Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Musical Box

(No, this is not going 2 B an essay about early Genesis, but thank U 4 asking....)
I've got nothing new, fresh, insightful or funny 2 say about albums at this time, so my next coupla posts R likely 2 B about the mix tapes I've bn putting 2gether since about 1971 (long B4 we ever called them "mix tapes") -- which gives me more stuff 2 write about & a wider range of weirdness 2 discuss.
I've got mix-cassettes in the house that date back 2 late 1980, & don't I wish I still had summa those old, olde tapes still lying around -- but they've fallen apart or locked-up or bn lost during my many moves, & the stuff from '80 was an attempt 2 record my then-Ntire music collection. (But I'll talk about that Olde Stuff later....)
Lotta that olde stuff was recorded directly off the radio (wherever I was living at the time), & there's music I 1nce had on-tape that I've never Cn 4 sale NEwhere. But some tapes were assembled from purchases made at garage- & yard sales, like 1 of the Ultimate Garage Sales in my past....
What follows is sorta a soundtrack on the radio station in my head. I shoulda grown-up 2 B an oldies station....

JIM YULE'S RECORD COLLECTION (highlights), 7 90-min cassettes, recorded in September 1996, including:
Fanny: "Charity Ball"
Uriah Heep: "Easy Livin'"
Guess Who: "Road Food"
Gordon Lightfoot: "The Circle is Small"
Lobo: "A Simple Man"
Glen Campbell: "Try a Little Kindness"/"It's Only Make Believe"/"Gentle On My Mind"
Blue Ridge Rangers (John Fogerty): "Hearts of Stone"
Mason Williams: "Classical Gas"
Fendermen: "Mule Skinner Blues"
Trashmen: "Surfin' Bird"
Dramatics: "What'cha See is What'cha Get"
Freddy Cannon: "Palisades Park"/"June, July and August"
Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart: "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight?"
Beau Brummels: "Laugh, Laugh"
Lesley Gore: "You Don't Own Me"
Ricky Nelson: "Hello, Mary Lou"/"Stood Up"/"Be-Bop Baby"/"Waiting in School"
Steam: "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye"
Dion: "Daddy Rollin' (in Your Arms)"
Cowsills: "Hair"
American Breed: "Bend Me, Shape Me"
Johnny Rivers: "It Wouldn't Happen With Me"/"Memphis"
Beach Boys: "Kiss Me, Baby"
Elvis Presley: "Mystery Train"/"Promised Land"
Chuck Berry: "You Never Can Tell"
Legendary Stardust Cowboy: "Paralyzed"
Santana: "Everybody's Everything"
Beatles: "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)"/"Old Brown Shoe"
T-Bones: "No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)"
Original Caste: "One Tin Soldier"
First Class: "Beach Baby"
John Fogerty: "Almost Saturday Night"/"Rockin' All Over the World"
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: "House at Pooh Corner"
Bobby Russell: "Saturday Morning Confusion"
Edward Bear: "Close Your Eyes"
Bachman-Turner Overdrive: "Tramp"
Mashmakhan: "As the Years Go By"
John Denver: "Farewell Andromeda"
Michael Murphey: "Carolina in the Pines"
Raiders: "Do Unto Others"
Loudon Wainwright III: "Dead Skunk"
Stampeders: "Sweet City Woman"
Tin Tin: "Toast and Marmalade for Tea"
Jimmy Castor Bunch: "Troglodyte"
Focus: "Hocus Pocus II"
Left Banke: "Desiree"/"I've Got Something on My Mind"
Fleetwood Mac: "Dissatisfied"
Turtles: "Grim Reaper of Love"/"We'll Meet Again"

...During my 6 yrs in Worland, Wyoming, I Bcame addicted 2 spring/summer garage & yard sales. 4 a place in the Xact Geographical Middle Of Nowhere, the folks in Worland hadda lotta good stuff that they sold 4 dirt-cheap prices. (My X-wife Cyndi later made a pretty good home bizness outta collecting yardsale stuff & selling it on eBay.)
The list above comes from 1 of the Ultimate Yard Sales I stumbled-over in the late-summer of 1996. Jim Yule was a county-sheriff's deputy who helped run the county jail. We'd talked some previously, & I knew he was pretty laid-back & something of a character.
But when me, the X & R 2 kids arrived at Jim's yard sale 1 Sat morn, what I found there kept me busy 4 the next month. In addition 2 living-room furniture & other stuff, I found off 2 the side hidden from the sunlite a coupla big boxes of old 45-rpm singles.
I looked at Cyndi & she looked at me, then she rolled her eyes, looked upward 4 Divine Intervention, & muttered "Uh oh...."
I started digging. After an hr I told Cyndi she might as well take the kids & head home, cos I was gonna B there 4 awhile....
When I was done w/ the 1st 2 big boxes & already hadda big stack of singles (which Jim was selling at 4/$1), Jim laffed & told me there were 4 MORE big boxes inside the house....
So I crouched-down in Jim's living room & started going thru more old vinyl. As my feet, ankles & legs went numb from kneeling, Jim told me his Dad useta service jukeboxes at all the bars in Wyoming's Big Horn Basin (& there were A LOT of bars around the area), & that's where he got all the old 45's from. I told Jim my Uncle Lyle useta do the same thing back in Boise, Idaho -- that this was just like Bing back in Uncle Lyle's 45-filled garage again, Xcept that Jim had more stuff 2 choose from, & I could apparently take home as much as I could pay 4 & carry. (Uncle Lyle sold-off all the 45's in his garage around 1980 & never even had the courtesy 2 call me, & I never quite 4gave him 4 it....)
Something like 3 hrs later, I Nded-up picking-out some 200 45's, $50 wortha stuff, & I was thrilled w/ summa my finds, music I hadn't heard since age 12, stuff I'd never Cn 4 sale NEwhere.
Then Jim let me in onna secret: There was way more stuff in the basement. We headed down there, in2 a brilliantly-lit pantry, w/ shelves full of old 45's, all in new white sleeves, w/ artist's name, title, record serial# & release date printed carefully on the sleeves. Summa the older singles were in plastic bags. The room was everything Xcept air-conditioned & climate-controlled.
Jim said this was the stuff he'd never sell, tho he'd let me borrow some of it 4 taping purposes if I promised 2 get the vinyl back 2 him soon. & he noted that, as a sheriff's deputy, he already knew where I lived....
I probly brot home another 50-2-100 singles from Jim's security-alarmed airtight vault downstairs (Elvis's "Mystery Train," etc.), & spent the next month taping them as well as the purchased items. I don't even remember how I got home that evening.
Some of the list above is stuff I'd always loved & just never got 2 when I was 12 yrs old & in the middle of a 3-yr-long singles-buying frenzy. Some of it was music I hadn't heard since I was 12 (Edward Bear's "Close Your Eyes," NGDB's "House at Pooh Corner"). Some of it was stuff I'd never heard, but had heard OF ("Mystery Train," Beach Boys' "Kiss Me, Baby," Fanny's "Charity Ball," Left Banke's "Desiree," Dion's "Daddy Rollin'," Stardust Cowboy's "Paralyzed," Fendermen, Trashmen). Some of it's stuff I was a sucker 4 & can't Dfend ("Saturday Morning Confusion," "Hair," "Bend Me, Shape Me," Tin Tin). Some is stuff I scored copies of from lifelong-Elvis-fan Cousin Carol (Uncle Lyle's daughter) when I was 6 ("Palisades Park," the hilarious "It Wouldn't Happen With Me," mosta the Ricky Nelson stuff), & then lost somewhere along the way.
I just remember mainly Bing stunned that such musical riches could B found in as distant a place as Worland, which winter snowstorms often cut-off from the resta Reality, where it often Cmd like time had stopped back around 1956....

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