I Hate Me, Part 155,902 / I LIKE RECORDS 74
We got a call at work a few weeks ago from a guy in south jersey who had “10,000” lp’s and lots of cd’s. The catch was A) some were water damaged B) he seemed crazy. I tried to explain to him that most water damaged records were at best useless unless the damage was minimal, the record itself was very rare and mold hadn’t set in. He changed his story over the course of a few phone calls. The final story was the records were all new and he was selling them for $4 a piece. The crazy seeped out of the phone when he was talking but Jack (my boss, owner of Jacks Music) figured it might be worth a trip to check out his collection. If it was as good as he claimed and he was willing to take a realistic offer for all of them it would be worth it. So we loaded up Jacks truck, set the GPS and headed down to Manahawkin (about an hour south of Red Bank). We got to his house, a woman let us in and yelled for Richard (the guy selling the records).
The room was packed with stuff including hundred’s of crappy records in terrible shape. We were waiting for about five minutes and I started running scenarios of some sort of “Hostel” type situation (Lured by the promise of collectable records, they walked into a deadly trap). The woman came back into the living room, “He’s not here yet?, RICHARD! THE GUYS ARE HERE ABOUT THE RECORDS! Jesus!”. Richard finally shambled out, a middle aged guy who looked like he had a rough paper route. He led us through a maze of tiny rooms that looked as if they were attached to the original house and had ignored most current building codes. We ended up in a tiny bedroom that had at most 2,000 records stacked up in corners and on dressers, all were used, most water damaged, some even damp.
Richard-How many records you think I got here, 10,000?
Me-Maybe 1,000 to 2,000, and you said they were new
Richard-A lot of them are
Me-None that I’ve seen and they all have water damage
Richard-…a couple of ‘em…yeah they do…I’ll fix them though… This is a special room…can you feel the spirits…the music…my wife and my son…he was in a band…Jason’s Hot Shit Band…a few of those guys are in semi-professional bands playing down here now (PHONE CALL)…Yeah I’m selling the records in 100 piece lots, $4 to $4.50 a piece, yeah they’re new, and ones that are opened ain’t never been played (looks over at Jack and me and shakes his head), NO, I ain’t gonna take a buck a piece for ‘em..(HANGS UP)…Man, what these people don’t understand is that I’m a member of the latter day saints and I’ll just donate ‘em to the church if I don’t get what I want for ‘em….feel that…feel that spirit in here…the spirit of music..music is learned or it ain’t…but just feel that…let me get another light, I’ll be back.
Me-Yeah..look man..I’m sorry but we’re not gonna be able to do anything with these… they’re all trashed, and some are still wet.
Richard-I’ll put the wet ones by the heater
Me-Yeah, that’s not gonna work..I’m sorry..really…yeah…
This uncomfortableness was broken up, when the phone rang
Richard-Hello…yeah, I’m the one sellin’ the records…
Me-..we’ll let ourselves out…thanks.
He waved goodbye and we headed home.