A much younger version of yours truly stumbled across ZZ Top’s first three albums at a thrift store in Ventura County, California for $0.99 a pop. No need to state the obvious, but I was quick to overlook the rather “experienced” condition of each of these classics (peep bottom left corner). Rio Grande Mud, ZZ Top’s 2nd studio album, was released in April of 1972, and contains only one single, Francine. As far as I’m concerned, Top would strike gold with their follow-up, and 1973’s Tres Hombres, obviously due to the inclusion of the raunchy La Grange, but Mud, in any condition, is certainly deserving of heavy spins (just ask the previous owner, whoever the hell they were).
We went in looking for a receiver, and came out with a bootleg copy of The Beatles Christmas Album. It was, in fact, on sale, so there’s that, but the Sherwood S-7100A receiver had been sold earlier in the day. The search continues for the perfect, vintage receiver.
When spending three nights within the confines of a rented studio apartment on wheels, a proper entertainment set-up isn’t just key, it’s borderline survival basics. The PG clan (consisting solely of my wife and me) each hand-picked 10 albums for our excursion… of which we’re down to about 12 after just one half day. But wait! Grady’s Record Refuge is just a quick Uber / Lyft ride away, so after the Tim Hardins and the Les Baxters are laid to rest, unknown gems from Ventura’s finest will get their spinning debut… inside a studio apartment on wheels.
Always looking out for my fellow record obsessed, this photo was sent to a Tull-lover, with the simple text of, “Have? Need?” This is not a rare exchange that goes out among our local collecting comrades, and in this case, the $3 needed not be spent. I was however strictly instructed to acquire 1974’s War Child, but in lieu of time, I had to pass it up. (Raises glass), here’s to those to act before asking. Happy Sunday, kids!
Comp albums by the world’s most popular musical act are nothing new, exciting, and / or controversial, but double, colored LPs are a horse of a different color. While going to school up in Ventura, CA some years back, a record store, whose name I cannot recall, went out of business and was celebrating with a storewide ½ off sale. Among some German Simon & Garfunkel, clear vinyl Drive Like Jehu, original pressings of Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, I acquired both this, 1978’s 1962 – 1966, and the blue vinyl sibling, 1967 – 1970 for $10 each. They had a Spinal Tap picture disc displayed on the wall… I wish I’d gotten that guy too. Anyway, there is a time and place for compilation albums. I’ve yet to find that hour and location, but I’m sure they exist.
They’ve since recorded 2014’s The White Ghost Has Blood on Its Hands Again which, until researching for this post, I had no idea even existed. The checklist has just been updated.
Bad Religion, and their 1990 follow-up to 1989’s epic No Control, brought to the mainstream another lasting SoCal mainstay with Against the Grain. Here, reissued on 660 pressings in lush, purple vinyl from back in 2010 (a nice even number), was a Hot Topic exclusive release. I believe I acquired this number from the Ventura, CA Pacific View Mall Hot Topic, which, I must certainly add, had absolutely no view of the Pacific. Whatever, I knew what I was looking for, and here she is, safely resting with her adopted siblings.
Let’s not beat around the bush here. Antique malls are time sucks. The alluring glow of buried treasure seems to boil the blood like a white-hot phoenix, and those of us who seek this 2nd hand treasure know exactly what I’m jivin’ at. These ominous voids (usually located next to a Subway or a Peet’s Coffee for some bygone reason) demand the archeological skills of a handsome, fedora-wearing ladies man named after the family dog, and the patience of a turtle-loving, detail-fixed hoarder of historic rubbish. Be it books, vintage clothing, old Look Magazines from the 1940s, or in this case, a banned UK copy of The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1968 master work, Electric Ladyland, the junk drawers of yesteryear are spilled out for all to peruse and purchase at these, the greatest time-wasting five and dimes the world has ever seen.
Anyway, short story short, I was on one of my weekly trips to Times Remembered in Ventura, CA (a place my SO and I jokingly call Time Suck, but not too jokingly, you dig?), where I stumbled upon a tiny booth filled with doll clothing, baby spoons with crude pictures of horses on them, overpriced “I Like Ike” campaign buttons, and 2 records: The Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request, and this copy of Electric Ladyland. What struck me as odd was how no other records could be found within this seller’s little corner. I wondered, “Why these 2 specific records?” (Resting against a basket of thimbles and a child’s rocking chair.) Anyway, both records were marked $20, but that day, this particular booth offered a ½ off sale. I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “Well, do I really NEED a copy of Electric Ladyland?” Asinine to even consider, I know. I bought it, obviously, and now this hot little number fetches upwards of $450 on discogs.com.
Their Satanic Majesties Request had 4 pinholes in each corner, obviously punched to proudly display on the smoke-stained walls rented by the now levelheaded antique seller’s younger self. Had it been in better shape, I would have nabbed that guy as well. I’m still on the search for that little musical chalice.
300 days, 7200 hours, or roughly 432,000 minutes ago, I gave birth to The Prudent Groove. I sincerely appreciate all who have visited, and for the friends I otherwise wouldn’t have made. Now, I’ve got to go return some videotapes.
As a wide-eyed and furrow-browed youngster, I was a huge fan of Swing Music. While attending the local tech college, certain courses were required that involved physical movement (you see, it was Wisconsin, and in the winter we’d have to constantly move around to keep from freezing to death), i.e. racquetball, swimming, and the newly added Swing dance class.
It was 1997, and every 18 year old worth his weight in overzealous ambitions was an enormous fan of the 1996 classic, Swingers… and I was certainly no different. I owned the soundtrack, the DVD, and of course, several quote spilled posters that littered the walls of my shared 3 bedroom apartment on Madison’s west side. I wanted to be a Swinger (in the film’s sense, not the 1970’s shag carpet sense), and my semester learning the lively and energetic basics of Swing was arguably one of my best months of post high school education, regardless if I’ve forgotten all the moves.
Fast-forward a good 6 or 7 years to a little record shop in Ventura, CA (no need to move around there, the temperature seldom drops below 55). I became friends with the owner and I was given a quality deal on 13, 3 LP box sets celebrating the Swing era. The series is titled, quiet appropriately, The Swing Era, with each set focusing on 3 to 5 year chunks. Currently on the platter is 1930-1936 and features a lot of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Casa Loma. This, as well as every other set includes a 64-page hard cover book focusing on the intricacies throughout the era during that set’s well, set of years.
I may never again do the Lindy Hop, but with 78 sides of quality Swing spanning the genre’s entire history (13 sets of 3 LPs each x 2 sides), I’ll certainly have the material handy if the jittery bug should ever bite again.
I am a sucker for antique record paraphernalia. Be it cheesy “as seen on bad 70’s TV” record cleaners, random manuals to record players I’ve never owned, or in this case my 1966 Philco High-Fidelity All-Transistor Stereophonic Radio-Phonograph.
Nearly a decade ago back in film school I was prop shopping for a 1960’s period short film I was involved with. Now, thanks to my mother I’ve always been a frugal shopper, so when digging around one of Ventura, CA’s many antique shops I immediately perused the booths near the back of the store that featured items at 50% off. While on this hunt for cheap, yet relevant 60’s era props I came across this pristine phonograph. At first glance of this beautiful cabinet record player, and without even seeing the price tag, I was instantly fixated on becoming its ultimate and inevitable owner. When I saw the price tag of $80 I nearly wet myself. $40 + tax later she was mine. I called my buddy Omar, who had a flat bed and we hauled it off to set. It didn’t have a dominant presence in the final short film, but when the shoot was over I found myself the proud owner of an amazing piece of stereophonic machinery.
The LP on the platter is Johnny Cash’s 1957 debut Johnny Cash with His Hot and Blue Guitar, which would have been just 9 years old when this High-Fidelity All-Transistor Stereophonic Radio-Phonograph was manufactured and sold.
For nearly 10 years ol’ Philco has moved with me a total of five times. She’s always dominated every living room she’s inhabited and still sounds as good today as she did the day I brought her home. Not bad for being 47 years old.
I enjoy imagining what the manufacturers at the Philco Corporation back in 1966 would think of the music I play on this phonograph now. I doubt they’d be as much into N.E.R.D., The Revolting Cocks or Drive Like Jehu as I am.