RECORD STORE TALES Part 36: The Hunt
Before the record store, during the record store, and after the record store, one thing remained constant: the Hunt.
The hunt for something long sought. The hunt for something cool. The hunt for something rare. Peter and I hunted for all these things together. The problem was that Peter and I like the same music, so if we’d only find one copy, who got dibs was who found it first.
Peter was at a record show once and asked a vendor, “Do you have Ward One: Along The Way by Bill Ward?” This solo album by the original Black Sabbath drummer featured guest vocals by Ozzy, making it a must have for both of us The guy didn’t have it there, but he did have it in his shop in Brampton. The following week, Peter jumped in his car, headed down to Brampton, and bought it. I’ve only ever seen this CD twice, and the second time was the time that I bought it. In the interim, Peter taped it for me.
Today, there are no “shops in Brampton” in which to buy rare CDs.
Kids today would be shocked at the lengths we went to to get albums. Peter and I once headed down to Michigan with the (essentially) sole purpose of finding rare things. Peter had heard about this comedy tape called The Jerky Boys that was not out yet in Canada. Score! I added to my Savatage collection on the same trip, picking up Power of the Night, which I had never even heard of before. On another US trip, Peter picked up the Black Sabbath box The Ozzy Osbourne Years. The set was a pretty decent overview of the first six Sabbath platters plus the then-rare track “Evil Woman”.
Peter and I used to also look at bootleg videos on our many trips to record shows. Once again, the hunt for Ozzy and Sabbath continued. Peter snagged a rare 1995 Ozzy club show with the short lived lineup of Geezer Butler (bass), Deen Castronovo (drums) and Joe Holmes (guitar). This lineup never recorded an album. It was memorable for that reason, and also the fact that when Ozzy shouted, “Do you people want to hear some Sabbath songs?” the crowd responded “NO!“
Even though I was working at the store, I couldn’t rely on the store to complete my collection. You had to think outside the box, you had to travel, to find those rare items. I found the rare first Vinnie Vincent Invasion album on CD in Kincardine, Ontario — the one with Robert Fleichman singing. I also found a Helix single there with a then-unreleased remix on it. My boss never understood why we’d shop anywhere we didn’t get a discount. This was why. You found the coolest stuff in the small towns, the out of the way places. But you sometimes also had to venture into the epicenter of a record show, and pay a little bit more, to get what you need.