Another reason why I have stayed clear of record conventions is it's ridiculous prices. I don't really care about condition, rare labels, early pressings, unusual covers or scarce imports. I just want good music. Although it requires a lot more patience, I would rather search through flea market bins and thrift store crates. The thrill of the hunt is more intense and the prices are within reach.
But lately I've been catching myself dropping the needle on a regular basis. Nothing beats the ritual of dusting off an old LP, hearing that crackling noise, sitting down and taking the time to listen to that sweet soul music while contemplating the record sleeve. So I decided to attend the 16th Annual Record and CD Convention of Montreal and see if I could seek out a gem or two.
Wow! The church basement where the convention was held was packed! Wax fever has really hit the city! Two dozen stalls, from Quebec and Ontario, offered a nice selection of LPs, 45s and music memorabilia. My favorite vender had to be a guy from Sherbrooke called Michel. He took the time to go through his collection of 45 rpm and pick out all the good stuff. He knew right away what I was looking for from the pins I had on my Harrington. And his selection was spot on. But the funniest part was when we started talking about local bands. I was telling him about a friend who was the drummer of a soul band called The Outfit that I had seen the night before (see the April 28th post). He turned around and pulled out an LP of an obscure garage band called Les Macchabées with my friend Eric and him on the cover. My jaw dropped!
I added it to my growing pile and paid him. He really made me a great deal. The Jam's All Mod Cons in great condition at 3$, I just couldn't say no. I was also looking forward to seeing my friend Ben Shulman who, at 18, knows more about music then I ever will. I can always count on his recommendations and that day was no exception.
The find of the day had to be a fine copy of an album from The Contours. Cool Jerk is one of my all time favorites and at 8$, I couldn't let it slip away. It was worth buying it just for the very Mod album cover.
Soul was the order of the day. Jackie Lee is not a singer I'm very familiar with, but I don't regret buying The Duck LP. Back in the sixties, you had a new dance coming out every week. So I guess that after learning how to do the Cool Jerk, The Duck had to be the next on your list.
Another Mod "must have" was a bootleg copy of a DVD from The Who with all of their early appearances on Ready Steady Go, Shindig! and Top of the Pops. As for the 45s that have been on a regular rotation on my turntable since the convention, two are worth mentioning. Michel suggested I buy a very cool version of Fever by The McCoys. Worth the dollar? Hell Yeah!
Boogaloo Down Broadway by The Fantastic Johnny C was one more soul 45 that was well worth the money. All in all I think it was a successful hunt.
If you want to hear a few of those finger snapping tunes, follow these links to a couple of videos I took of the records playing. It might not be the best sound quality but it might get those feet tapping. Enjoy!
J.J. Jackson - I Dig Girls - Allied Records
Don Covey & The Goodtimers - Sookie Sookie - Atlantic Records