Saturday, November 23, 2013

Beverly Records, Morgan Park

Yikes - what a mess!

I became familiar with this place long before I got serious about traveling to visit record stores.  Their website is similar to the physical space in many ways: cluttered, overwhelming and anger inducing.  I remember watching this video on their website and thinking that it seemed like a cool place that I really wanted to check out:

I took an extremely convoluted route to get there on the day (November 9th 2013) I finally decided to make the journey.  Normally it would be two train rides for me: one to the loop, then a second one on a different line straight south.  However I kind of made the decision in an impromptu fashion when I had only been casually considering a trip.  I was already in Kenwood (just blocks from Hyde Park Records, though I did not realize it at the time) but while Kenwood and Hyde Park may be on the way to Beverly, its a different line entirely.

So I rode a Divvy bike from Kenwood to Comiskey Park, then got on the Rock Island line south.  It was a good mile walk from the Morgan Park (115th I believe) stop to the store but it was a good one, on a brisk fall day.

This place is so jam packed with shit, they should run a few rolls of duct tape around the perimeter of the building to prevent it from exploding.  They seem to have positively zero discretion when purchasing vinyl, I would found 10+ copies of the same album often during my hunt.  And even then, half of the 10 would be so dog eared and tattered, I wouldn't put one in my collection for even a buck.

So many of the bins were so overstuffed that you could see the intense signs of wear from less considerate patrons who just bent away to see the next record inline.  And who needs 11 copies of 'Tormato'? I am working on the Yes discography and even I am disinterested in that release - Rick Wakeman himself said it was a piece of shit.

As I always say - be flexible when you set out to dig, so you don't go home empty handed.  Well I was open minded as always but I could not find a single release that wasn't stomped on half to death and I started to laugh at the thought that I might have come a very long way for nothing.

I tried to stay in the jazz section and I remember finding only one or two crappy (and of course, super beat up) Coltrane releases, then finding more - without any kind of jacket or dust cover at all - stuck in the 'Misc C' section.  Sacrilege on so many levels!

I did eventually walk away with a release I am very happy with and one I had my eye on for some time - Benson & Farrell.  You've got to love that cover - and I already have a handful of George Benson releases.  I became familliar with Joe Farrell from the early work he did with RTF and his list of session work is staggering.  Ironically, one of the albums I was looking for that day - "Abandoned Luncheonette"   - has some work on the oboe and sax (not the flute, ironically).  I just found this out while looking for the previous RTF link I used.  And most of all - Joe was from Chicago.  Rest in peace, my friend.

I will not soon forget the day I visited Beverly Records but I will no sooner return.  Call in the wrecking ball, its a total loss.

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