Since I abandoned chronological order shortly after Part 10, everything’s been scattershot since. This story takes place a month before the events in Part 102: Dumped in Barrie. It features she who dumped me in Barrie, as well as friends from Part 64: Niagara Falls, and the title character from Part 155: Sarge. Got all that?
RECORD STORE TALES Part 243: Return to Niagara Falls
A cold Saturday morning, JJJulie and I headed down to St. Catharines, Ontario. The purpose of our visit was to hang out with our Record Store friends in The Legendary Klopeks, and Sarge, who had flown in from Bournemouth, England! Sarge was an imposing figure, with steampunk top hat and platform boots. We’d been communicating online for a while and we were all looking forward to his visit. He ended up helping the Klopeks book some gigs overseas later.
Lemon Kurri Klopek, you may remember, co-owned one of our stores. JJJulie and I rendezvoused with him at his store, where I spent some money. (Astute readers will realize that for me to buy a CD from Lemon Kurri, a franchisee, was against the rules! We had some pretty stupid rules.)
The lot of us grabbed some fancy dinner together, a motley crew of tattoos, piercings, leather, and rock and roll. Although we spent a lot of money and were nothing but polite, our appearances were apparently too much for the upscale restaurant folk. We were given our bills and pointedly not asked if we wanted to order from the dessert menu.
We fit in much better later on at a bar in St. Catharines, where Sarge presided regaling us with stories about Lemmy from Motorhead and others. I normally don’t like bars, but everybody seemed to know everybody there. Sarge then presented me a Motorhead tour shirt, a gift I still have (although packed away in a box). We had a pretty solid time, and the place was mostly empty so my crowd phobia didn’t really kick in.
The following day, Sunday, we took a trip across the border to do some shopping. We all piled into Lemon Kurri Klopek’s Rockmobile. There was some kind of outlet mall in Niagara Falls, USA that was supposed to be pretty cool. JJJulie wanted to buy shoes (whoop-de-do!) but I was told there were a couple good toy stores there.
At K.B. Toys I found the Star Wars Game of Life for $9.99, which I still have. That was a score. I kept it sealed. At that price I should have bought a second one and sold it or given it away as a gift. But that wasn’t the only mistake I made on that trip. A further stop at a US record store turned up a find that I didn’t know existed.
I’m admittedly not a fan of the Alice Cooper Brutal Planet period. I am however a completist, so I was still interested when I saw a Brutally Live CD/DVD combo pack. We had the DVD in Canada, but not the CD, and CD is still my primary format. It was $25, and I decided to pass on it simply because I knew I wasn’t going to play it that often.
Maintaining a balance between “I won’t play it that often” and “I still want it for the collection” is tricky sometimes, and erring on the side of budget, I decided to pass on the Brutally Live set for the moment. As soon as I got back home and checked online, I regretted that decision. I couldn’t get it from any Canadian sellers and buying from an American one was going to cost me at least $35. (Happy ending: About five years down the road, it was released in Canada at a budget price! I have it now.)
My Star Wars Game of Life was a good score. On eBay, there’s one (not sealed like mine) going for $25.99 (buy it now). There are none on eBay that are unopened at the time of this writing. I think I’ll hang onto mine and wait for the release of Episode VII to sell!