Part 164: “You scratch my back…”


RECORD STORE TALES Part 164:  “You scratch my back…”

In the past, (Part 120, in fact) I talked about how T-Rev would keep his eyes peeled for discs that he knew I wanted.  It worked out to be a mutually advantageous arrangement;  a large chunk of my collection came to me simply because T-Rev knew I wanted something.  I’m sure the reverse was also true.  But this referred just to discs that showed up in our respective stores.

I had a different arrangement with “QUO”, who worked with me at my own store.  In this case, we’d actually buy each other stuff while we were out on our own record shopping excursions.  I found the following entries in my journal, illustrating exactly the kind of “you scratch my back…” arrangements that we had.  It was pretty awesome.

Date: 2005/10/25

Today I picked up a Bright Eyes 45, an Arcade Fire 45 for QUO, and the new Motley DVD since I didn’t see the tour. I hope the documentary footage kicks ass! The last Motley DVD (given to me by an ex) really sucked. Maybe Vince actually sings on this one instead of letting the fans do it all!

I actually picked up the Bright Eyes 7″ for QUO as well, but he already had it, so I just kept it for myself.  I don’t know which Arcade Fire I bought for him (it was probably “Rebellion”), but the Bright Eyes was “Gold Mine Gutted”.  (The Motley DVD I am referring to was Carnival of Sins.)

This was in return of a favour QUO did for me, one week prior!

Date: 2005/10/18

QUO picked up three CDs for me in Toronto last night:

1. Bon Jovi “Have A Nice Day” single (has two live tracks first released on the box set, but in studio versions).
2. Bruce Dickinson Tyranny Of Souls Japanese import with bonus track.
3. Iron Maiden “The Trooper” CD single.

I remember giving QUO a wishlist.  This was back when HMV Toronto still carried Japanese imports (which they no longer do, see rant here).  I remember putting Avril Lavigne CD singles on that wishlist too!

This is what obsessive Record Store Guys do.  We help each other out.  It’s in our blood, the blood of the collector!



    1. Collectors untie! I mean, unite!

      Yeah it was a pretty cool arrangement. Kevin couldn’t have cared less about bands like Bon Jovi or Maiden, but what he DID understand was collecting. He knows.


        1. Yeah, it’s kind of like that Arcade Fire I bought for him. I didn’t call him and ask (didn’t have my cell phone on me at the time) so I just bought it. It’s what we did!

          Not all the guys at the store were like that, but Kevin was, and I think that’s one reason we got along so well, we had a lot in common. Maybe not musical taste, but certain ideologies.


        2. The only trick is knowing (or guessing) what they already have… collectors are also impulsive, so it’d be likely to duplicate what they already had. ;)

          Yeah man, we find these people, and we keep ’em around!


        3. Yeah exactly. It’s not a huge deal to return something to Encore, there were right on my way to work, but even so I chose to keep the Bright Eyes. It’s not like it was Toronto.


  1. It’s easier in the age of cell phones & texting to reciprocal shop for friends, but of course now there are much fewer stores to browse in. Oh the irony. I have a friend in New Jersey who gets to Princeton Record Exchange at least once a week, and he’s always emailing to ask if I have particular CDs. Sadly, it’s now a one-way relationship since I have no record stores in my area, but fortunately we’ve been friends for nearly 30 years so he doesn’t take it personally.


      1. I live in Westchester County, which is just north of Manhattan and The Bronx. There are still some record stores in Manhattan but since I no longer work there I don’t get to shop very often. To the best of my knowledge there’s not a single record store remaining in Weschester. I don’t count the music departments of big box retailers like Target, Walmart and Best Buy, of course. If it makes you sad, imagine how I feel. Since I moved here I maybe go record shopping 3-4 times a year, when that’s how often I used to shop per year.


        1. Yeah I don’t count those stores either, and only rarely do I actually buy music there. I bought the new Zeppelin at Best Buy because I was there, and I knew they’d have it, but shockingly I still had to ask for it, because it was not out on display!


        2. Of course, I have nothing specifically against Adele or Katy Perry. They’re certainly good at what they do, even though I’ll never choose to listen to them. It’s just that these stores need to cater to all music buyers, not just fans of currently popular artists. I remember walking in to Best Buy shortly after Warren Zevon’s last album was released. When I didn’t see it on display, I asked a clerk, who gave me a puzzled look and asked me if he was “Rock-Pop-R&B.” Yeah, buddy…that’s his genre: rock-pop-r&b. Needless to say they didn’t have it and I had to find the CD elsewhere.


        3. Rock-pop-R&B is my favourite genre. It’s like to Neapolitan icecream of genres!

          I can walk into my local grocery store and buy Katy Perry. I can walk into the drug store and buy Adele. I think there’s enough shelf space on these artists currently!


        4. Reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Homer keeps trying to eat chocolate from the neapolitan ice cream only to discover it’s all been eaten (while the other flavors remain). I believe he yells to Marge, “We need more vanilla, chocolate & strawberry ice cream.” Ahh, the years when that show was must-see TV.


        5. I hung on with The Simpsons until about 4 years ago, out of loyalty (like I do with music), but at some point I realized that I almost never laughed and I cut ties. I haven’t missed it, although it’s weird to know that there are almost 100 episodes I’ve never seen.


        6. I lasted up until I cancelled my cable about a decade ago. Although my wife has not, she still loves it, and I still dutifully buy her the new Simpsons box sets every Christmas!


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