Fumblin’ With the Blues

I had the day to myself today, so I got up at the crack of noon, poured myself a massive bowl of Corn Pops, and put together a map of all record shops in the area.

I didn’t expect to find anything special and was mostly visiting stores to inquire about special ordering rare items from my want-list.

One shop had a staggering number of Zappa-related albums – at least thirty, including the very first three (Freak Out, Absolutely Free, and We’re Only In It For The Money.)  But I wasn’t there to drop $200 on shiny black discs, so I moved on.

Surprisingly, just before I left the last store I found a gem in a pile of LPs of the floor leaning against a shelf.   It was Tom Waits’ second major release – The Heart of Saturday Night (1974).  A copy in VG+ condition will run you around $20 on Discogs, plus shipping.  I snatched it up for a quarter of what it would have cost for me had I ordered it online.  (And buying from local shops is always more fun!)

The Heart of Saturday Night

On The Heart Tom performs as his usual troubadour self.  He hadn’t yet developed the gravel-throated trademark sound, but the songs are instantly recognizable as Waits’, with lyrics like, “that ol’ bloodshot moon in that burgundy sky.”

Including this new find I’ve got sixty Tom Waits albums between LPs, CDs, digital albums, and DVDs.  The most recent acquisition before The Heart was the Live 7″ single from National Record Store Day 2009.   (Special thanks to Chuck for that single!)

Tom Waits Live

Tom once said, “The record store is the livery stable where I can tie up, feed and groom my ears.”

Tom Waits Fun Fact #2015: The topless go-go dancer that appears on the cover of the Small Change LP is Cassandra Peterson, better known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark!

Before driving back home I stopped at the downtown library, dug through the card catalog in their archives department, and had the librarian go into the basement and get me their copy of Captain Beefheart’s Safe as Milk album.

Safe as Milk

Unfortunately it wasn’t the original 1967 pressing, which I was hoping would include the legendary and highly sought-after bumper sticker.  It was the 1970 repress with the quote from Rolling Stone magazine printed across the top of the cover.  Still, it’ll still be a blast to hear “Abba Zaba” on my turntable!

When I got back to the apartment I found that a very generous fellow Underworld fan had contacted me and uploaded some EXCELLENT live material.  Waiting for me was the Brixton Academy show [31.10.2008] and a link to a professional looking fan-made DVD of Underworld – Live at Bucharest [2009].  He also let me have an MK1 demo tape from 1990 that I hadn’t seen before.  It included “Window Pane,” “Seven Hellos, and “Theme From the Underworld” – songs I had never even heard of.  If you have any information about this demo please drop me a line!

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