garage sales

#1062: Return to Trillion Dollar Treats with Max the Axe

One does not question the mighty Max the Axe why he has three kites (and one has propellers).  One simply walks into his garage and purchases two of the kites.  And a CD to boot.

I don’t understand how many of Max’s treats weren’t snapped up by his hordes of fans and followers a few short weeks ago.  He did have a kite I was interested in.  As a gift, to my sister, Dr. Kathryn.  In fact, on my show a couple weeks ago, I told Jex Russell that I was going to return to Max’s and buy one of his kites for my sister.  I even said, “She’s not watching this anyway.”  But she was, and so she knows she’s getting a new kite.  It truly is a beauty.

For $10 each, I took home two $30 (retail) kites.  The dragon one, we know it flies — because at Max’s sale, it caught a gust of wind and took off down the street!  The other is still sealed in package.  And I didn’t buy the one with propellers because it looked pretty complicated and didn’t have instructions.

The CD I bought for $5 was Around the Next Dream by BBM (1994) – Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and Gary Moore.  You might recognize that as the Cream rhythm section but with Gary Moore on guitar instead of Eric Clapton.  All these years and I’ve never heard it before now.  Good score.

It wasn’t for sale, but I had to snap a picture of Max’s one of a kind signed Sheavy poster.  A great band that no longer exists, but really should.  A piece of history right there on his wall.

Max is having another sale with his whole neighbourhood next month.  Be sure to check out Trillion Dollar Treats on June 17 for more goodies and treasures!



#1060: Max the Axe’s Garage Sale (Trillion Dollar Treats)

RECORD STORE TALES #1060: Max the Axe’s Garage Sale

A huge thank-you to my host Max the Axe today at a fantastic garage sale!  BEHOLD!

“9:00 AM!” he said.  “Serving shots and weed to my Facebook friends starting at 9 AM!”

There was no way I was missing this garage sale.

I only had four hours sleep, and a large Tim Horton’s coffee, to prepare me.  I didn’t think I could make it.  After the events of last night, which left me rocked (in a bad way), I didn’t think I was up for it.  But at 9:00 AM I said “to hell with it, let’s go,” and Jen and I were in the car off to the Trillion Dollar Treats that Max had on offer.

First up:  cassettes!  I picked up six:

  • Poison – Flesh & Blood
  • Metallica – Metallica
  • Van Halen – Diver Down
  • Extreme – II:  Pornograffitti
  • Ozzy Osbourne – No Rest for the Wicked
  • Van Halen – Women and Children First

You can blame Tim Durling for my sudden interest in buying Cassettes That I Already Own On Remastered CDs.  He did point out the Diver Down cassette was an unusual cover variant, with the image slanted taking up the whole cover.

Speaking of Tim Durling…

  • Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV

I’ve caught the 8-track bug, baby!  Tim remarked that my copy was in better condition than his.  Max had more 8-tracks but none from bands that I collected.

So that’s cassette and 8-track.  What about CD and vinyl?  Maxie has plenty of both, but my tab was starting to rack up.  I gave him $20 for this rare AC/DC longbox, still sealed.

It’s the live “Highway to Hell” single, with long box intact and not in terrible shape.  I used to have CD longboxes, but I foolishly tossed them when I moved, assuming their were worth next to nothing.  Just paper.  But now…

Next up:  Max has been trying to sell me a tape deck for years.  This one was $20, a Kenwood.  My old Sony has seen the better of days, and Max says this one runs perfectly.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough, to try out these new tapes I just bought, huh?

Finally, we have the magazine scores.  Some MAD, some Cracked, some Star Wars, and some music!  Even a M.E.A.T Magazine!  A little bit of everything, and…woah, that’s Lee Aaron!!

Max has so much stuff, and you still have time to get down there.  Kites, speakers, tape decks, collectables, magazines, all killer deals!  Blank media galore.

Am I ever glad I went to Trillion Dollar Treats to see Max the Axe on my Saturday morning.  My Friday was brutal – absolutely brutal.  I am sure you will eventually be reading about it in one way or another.  My real life has a habit of becoming public knowledge, because when I’m hurting inside, I need to get it out.  My only weakness.  Thank you to everyone who sent helpful messages and offered to talk.  I need to single out Boppin, Jex, Tim, James and especially Jen for talking to me last night and this morning.  I love you all.


#823: A Cure for The Cult

GETTING MORE TALE #823: A Cure for The Cult

The Cult were big in highschool. “Fire Woman” debuted in the spring of ’89. It was an instant hit. Their momentum continued through the fall with “Edie (Ciao Baby)” and into the following year with “Sweet Soul Sister”. There was no stopping The Cult! With a new unknown drummer named Matt Sorum, The Cult toured the world and cleared up any remaining confusion that this was indeed a rock band.

The only Cult confusion that remained might have been with my friend Danesh.

Ian Astbury

I discovered that we both liked The Cult. I recall his amusement at the lyrics for “New York City” off Sonic Temple.  In particular he thought the aggrandizement “Hell’s Kitchen is a DMZ” was pretty funny.  It might have had something to do with the annual school trip to New York, that we didn’t attend but a friend of ours did.  Their bus was broken into and they had their stuff stolen.  Not particularly funny in and of itself, but I think we were amused because of who it happened to:  The legendary Brett Bowerman of Brett-Lore fame.  Indeed, in our highschool comic strip, the Geography teacher Mr. Robinson went to New York City to find a missing Brett!  This was inspired by us assuming Brett would get lost in New York and left behind.  In our sketches, Ian Astbury himself made a cameo.  This happened in a chapter titled “Brett Lore III:  Brett Takes Manhattan”.  In one panel, we find the Ayatollah Khomeini, a dead cat, and Skid Row (presumably because I didn’t know the difference between New York and New Jersey).  The Cult’s logo was scrawled on a wall, but scratched out.  Hell’s Kitchen is a DMZ after all!

Note that Elvis visited New York in 1989, apparently.  I also like that you can actually identify each Skid Row member by appearance alone.

Adding to the comedy, I recall that Brett purchased a samurai sword in New York.  I don’t remember if it was among the stolen possessions.  I think it probably was.

Back to the Cult.  Danesh was getting into rock music and wasn’t as well educated in the fine art of electric guitar as I was.  I think it’s very possible that he accidentally bought Disintegration by The Cure, confusing them with The Cult.  I do know that Danesh was terribly embarrassed about owning that Cure CD.  Compact discs were a new thing, and he owned up to having The Cure when we were listing some of the CDs that were in our collections.  I asked if he owned any discs that had “bonus tracks”.  The Cure did — two in fact.  That’s when he told me about it.  But he refused to tell me how he got it.  I had the Cure/Cult mixup theory, but he never confirmed nor denied.  To this day, 30 years later, I still don’t know!

Danesh really hated that Cure album.  When my family had a garage sale in 1991, he handed me the Cure CD to get rid of.  The garage sale was his only hope.  I put a sticker on there that said “BONUS TRACKS” and priced it at $12.  That was about half as much as you’d pay new.  But too much for garage salers.  I dropped it to $10 but no go.

Danesh was heartbroken when I returned the disc to him the following Monday.

“I would have been fine with a lower price if you called to tell me it wasn’t selling.”

Well, shit.  Sorry man.

I did feel bad.  I would have preferred selling it for him too.  But he still wouldn’t tell me why he owned it!  Was it a gift?  Did he like one song and then hate the rest?  Did he freak out when he saw what they looked like?  I remember his reaction the first time he saw a photo of Night Songs-era Cinderella.  It wasn’t positive!  The only album he owned was Heartbreak Station.  He didn’t know about Cinderella’s glam past and he wouldn’t let it go!

But these are just guesses.  For whatever reasons, Danesh would never tell me why he owned Disintegration by The Cure, nor would he tell me why he was ashamed of it.

As a final explanation, I’m going to go with the Cure/Cult mixup and consider this case closed.  An understandable mistake like that can be easily forgiven.


#336: Garage Sales

IMG_20141031_171118RECORD STORE TALES Mk II: Getting More Tale
#336: Garage Sales

I used to love garage sales and yard sales as a kid; both going to them and having them.  As a buyer, you never know what cool things you will find at a garage sale, from books to gadgets to movies.  As a seller, it’s a quick way to de-clutter your house and liquidate junk that’s sitting around.  In our last few garage sales, I made several hundred dollars and cleaned out a ton of space.

It’s a lot of work, packing up the stuff and getting it organized, priced and displayed.  Making and putting up the signs.  Creating online ads.  Opening for business.  But you’re not here to read about the tedious aspects.  You’re here for the stories.

Some of the most irritating people on this Earth are the early-morning hard-core garage salers.  They scour the newspaper ads each week and want to be first to arrive.  Since I live in a condo, the last bunch of garage sales we’ve held were at my parents’ house.  I would drive over early on the Saturday morning to open up for business.  I’d arrive around 6 or 6:30, in order to open up at 7, our advertised time.

I remember driving over on that lovely summer morning, still dark outside, and seeing a dude sitting in his car on the side of the street.  “He can’t be here for the sale,” I said to myself.  “I advertised that it starts at 7:00.”   But I had underestimated the tenacity of serious hard core garage salers.  I parked, opened the garage door, and began moving things out onto the driveway.

Next thing you know, I notice a guy in the dark garage behind me!

“Where are your Star Wars things?” he asked.

I said, “I’m not even close to being ready.  They’re here in boxes somewhere but I have to dig everything out.”

“Do you have the vintage ones from the 70’s?”

I laughed.  “No.  I would never sell that stuff at a garage sale!”

I laughed just like this.

Without a word the guy left and drove off to the next sale.  Over the next 30 minutes, while I was setting up, cars would drive by, slow down to look at what I had, and drive off.  If they didn’t see what they were looking for (presumably big items like bikes and appliances) they kept going.

Typically at a garage sale, you don’t make any money for the first hour.  The first hour is only serious salers who are looking for those specific items.  They ask what you have and leave.  After that things begin to pick up.  Most people are pretty nice.  As the day goes on, friends and neighbors drop by, but it’s the cheapskates that drive me nuts.

A garage sale is a place where you can buy things dirt-cheap, but even so, I have my limits.  The guy that pissed me off the most at the last one was a douchebag in a big black pickup truck.  (Why do the douchebags always seem to drive big black pickup trucks?)  I had about a dozen DVDs and a couple Blu-rays out for sale.  The prices on them were pretty reasonable: I had the Blu out for $4 and none of the DVDs were over $3.  And that’s just the stickered prices, I was always willing to make deals with people who bought more than one.  Within reason.

The pickup truck douchebag grabbed all my movies and said simply to me, “50 cents each?”

I said, “No, I can’t go that low.  If you take them all you can have ‘em for $2 each.”

He laughed, “$2 each?  Are you nuts?”  Laughed again.  “You’re not going to get $2 each for these.”

“I already have,” I said.  “I’ve sold a few already.”

He chuckled again and said, “You’re not going to sell these for $2 each.  50 cents and I’ll take them all.”

“No thanks,” I responded.  “I’d rather sell them separately at full price.”

He began walking away.  “Good luck buddy, you’re not going to sell any of those movies.”

Again I laughed.  “I already have!”

Then he said to me, “You know, that place [name deleted] will only give you 50 cents each for movies.”

The funny thing is the place he mentioned was the Record Store in which I used to work!  And they were not giving 50 cents each for movies at the time.  I had worked there long enough, and sold enough stuff since, that I knew he was full of shit.

I told him who I was, and called bullshit.  He drove off.

I admit I was pretty steamed up.  But the guy was a total dillhole.  Just the kind of garage saler that everybody hates.  Like I would have given him the movies with that kind of attitude!

An hour or two later, he drove back!

“Hey buddy!” he shouted from the window of his truck.  “How much for your movies?”

“Same as before,” I responded.  “$2 each.”

He said something rude and drove off.  I responded with something rude and was promptly scolded by my mother!

“He was a dickweed, mom,” I reasoned.  He then drove to my sister’s place, who had a garage sale going at the same time, and bought one of her movies for $2 without a single complaint!

I sold all but three of my movies at that sale and raked in a few hundred bucks.  I was happy and I just gave the remaining movies away to friends.  Although I may still have my copy of Reefer Madness that nobody wants.


After the garage sale, my parents went on vacation for a week.  While they were away, one of the items we sold at the garage sale turned up sitting on my parents’ front porch, with a note attached.

Somebody had bought a VCR at the garage sale, and a few movies to go with it.  Everything worked.  The VCR was missing its power cable, but that was all.  I have lots of spare power cables around the house, and they’re easy enough to find, so I figured that was not an issue.

Well, some dumb lady “returned” the VCR ($5) and left it, with the movies, on my parents’ porch saying she wanted her money back because it “didn’t work”.

You sure can’t fix stupid.

Fortunately when my folks returned from vacation they settled the VCR issue.  The lady came back; she was from the neighborhood, and my parents gave her the money back without incident.

Still, I wondered to myself, “Who the hell tries to return something they bought at a garage sale?”  Weird.

That was the last sale we had.  Though I am sure we will have more, they certainly are not as much fun as they were when I was a kid!