I alluded to it the other day in the third SHoD post, but wanted to save the details for this. To briefly recap: I got to Krug’s early Sunday for the third day of Stoner Hands of Doom XI in Frederick, Maryland, and having an hour to kill, decided to go record shopping. Not the first time in my life I’ve made that decision.
Using my magic cellophone, I got directions to CD/Game Exchange on N. Market St., and while on my way there, passed a sign on E. Patrick with Rock & Roll Graveyard printed on it. With hopes that it wasn’t some shitty irono-fashion boutique with $50 torn up Iron Maiden t-shirts on sale for dumb hipster girls who’ve never heard Killers, I nonetheless parked my car and decided to investigate.
A fucking treasure trove, this place was. If I bought vinyl — which I don’t — I wouldn’t have gotten out of there without putting down at least $100, but as it was, I spent only one-tenth of that (or $10) and still got a host of goodies for the effort. From a brief perusal of the CD bin, it was apparent that the owner, whose name is Chris Wolfe, knows his heavy. There was a lot I already had, but I did manage to find the SPV digipak reissue of the self-titled album from Uriah Heep offshoot Weed. It’s another one of those lost heavy ’70s classics that five people in the world preach like gospel and no one else has ever heard of, but man, it’s a pretty killer record. A bit all over the place, but when it locks in, it locks in hard. Dig it.
So that accounts for $5 of the total $10 I blew. The next $4 went to Black Sabbath tapes. Yes, plural. I spent $4 and got four tapes: Master of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabotage and Heaven and Hell. At a buck each, I couldn’t really ask for more. The only one I haven’t played is Vol. 4, because it would require clever fast-forwarding to get past “Changes,” but it was awesome to hear the little differences in the sound on Master of Reality, or the live version of “Sweet Leaf” tacked onto Sabotage — and Heaven and Hell, well, I’ll pretty much take that record on any format I can get it. An all-time favorite for one measly dollar, no way I was leaving that.
Wolfe, who also plays bass in Fat Chick Meat Haul, is a genuine record hoarder and has had the store open for about three months. Most everything he was selling came from his personal collection, and that included the tapes and the lime green 8-track edition of Jethro Tull‘s Aqualung that accounts for the last of the $10 I spent at Rock & Roll Graveyard. Yeah, the tape’s ripped, but what the hell do I care? Jeebus save me, it’s Aqualung on 8-track! I don’t have a player anyway — for a buck, I’m happy just to look at the damn thing and sing “Wind-Up” to myself.
The best part? Well, all this stuff was pretty great, especially for the price, but the best part came in talking to Wolfe about old records and heavy rock and whatever else. He told me about an album from a band called Tin House he’d picked up not too long ago, and when I said it sounded cool (because it did), he went ahead and burned me a copy, right there on the spot, free of charge. And he was right, it’s rightout proto-proggy heavy blues, from the Beatles “oooh-la-la-la” on “30 Weight Blues” to the driving lead of “Silver Star” and the string arrangements on “Lady of the Silent Opera.” I think I might dig it more even than the Weed record.
I don’t know when I’ll be back in Frederick again, but whenever it is, you can bet your ass I’ll be checking in on Rock & Roll Graveyard. Until then, I’ve got the Sabbath tapes in my car, the Tull on my office shelf, and the Weed ready to go. I never made it to CD/Game Exchange, but finding a shop of the niche caliber I did, I’m hardly crying over it.
Tags: Black Sabbath, Frederick, Jethro Tull, Maryland, Record Shopping, Tin House, Weed