Sergio Mendes & Brasil ‘66 - Four Sider
XTC - Skylarking
Badfinger - Straight Up
Grand Funk Railroad - Caught in the Act
Utopia - Ra
Utopia - Another Live
Todd Rundgren - A Wizard, A True Star
“Ooo, look! I love this one.”
The girl in the big glasses shows the die-cut sleeve to her bottle blonde co-worker. They turn it over in their hands, amazed at the intricate shape of the corners, the crazy painting that apparently drove Mark Chapman to do something he shouldn’t have.
“EXCUSE ME, MISS…” A wobbling man carries stacks of 45s.
“I love this album, but I don’t really like his other stuff. It’s too… smooth, you know?”
“I didn’t like a lot of his stuff at first, and then I just kept listening, and now - ask him (a thumb to J) - it’s all I listen to.” J nods solemnly. “It grows on you. And I actually like the smooth stuff. I still think some of this (a thumb to the record) is too weird.”
“I like the weird stuff.”
“CAN YOU HOLD ON TO THESE? I HAVE TO GET HOME TO FEED MY DOGS!”
“That guy back there, though, (a thumb to a guy in back) he’s, like, the world’s biggest Todd Rundgren fan. You should talk to him.”
She walks back to a man with glasses slowly pawing through a stack of records and says something to him, shows him the die-cut, then points a thumb in my direction. He says a curt word or two and turns his attention back to the stack of records still to be priced in front of him. She turns back to me and shrugs her shoulders in a way that says Todd Rundgren fans don’t always have the time to talk to each other, I guess.
“I NEED TO PRICK MY FINGER! I’M A DIABETIC!”
“Could you do it over there in the corner? Is that okay? Away from the customers?”
I ask to hear the Badfinger, the side with “Baby Blue,” to make sure that scratch isn’t so bad.
“Whose turn is it to pick? Can I turn this off?”
The Neu-metal fades out and Welsh power pop fades in. Shoppers crick their necks in the direction of the counter, glaring at me and my AM gold.
“Well, that certainly changed the mood of the room.”
“I’LL JUST STAND RIGHT HERE AND PRICK MY FINGER, OKAY?”