Discogs is happy to support the annual dublab Record Fair on Saturday, April 27! Leading up the event, dublab program host Daddy Differently, aka Spencer Velasquez, regales us with some tales about record collecting and the characters you encounter along the way.
Dublab is an independent, non-profit internet radio station. This event is part of their spring membership drive. There will be thousands of records, DJs spinning all day, and brunch and drinks will be available for purchase. The dublab Record Fair goes down at Zebulon Café Concert in Los Angeles from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Check out these hilarious stories Daddy Differently has experienced below:
One of the side effects of being a record collector is the characters that you run into along the way.
Whether it’s a little record shop, Craigslist ad or the oft-mega fair, you will find wackos or become one yourself. This is the one thing that buying through the internet lacks, some real-life human interactions. Here is a list of top five memorable characters I have met through the madness that is record collecting.
Most of my travels revolve around in some way or another the coveted hard-to-find record.
Whilst in Greece, I met a man who knew a man who knew another man who could get me pristine copies of Blue Gas – Shadows From Nowhere (1984). I was told to meet this man at Syntagma Square, the central square where the Greek Parliament building is. Here was a man in an overcoat and sunglasses handing me several copies in an unmarked bag as I exchange my envelope of Euros. Never had I felt more like a spy meeting a random stranger in a strange land.
In a record shop in a Southwest desert which will remain nameless, I came across a store which hadn’t been sifted through in ages.
I was finding heated gem after heated gem! With both arms full of records, I came to the counter with my finds…but no one is in the shop! I wait a good 25 minutes, and no one. Finally a crotchety old man in some ’80s bomber jacket looking like a gangster comes up mean as hell. He looks at the two piles that I had made on the counter, slaps one pile with each hand and says, “This here pile is $1,800 and this ’un is $2,000!” An argument ensues and I leave with my tail between my legs and without a single single. I wonder what I left behind to this day.
Reina del Barrio I met thru Craigslist.
Reina del Barrio was and is a drag queen who was left with many peoples collections over the years. Most he said were from friends who had fallen ill to HIV/AIDS. He had listed some records on Craigslist that I recognized via Daniele Baldelli’s Cosmic Tapes. What was initially supposed to be a one-shot done-deal transaction turned into a series of visits. On each successive visit I found myself buttering him up with chilled white wine and the occasional Midori that he insisted I bring in order for him to “release” his records to me. The things we do for records.
Record fairs have their over share of quack-freaks and whack-a-doos.
It is after all a sort of reunion of the cranks, and The Austin Record Convention ain’t short on ‘em. The first fair I went to was one of the best. I was finding records I never imagined finding in their wild state; private press follies, beyond rare 12″s, and mirror-like copies of the classics. Now enter Cat Piss Man, table 102. In my amateur MD opinion he hadn’t been able to smell for quite some time. Everyone I saw kept walking past this guy. But I braved the wafts and came out on top with a couple chuggers. Although, I had to keep those records I found separated from the rest of my collection for a good two years until the smell let up.
On another Craigslist hunch, I found myself in a parking lot in Porter Ranch deep in the San Fernando Valley parked next to a nondescript white van.
Inside this van were records that I still own and play to this day. Also in the van was a man I’ll call Mike C, a former army brat turned leather Italo meth monster. Never have I ever had to keep my face so calm. I either thought I would be turned into some leather love slave riding the streets of the Valley forever in this white van or be overcharged on some of the ones I had wanted. I walked away, and we’ve been friends ever since!
Daddy Differently’s weekly show Things of Life airs every Friday on dublab from 10 am to 12 pm PST. Daddy Differently will be selling records at the dublab Record Fair on April 27 at Zebulon Café Concert in Los Angeles.