Record Store Memories #2
Back in high school, I used to leave Bartram High a couple hours early to go to work everyday. When I changed jobs and had time to blow between school and work, it was a regular occurrence for me to hit up The Philadelphia Record Exchange with my weekly check. It was located on 5th right off of South Street in Philly. They had a separate shop strictly for Jazz which may still be open if I’m not mistaken. The main store, however, carried it all from hard to find rock gems and hip-hop 12″s ex-DJs would bring in when clearing out their basements to classic R&B albums I would see in my parents closet as a child, all located in the back room. Most of the time I went, there would be people picking through the rock stash leaving me plenty of room in the back to sort through crates and crates of hip hop and R&B vinyl. During the religious period of my teenage years, I was forbidden to listen to rap and therefore 80% of my music collection was disposed of or sold in 1994. (My collecting started in 1985) Once I removed the “shackles,” I had the task of recollecting many of my prized pieces. The Record Exchange digs were like therapy for me during that period because of the seclusion in their back room as well as the fact that I could replace so many records for less than 10 dollars. I’m thankful I had the chance to spend so much time in there and get to know the guys who used to work there who seemed to have a grip on every piece still sitting in the store. They could even recall how long ago certain records were sold as plenty of times I spent my last dollar and had to return a few days later looking for pieces I left behind.
I bought the Onyx record not for the Live!!! single but for the Kill Dem All joint by Kali Ranks on the B-Side. Back when house parties were the only parties I could get into, this was a regular play and I always wondered where it was from. These two joints are on The Show Soundtrack but the Kali Ranks song never appeared in the movie.
The Gil Scott-Heron, Pieces Of A Man album was bought because I was familiar with Home Is Where The Hatred Is and The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. This album made me fall in love with the Lady Day and John Coltrane track which had a Drum N Bass type of rhythm even back in 1971. It predated anything classified as Jungle and subsequently caused me to buy anything with Gil’s name on it.