The header image contains 21 album cover references, three notable people and a couple Escher-esque natural and architectural optical illusions. Click image to enlarge. Checklist at footer.
EXPERIENCE RECORD STORE CULTURE CHRONICLES!
Adventures as a Manager of the Record and Tape Store of the Stars!
1974 – 1975
Come early ’74, after the break-up with his long-time girlfriend and then living in a dealer friend’s closet (a bed fit in so it was just fine) in Inglewood; 00individual transitioned from Rack Jobber to co-manager of an independent record and tape store in World Famous Westwood Village (UCLA).
Named Grammy ‘n’ Granny’s after the owners, Liz and Bernie’s foray into antiques, the name was eventually changed to DisConnection due to a lawsuit threat from the “Grammy Awards”.
For basic daily nourishment and sustenance 00individual could count on a righteous free noon-time breakfast courtesy of the hippie cook at the cafe down the block on Gayley Avenue. Then for dinner some of a Baskin Robbins cut gallon of S’mores ice cream kept in my friend’s fridge – and doing lines of Heroin periodically throughout the day and night . . . OK and Marijuana, whenever.
After any break-up there’s sadness and 00individual was in a melancholy mood, but not for long as every day at the store was like a situation comedy with regular characters and guest stars and different storylines as the daily customers came and went. Many were aspiring actor friends of Liz’ who took their improv fun to sometimes hysterical heights.
It was a great place to see the convergence of the wide varieties of humanity that came through the door united through music.
The little store had steep competition from the corporate music retail chains of the day; Licorice Pizza, the Wherehouse, Tower Records and Music Odyssey – all were either in Westwood Village or a short drive down Wilshire Boulevard or over up on the Sunset Strip.
DisConnection’s secret for success was specializing in cut-outs, discontinued, rare out of print LPs, sealed promos and used trade-in LPs and tapes with motion picture soundtracks and original cast Broadway shows their extra specialty. This alone brought in regular visits by studio movie archivists and soundtrack collectors, which unknown to the chains was huge, as was the buying and selling of used LPs which was a terrific value that everyone benefited from.
Nearly everyday brought new music to explore and the spectrum of recorded sound ranged from indigenous tribal drum and chant ceremonies to the Classical Masters, from foreign and obscure film soundtracks to the hot soundtracks of the day, from solo acoustic guitar and foot stompin’ to the electronic wizardry of Tangerine Dream, from the ’60′s comedy groups of England to the ’70′s comedy of Richard Pryor, and of course Rock ‘n’ Roll – all were available to listen to as Liz was the owner and played whatever she wanted and along with the daily album trade-ins we always had plenty of new and old albums to further expand our musical awareness.
It was normal to see actors and singers, writers and musicians and collectors come to the store to purchase albums that only DisConnection had to offer.
Due to the world-class stock of Broadway show LPs the store had a regular Gay clientele, and Liz, a New York hottie cross between Cher and Bette Midler had her gay friends, some who became “record store” friends of mine as well.
R.I.P. Charles and same to Steven Stucker, the loony air traffic controller of the “Airplane” movies who was an accomplished pianist and one of the first actors to come out about AIDS.
Liz and Bernie; love you guys, Bernie was a special character in the good sense and Liz, well, she was a hoot and we worked together famously - R.I.P. to you both.
00individual can say that the full two year stint at the record store with Liz was one of the most fun and outrageous career job stints I’ve ever had.
Regardless of the emotional tide and maybe because of it, an uplifting free spirit vibe took hold and an opportunity presented itself so 00individual purchased a chrome and burnt orange 1969 Harley Davidson 900 cc Sportster, a cool kick-ass monster perfect for the times; 00individual was now an official Rock ‘n’ Roll Junkie Biker.
With no responsibilities other than to Rock, Ride and stay High; it was a pretty damn fucking liberating time in 00individual’s life.
Vivid memories of that time are easily acquired; when I rode that powerful machine it would react to my every movement – just like the Malibu horses I would soon inherit and ride after I gave up Heroin for hay – and for a woman.
One day alone at the store a couple guys, one black, one white, came in laughing and having a good time and when they got to the back of the store two kids came in and caught up with them and a few moments later the kids ran out the door smiling. When the two guys came to the counter with their purchases I asked if those kids were bothering them and the white guy replied, “No we’re on a TV series and they just wanted autographs”, I looked at the two disheveled guys, the white guy had his t-shirt inside out with the tag hanging out and the black guy looked equally “casual” and I apologized for not recognizing them at first as I wasn’t watching much TV these days as my life was dramatic enough – John Travolta smiled as he pointed at me and said, “I know what you mean.”, then he and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs left the store – probably on break from filming “Welcome Back Kotter” over at the ABC Television Center.
00individual met and talked with two high profile Vampires of the day; Christopher Lee, “The Satanic Rites of Dracula” 1973 and 007′s “The Man with the Golden Gun” as Scaramanga 1974 – and – Barry Atwater as thee Vampire loose in Las Vegas in ”The Night Stalker” 1972, which was the pilot for Darren McGavin’s “Kolchak: Night Stalker” TV series and decades later the basis and inspiration for Chris Carter’s “X-Files” TV series.
Atwater’s own actual unique chiseled facial features and the script’s “new” quick superhuman powers contrasted with the Hammer Films and Lugosi types so much so that ”The Night Stalker”
became ABC’s highest rated original TV movie, earning a 33.2 rating and 54 share which was unheard of for an original TV movie at the time.
00individual was impressed also and gladly shook hands with Mr. Atwater and told him so.
On another day after Mr. Lee perused the store 00individual had a gentlemanly chat that ended in a handshake.
00individual could forever more rightfully claim to have shaken hands with two vampires and lived to tell the tale!
On a Fall Saturday evening I stepped outside the store for a stretch and saw Tom Waits across the street coming up the block toward the theaters. There was a panhandler about to approach him but Waits got to him first. I crossed and met up with him and introduced myself as the manager of the record store across the street and told him that his latest release was outselling the Beatles and his reply was “cool”, I mentioned that I saw his interaction with the panhandler and he went on to explain that he hit up the guy for change before he could do it to him and it kinda blew the guy’s mind, we laughed and he continued on but on my way back I turned and threw out a question, “Searchin’?” He turned around, got it and smiled.
As it turned out that night we both would be “searchin’ for the Heart of Saturday Night”
00individual was at the height of Record Biz knowledge with trivia memory like a black hole sponge absorbing and retaining everything from the ’20s, ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s of and about music, movies and Pop culture. Daily exposure to every single musical genre and category imaginable was obtained. Unfortunately, this was a rare vault of knowledge that while peppered-out from time to time to blow peoples’ minds, never really saw its potential until now with this site and these posts.
Beyond the pleasures of my daily dose of Vinyl and Heroin there were the extreme pleasures of personally attending these:
These concerts are perfect examples of the history 00individual experienced that peaked the highest possible in 1975 with Pink Floyd. And while I was honored to be front row center for three nights experiencing the last performance of DSOTM and Echoes with Roger Waters, I wasn’t aware that those concerts represented the accumulation and zenith of this Rocker’s life experience during an era that presented a world arena for us to enjoy every thrilling concert, party, album, sex, drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll.
1960s – 1970s Culture Archives
Adventures as an L.A. Record and Tape Rack Jobber!
(view it now!)
1st quarter 1972 thru last quarter 1973 – Record Rack/One Stop
Vermont and Normandie, L.A., serviced greater L.A. and all of the Southland
1960s – 1970s Culture Archives
Adventures as an L.A. Record and Tape Store Manager!
THE MAVERICK YEARS!
(view it now!)
1st quarter 1971 to 2nd quarter 1971 – Crane’s Record Store, Inglewood, CA
2nd quarter 1971 to 1st quarter 1972 – Crane’s Record Store, Palos Verdes, CA
Checklist for the albums and guests in the header image:
the WHO Tommy, CREAM Disraeli Gears, BOWIE Ziggy, the STONES Sticky Fingers, the DOORS, HENDRIX Electric Ladyland, TOM WAITS Heart of Saturday Night, TROWER TRFY, BECK Truth, CSNY Deja Vu, TULL Aqualung, DEEP PURPLE Machine Head, the BEATLES Abbey Road, TRAFFIC Low Spark, LED ZEPPELIN IV, LOVE Forever Changes, DAVE MASON Alone Together, DR. JOHN – Gris gris, ALLMAN BROS Fillmore, QUATERMASS Quatermass, PINK FLOYD DSOTM and gunslinger Raquel Welch at the door with the Invisible Man taking in the view.
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