trumpet player. He plays with fire and dexterity that other much more famous (over-rated) trumpet players can only dream of. For the uninitiated, turn your speakers up and enjoy this clip of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/I9z9sU5dXnw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> It's a slightly different line-up to the one on the record that James speaks of, but it'll give you the idea.
 

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