Thursday, June 12, 2014

Appleton Import Records (Revisited)

I had stopped by this store a couple weeks prior but found it to be oddly locked up and closed during their published business hours.  I found myself back in town and decided to give it another try.  This time when I approached, the door was propped open so I was excited to get inside.

This is not a record store, I would say the inventory by physical space is 20%.  The rest of the store is filled with junk and the area has an interesting smell to it, vaguely reminiscent of piss.  I got done on the floor and started digging through the bins only to find another bin behind me, hidden amongst some old flannel jackets.

The prices on these records are truly outlandish.  Think of late 70s LPs that are worth less than $5 in reasonably good condition and maybe $20-30 if they were totally sealed (and that would be a stretch).  Well these were priced at $20-30 alright, but in 'reasonably good' condition at best.  I saw a used copy of Billy Joel's 'The Stranger' for $20+ and almost laughed out loud.  A truly classic album no doubt, but a periphery check of pricing anywhere on the internet will demonstrate this is just one example of truly retarded pricing.  There was a sign up marked with the jist that the store is open to bargaining but to start that transaction at $20 and try to bring it down is laughable.  

I dug and dug and was coming up with nothing besides a couple laughs.  I noticed another hand written sign near the records to let patrons know that they also sharpen chain saws.  Surely good to diversify when your record selection and pricing is so bad.

There were bins on top of bins and I shook my head in wonderment that whatever is at the bottom surely hasn't been looked at in a long while (not that any of this is looked at with any regularity).  I dared to lift one of the bins off and the proprietor jumped out to stop me, saying its 'just house music' and that I 'probably wouldn't like it' since I told him my vague tastes are centered around the late 60s-late 70s.  

I commented to him that I had stopped by previously and the store was locked up.  He echoed the poorly spelled notes left on the door that said if the store was locked he was off 'care taking'.  I asked him to expound upon that and he bristled at my inquiry, telling me only that he 'takes care' (really?!!?) of some old folks in the area.  He then later clarified that it was only one person.  He also commented that he had been 'care taking' since 'before it was called care taking'.  I told him I still didn't understand....was this a volunteer type program? Did he work with some organization? He did not.  And I cannot help but wonder - as wonderful as his deeds may be - that he could probably just lock the store up and not mention why or where he had gone.  Or if he felt compelled, perhaps to just leave a note saying 'something had come up'.

No matter - there is nothing to see here but some old junk that smells like urine.  I'll pass.

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