Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chicken soup for the Mod Soul

It's been at least 10 years since my last record convention. A few reasons explain my absence. First of all, I just recently renewed my love for vinyl. CDs were simply more practical and convenient. And since I got my first Ipod and discovered the wonderful world of podcasts, even my CD collection has been neglected.

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


  1. here's some trivia for you,

    Earl of Bob & Earl (Harlem Shuffle) recorded as Jackie Lee:

  2. Le monde est petit : j'étais le guitariste des Macchabées avec Michel et Éric.

  3. @ Out In The Street

    Very cool. Thanks for the info. Thanks to your link, I learned that "The Duck" hit #14 on the US charts in 1965.

    @ Stéphane

    ES-TU SÉRIEUX!!! C'est le cas de le dire, le monde est vraiment petit! J'écoutais justement votre LP hier et il est vraiment bon. Le niveau de production est surprenant. Bravo! Je me sens prévilégié d'avoir une des 200 copies.

  4. Oui tu es chanceux d'en avoir une copie..! Même moi je me trouve chanceux d'en avoir une. Vas-tu être DJ au Mod Club bientôt?

  5. Je ne sais pas quand sera ma prochaine prestation derrière les tables tournantes au Mod Club mais je peux te confirmer que je serai sur le plancher de danse samedi prochain.

    Un lecteur du blog qui habite Burlington, Vermont descend pour l'occasion. Je lui ai promis une bière. Si tu veux te joindre à nous, je te fais la même promesse!

    Au plaisir!

  6. Très tentant...Je vais sûrement aller voir le premier show du groupe Le Chelsea Beat à l'Esco avant par contre. Je te conseille de jeter un coup d'oeil à ces messieurs. C'est la nouvelle formation du guitariste Daniel Fiocco avec qui je jouais dans les Séquelles.

  7. Très intéressant Stéphane. Hélas j'ai donné rendez-vous à nos amis du Sud à 22h30. Mais surtout tiens-moi au courant de show comme ça. Je suis toujours à l'affût de nouveau bands.

    À mettre à l'agenda, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings au le National le 26 mai. Formation soul du tonnerre. J'y serai sans faute.

  8. "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."

    That's what it's always been about for me. I've been haunting thrift stores and flea markets for decades, since the early 70s. Thrill of the hunt indeed. Just so happens to be the byline for my dusty old blog.