Friday, June 20, 2008

The One That Got Away...Almost.

Enclosed is a tale of hubris...

I've seen a lot of big ticket items fall under the gavel in the years (some would say 'misspent') that I've been actively pursuing records. For some, it's undeniably a status thing (You might as well admit it), and for others it is a strange need to hold a tangible link to a past so appealing when out of context from the present. And while all of us have been guilty at one time or another of paying exorbitant amounts of money just for a twin spin and a little tickle of the psyche, I think all of us have our limits. I know I have mine. It's funny now to think just how my own limits have changed over the years. Case in point...

Back when US1 flea market (R.I.P. 1995) still flew the stars and bars, one could bounce between it and the smaller, but equally seedy Route 18 flea market (still standing) and come off the trip w/ a noteworthy haul.

One particular outing found me face to face w/ the bane of the Flea market going experience, namely that one black dude w/ the handlebar mustache, seated between the ninja weapon stand and the eastern meat-patty kiosk, who thought everything he was selling was a Maltese Pigeon. I'll never forget, he had an uncharacteristic New England cadence that reminded me of Grady from 'Sanford and Son'. It was this deep seated animosity of previous dealings, and his general rudeness, which caused me to balk at the $5 price tag of this particular Lightnin' Hopkins side which sat in a pile of otherwise useless singles (Perhaps the one valuable thing in the entire poke).

I mean, I dig the blues and all, but $5 for a side that should only cost a quarter!!! Highway fuckin robbery!!!

Needless to say, I left that platter sitting there on the table with my dignity firmly intact. Dignity, however, can be a spiteful thing, so much so that I spent the next five days (Route 18 Flea market is only open on weekends) in nervous agitation, mulling over the one that got away...almost.

Surely a weeks passing would see that little slice of lightning plucked by one of those pushy, sweaty record creeps we all hate, only to be slammed in plastic and spun nary a once, but as this post suggests, that was not the case. I returned next Saturday to that single sitting there just as red and shinny as I had left it.

Five 'over inflated' bucks later (not to mention a prodigious helping of humble pie and crow stew), and I could finally afford myself some peace, hard won thought it may have been (You'd be surprised how well a good blues record takes the sting out of the day's milieu).

"Lawd, I was in bad shape the day that girl left and called me a ape"

Best five bucks I ever spent. I only wish five bucks would go so far nowadays. Thanks Grady. You're still a dick.

Down to the River - Lightnin' Hopkins

Gone Again - Lightnin' Hopkins


Anonymous said...

you're lucky it was there, i had similar experiences where it's gone when you go back ten minutes later after deciding you gotta have it even tho ya know you're gettin ripped off. then it takes years to find again and it's gone up three times in value anyway, you just gotta get em when you see em. think this link broke by the way as cannot download your wares.
matt, worksop, england

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The RedBoy said...

Hey Matt,

Thanks for the heads up (F*%kin' Divshare seems to have a problem w/ ole' Lightnin'). I've since learned my lesson concerning being an active consumer. Always go with your guts...even if they have shit for brains.

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