Boney M

Part 276: Character Study – HH and Rasputin

RECORD STORE TALES Part 276:  Character Study – HH and Rasputin

HH (aka “Hobbit”) and Rasputin were regulars.  They came to T-Rev’s store first, always selling, never buying.  HH was known for her outrageous makeup.  Usually the lipstick started somewhere below the nose and went down to the chin.  Trevor used to say, “She looks like that woman from David Lee Roth’s ‘Just A Gigolo’ video!  Remember her?”

“DAVID! DAVID!  MY KIDS WILL DEFINITELY KILL ME IF YOU DON’T SIGN THESE PICTURES FOR THEM!”

That’s kind of how she looked.  Very close.  In the summer, HH wore these short skirts that were just way too little clothing.  T-Rev had to deal with her more often than I did.  I don’t know how he didn’t claw his own eyes out.  T-Rev tells me that once, HH pulled up to his store riding a little banana seat bike, wearing that short skirt.  He remembers her so clearly.  “Yeah!   The ‘hobbit’, the ripped nylons and the short skirt with her ass hanging out…yuck.  She looked like she had a Botox stroke in her face!” he says.

Rasputin, unsurprisingly, looked a lot like Grigori Rasputin, the famous “mad monk” of Russian history.  All he lacked was the long hair.  His long trench coat even remotely resembled Rasputin’s long monk robes.  T-Rev nicknamed him Rasputin, or Razzy for short.  He had a lazy eye.

They would come in, selling crappy scratched used CDs.  HH would often say she was selling them for her son.  That meant she had procreated, a scary thought in itself.  She never specifically identified Razzy as the father, but that certainly could have been the case.  Razzy never spoke.  When we would make an offer on the CDs, HH would turn to Razzy.  Razzy would either nod yes, or shake his head no.  Then they’d try to haggle.  Their CDs were rarely worth haggling over.  But haggle they did.  According to Trevor, “I remember her always haggling for a better price out of me…like ‘this CD is really popular right now with the kids’.  Fuck you!”

Those summers of HH and Razzy are long gone, now. I wonder if Razzy ever shaved off that black beard.   I wonder if she’s still riding that bike in her skirt.  I may never know…I don’t really want to know.

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Part 208: Flashback 1995

RECORD STORE TALES Part 208:  Flashback 1995

November/December 1995 was freakin’ busy.  We sold a lot of discs that Christmas.  What we didn’t do was listen to a lot of discs!  No; our boss really, really liked Don Henley and TLC.  He played them ad-nauseum.  Like on repeat three times in a row.  I’m not kidding about that.  I distinctly remember the repeat.  Here are the Top Three Discs I Had to Listen to Until My Ears Bled, December 1995.

3. Boney M – Christmas Album

2. Don Henley – Actual Miles

1. TLC – CrazySexyCool

Trevor on the other hand was introducing me to Oasis and managed to get a few cool discs into rotation:

3. The Beatles – Anthology Vol. 1 (usually just disc 2)

2. Foo Fighters – Foo Fighters 

1. Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?

We were also working with this new guy, Donnie, and we let him pick Dance Mix ’95 a few times.  Unfortunately, the Big Shiny Tunes series hadn’t begun yet.

I didn’t get to pick as many discs as the others — the boss didn’t like my picks.  When I did, I chose the new Def Leppard – Vault (Greatest Hits 1980-1995).

Looking back, there were also a few albums that I found utterly disappointing that season.  They included:

3. AC/DC – Ballbreaker

2. Lenny Kravitz – Circus

1. Savatage – Dead Winter Dead

All three were albums that I was solidly looking forward to, but largely disappointed me.  I never did buy Circus.  I own the other two, but only because I’m a completest (and I got AC/DC for $3).

Finally there were three albums that really got me through that season.  I had just been dumped by my first serious girlfriend and I was really angry about it.  Away from work (my boss didn’t want these ones played in the store) these three albums totally spoke to me that Christmas:

3. Alice in Chains – Alice in Chains

2. Ozzy Osbourne – Ozzmosis

1. Iron Maiden – The X Factor

Let me tell you something people:  I still fuckin’ hate TLC.  I’ll never go chasin’ waterfalls, ever again.

Next time on Record Store Tales…

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…