RECORD STORE TALES Part 14: Record Shows, Parties, and Quiet Riot
Guys from record stores do know how to party. The only true allnighters I ever pulled happened during the years at the record store. Everything else I called an allnighter, I actually slept for a couple hours.
But trust me folks…guys from record stores play the best music when they party. One night in London (Ontario) we stayed up for what seemed like forever, playing the dumbest fucking drinking games. My drink was Captain Morgan’s (spiced) and Coke. However we were playing this stupid fucking card game. I think it was called Kings in the Corner or something? Each card was a rule? 2 of anything meant you take two drinks, 3, meant you take 3 drinks, etc. And then on some cards, like 6, you’d GIVE 6 drinks to someone else. And a joker meant you took a shot of Wild Turkey. Here’s the photo of my first shot of Wild Turkey from that very night.
Like I said, we knew how to party. From that night forward, when I got loaded, my nickname became “Jim”. And as I took a shot, they’d say, “Here comes Jim!!” Anyway, who gives a crap about that? There’s loads of people who partied harder. We party better.
The best stimulant imaginable is music, and I heard some of the best music ever at those parties. The first time I ever heard Kyuss was at the party at Tom’s place in London. He didn’t start with Kyuss, though. He started with some bootleg Black Sabbath video from 1970. It was taped in some…well, it probably was a highschool cafeteria. That’s what it looked like. It was awesome. It was easily in the top five times I ever truly had my mind blown.
During “Black Sabbath” itself, Ozzy got this crazed look in his eye! You could see it! Then he just started going mad on stage, thrashing about, that leather jacket of his flailing about him. Ozzy’s said before he has another person inside him when he gets crazy, someone they call “Him”. Maybe what they captured on tape that night was an appearance by “Him”? Who knows?
The cool thing though is another of my top five mind-blows of all time happened that night too. Kyuss. I made a nice bed on the floor out of pillows and blankets and stuff, and I passed out in front of the stereo. I woke up a short time later, as some of the guys were heading out (walking) to catch last call at the local pop shop. I just kind of laid there listening to the music…I was falling in and out of consciousness to this heavy, drony music. It was awesome. I didn’t know who it was.
I was told the following morning that it was Kyuss. Tom told me he left the Kyuss / Queens of the Stone Age split EP in the player. From that I pieced together that the song I must have heard was “Fatso Forgotso”. I still remember how it rolled over me like a wave that night.
We had to be up fairly early the next morning, as we were hitting a record show in London. If you don’t know what a record show is, I’ll take a moment to explain. If you do, skip the next paragraph
A record show is usually held in a large room like a conference room in a hotel, for example. Dozens of vendors gathered their best, their overpriced, their rare, and their shelf warmers for you to pick through and haggle over. They are a record store dude’s dream, and his VISA card’s nightmare.
Just to give you a taste, here’s some of my best finds.
- At the show in question, I actually found the first two Japanese Quiet Riot albums with Randy Rhoads.
- Elsewhere, I found a great book about Alice Cooper called Billion Dollar Baby that we’ll talk about another time. I later found out it was worth many times what I paid.
- LP of Faith No More’s incredible Angel Dust album which came with an exclusive remix of “MidLife Crisis”.
- Oh, this isn’t a find, but we did see Greg Goddovitz (Goddo) at one. He was wearing socks and sandals.
We had a greasy breakfast (sausage, eggs, toast, OJ) and headed out. I remember it was freezing. Then you get to the hotel, pay your admission (usually somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 or so) and go in. And then you’d be sweating your parka off in this crowded room full of long-hairs, skullets, and mohawks. Guy to girl ratio: About 4-1.
Anyway, as I mentioned, I found these two Quiet Riot albums with Randy Rhoads. I want to post a more detailed blog about this later on, because I truthfully don’t know if I bought a bootleg or a promo. As far as I know there has never been a CD release of these two albums. Yet, that doesn’t exclude that Sony might have pressed some sample copies as a prototype before deciding not to proceed. Or perhaps they were threatened to be sued, who knows? Metal Health was released on Pasha/Columbia which later was absorbed by Sony. My CDs are marked as Sony promos. Everything about the CDs screams “official” except that I am certain they didn’t officially release a CD anywhere at any time.
Regardless, they sound great and I paid what was then a fair price for a bootleg, which would have been $30 for a new, mint bootleg. I would have been willing to pay up to $35 for a good sounding bootleg and they would always let you sample it anyway. So I consider this one of my best scores. I’ve never run across any other copies, bootleg or otherwise, since then. It was meant to be.
We drove back to Kitchener tired as hell but it was worth it. I’m sure there are people out there who don’t understand how you could pay $30 for a bootleg CD when you can just download it for free. And I’m sure someone else could explain it to you better than I can, because I don’t really have a good reason why it’s worth it.
Except I fucking love music, and when you fucking love music, especially when it’s one of the first bands you ever liked, that’s what you do.