Thursday, January 31, 2008


Stocking Clad Nazi Death Squad Bitches by the Bleach Boys sells for £63.86. I am radiating in a warm wave of smugness as I purchased it last year for £20 from Davids in Letchworth.


First rule, don't be disheartened. You will walk into a charity shop and spy a mountain of vinyl and pound signs will pirouette before your eyes. Nonchalantly you'll wander over and study the first record. It'll most likely be a James Last LP or Paul Young's No Parlez. If it is a Matt Bianco 12" think yourself blessed. It's not worth anything but it's more encouraging than being confronted by Mrs Mills's chubby cheeks. I once found Matt Bianco singles in at least five charity shops on the same day. They were all different. I had no idea Matt Bianco had been so prolific; I had no idea a record company could be so tolerant.
As you begin to forage there will be gasps of recognition as the musical carnage of the 80's is offered up for your inspection. If you're lucky some lesser lights of the 70's or 90's may appear. If you're really lucky you might find one indie record. It won't be worth anything and you won't want it but it'll be a talking point when you describe the day to your friends. Under the influence of despair you'll even start rummaging through cassettes. Unless you find something by Judith Durham say no to tapes. This is the real life of the scavenger. If you can't cut it, leave it to those who can.


Braving industrial strength winds I ventured westward to Twickenham. Scene of many a decent find in the past I expected to be buried under an avalanche of C86 rarities. I have always been wary of the Cancer Research after they valued a harmless Abba LP at £20. Maybe some lunatic had run in with a price gun and wreaked unknown havoc before being chased out. Wariness this time was replaced with weariness as I flicked through a wasteland of Dave Edmunds LPs. Luck, I can't hear you knocking. Then right at the back I found a Yeh Yeh Noh Peel Sessions 12". At first I suppressed a full throated yeh, then I uttered an indifferent yeh, then I muttered noh; I already had everything it had to offer. I realized my excitement was simply due to the fact that I'd encountered Pasadenas 12"'s and Marcella Detroit CD singles and so my joy reflex was prone to jolt at any titbit that didn't stink of corporate. Nothing and five other charity shops were just as parsimonious. But the Trinity Hospice never lets me down. In there some years back I fell upon an LP by Adam Best called Wall Of Sound and more recently Dogs by the Who. This time I liberated the rather more prosaic Wannadies vinyl LP Be A Girl. All in a wet day's work.