Monday, May 25, 2015

Garland Jeffreys

Artist: Garland Jeffreys
LP: 7" single
Song: "Matador" 
[ listen ]

Earlier this weekend I took a bunch of 45s I'd pulled from my collection into Bop Street Records, one of my local neighborhood record stores. This 1979 Garland Jeffreys single is one of the things I picked up in trade. A top-ten hit in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium and The Netherlands, "The Matador" failed to appear on charts in the USA or, ironically, even in Spain, where matadors are a part of everyday life, like traffic signals and shopping

Speaking of shopping, Bop Street has lots of neat records. If you visit when Dave, the owner, is there, you will no doubt find him talkative and friendly. He will inform you that someone from The Wall Street Journal once named his store "one of the five best record stores in America" (the quote is immortalized on a plaque behind the register, in case you forget) and he will point out that it is his own face that's depicted above the store's entryway in stained glass, lit by the sun. Dave gave me a quick tour of the area where the 45s are stored (I was mainly interested in swapping singles for singles) and I spent several hours digging through numerous boxes; I came up with some interesting stuff. Unfortunately, Bop Street is one of those places where much of the inventory has no price on it; the cost of a particular record isn't decided until you've dug it out of the bins and have expressed an interest in purchasing it, which, of course, automatically increases its value. In this particular case, Dave additionally pulled a few obscure singles out of my stack before pricing them, saying he wanted to listen to them first to see if he really liked them. "If you really like them, will I have to pay more?" I asked with a smile. "No," Dave replied, "If I really like them then you can't buy them because I'm going to keep them for myself." 

It's too funny to get upset over, really—one could even say it's endearing. But I did find myself wondering if the guy from The Wall Street Journal was aware of the fact that the owner of Bop Street might not let you buy some of his records if he liked them too much when he called the place one of the five best music stores in America. If you ask me, this bizarre and subjective policy—and the fact that all copies of all of The Partridge Family's LPs are priced between $20 and $25, regardless of their condition—would knock the store down a few notches, making it one of the top 155. Still, Bop Street has an incredible amount of inventory, including lots of rarities, and they gave me a pretty good deal on trade, so I really can't complain. I recommend stopping by if you like vinyl, even just to thumb through the bins and to meet Dave the record guy.

[ Garland Jeffreys ]

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