I am a huge proponent of Google Maps. I have used it as my GPS in many foreign cities and even outside the US. I use it constantly to find restaurants and I have written hundreds of reviews and submitted even more photos. But sometimes, you have to go off the beaten path and put the damn phone away because even Google isn't perfect.
On my last day in Billings I went to a delicious breakfast at Bernie's Diner. Highly recommended. Afterwards I went for a walk and what did I find but a beautiful, new record store! I couldn't believe it! How did I miss this already? I checked the map again - it wasn't on there! Well, they were closed but it looked like they were opening in an hour. So I sat down on a nearby bench and fully planned to sit there for a full hour in the cold to wait for the place to open.
After a spell, a car pulled up and parked, and the driver got out and walked to the front door. I was sure that it was the owner but I didn't want to run up on him and try to barge in while he was getting situated. So I just hung out but then I watched the guy turn around, he was locked out like me and also apparently waiting for the spot to open. I said hello and mentioned that I was also waiting. He replied that he had come by with a load of old vinyl he wanted to try and sell. Without missing a beat, I asked if I could have a look. He said sure, when I asked what he had he said 'some classical and jazz....some Deodato'. Pretty interesting artist to bring up as a representative of your collection - and I already have a couple albums I've picked up along the way.
He did indeed have a bunch of Deodato, he agreed to the staggering price of $2 for one of them which was in mint condition. He said that he bought it new, dubbed it to cassette back in the day and probably never put it on again. Sure looked like that was the case. (I later realized this was a reissue of one of the albums I already have, which explains why I couldn't place it and understand why I wasn't familiar with it).
I hung around a while longer and eventually the real owner did arrive. And guess what - he had a dog with him! After giving him some time to open the place up, I strolled in to have a look.
The place was laid out nicely, compact and straightforward. Fairly large jazz section, and I quickly got involved in that. Nothing had prices and I was trying to figure out how they handled that aspect. Didn't find a ton of interesting items but then struck gold. I've been really enjoying Eric Gale lately, I just bought an old reissue CD of the two albums I already own on LP. That led me to the supergroup he was a member of in the late 70s. They put out a few albums but it was the debut that interested me most and here it was! So I grabbed it and continued my hunt. Soon after my friend with the Deodato albums showed up (I can't believe I forgot his name) and he got involved with the owner trying to peddle his old vinyl.
|That's the owner on the left and the guy with a trunk full of funk on the right.|
The owner came up to greet me around then and explained that the prices were actually inside the jacket. A system I had not seen before but one which does make sense as many people (myself included) surely do not want stickers on their jackets.
|That was when I looked inside and saw that he wanted $25 for the album (which is ridiculous), I audibly did a quiet 'wow' and put it back where I found it.|
Bottom line is to get up and out there and don't mess with your phone too much. You never know what you may find, even in Montana!