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Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:12 pm
by Avenger
bigfootkit wrote:Just been re-reading some of the tremendous tales in this thread & thought i'd give it a bump in the hope that members might be inspired to share some more yarns in the same vein.
I'm suprised you don't have any yourself being an ol' bastard and all :wink:

Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:11 pm
by bigfootkit
Avenger wrote:
bigfootkit wrote:Just been re-reading some of the tremendous tales in this thread & thought i'd give it a bump in the hope that members might be inspired to share some more yarns in the same vein.
I'm suprised you don't have any yourself being an ol' bastard and all :wink:
I did contribute a couple of tales early on in the thread, (or one long story in two installments, which took place years apart), although there might be another one which would fit the bill.
I'll need to do a bit of fact checking with a couple of friends first as it was 30+ years ago & we were very drunk at the time.
By the way, whilst i am undeniably old and unquestionably a bastard, i do object a little to being called an 'old bastard'.
It's too much like a term of endearment for my liking, i'd prefer 'decrepit cunt', if you must. :wink:

Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:35 am
by Avenger
bigfootkit wrote:
Avenger wrote:
bigfootkit wrote:Just been re-reading some of the tremendous tales in this thread & thought i'd give it a bump in the hope that members might be inspired to share some more yarns in the same vein.
I'm suprised you don't have any yourself being an ol' bastard and all :wink:
I did contribute a couple of tales early on in the thread, (or one long story in two installments, which took place years apart), although there might be another one which would fit the bill.
I'll need to do a bit of fact checking with a couple of friends first as it was 30+ years ago & we were very drunk at the time.
By the way, whilst i am undeniably old and unquestionably a bastard, i do object a little to being called an 'old bastard'.
It's too much like a term of endearment for my liking, i'd prefer 'decrepit cunt', if you must. :wink:
I just figured due to your age that you'd have a few more to share.

You can tell you're from the UK though. Here the word "cunt" is much more harsh than "bastard" :lol:

Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:10 am
by bigfootkit
Avenger wrote:Here the word "cunt" is much more harsh than "bastard" :lol:
It is here as well, although amongst friends it can be perfectly acceptable if used correctly and in the right company.
Just don't go assuming that you can use it without repercussions with any Brit you might encounter, as that could be a seriously bad miscalculation.
i just thought 'Ol' bastard' was a bit too much of a term of endearment, which is why i offered up the alternative.
Trust me i've been called worse. ;)

Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Mon May 29, 2017 4:11 am
by whiteravenmetal
Have I said already that I love this freaking website? Now buying lps from distros/regular stores feels just boring, I want transvestites, murderers, drug dealers and pedophiles to sell me rare records :lol:

Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:47 pm
by doomedplanet
Though this story I recounted elsewhere might fit, a little...

I got totally hassled in 2004 when I went to see a friend in Brasil for my first & only time. My luggage was full of records to trade him and I carried on some really good lps, the rarest of which I planned to just give to him as a thank you for hosting me during my stay (Alias Mangler, worth about $75 then). Unfortunately I also had one large parcel filled with blank lacquer discs that pressing plants use, because at the time both my friend & I were running record labels and he has direct connection with the pressing plant, so instead of bringing him $800 I owed him he asked me to buy these laquers and bring them with him, he would save bigtime on customs.

well...: I arrive and at the first step the immigrations hassle me because I'm on a tourist visa and they were convinced I was there for work. I stood my ground and called their bluff and they let me through, exhausted at this point.

Next step is customs and their scanner shows the vinyl, they pull me aside and empty all my bags out on a counter and proceed to ask for $$. I barely know Portuguese, they don't speak any english, but I play dumb because I can see the scam coming. One guy comes in that know a little english, basically asks why I am importing so many records and he know they are valuable and I owe customs on them. I say they are a gift for my friend and I'm staying with him for a month, it is the least I can do because I shop the thrift stores...he really hassles me about the laquers and I play dumb like I don't understand his meaning. Which was true because I was about ready to pass out at this point but adrenaline was throwing me for a loop. The guy actually goes through my carry on and randomly pulls out the rarest item mentioned above, takes me to computer and starts googling for prices. I just play dumb and don't help him and he doesn't find the value.

I keep asking for a supervisor and she shows up and knows a little english and she goes through the same spiel. Finally I convince her to go fetch my friend waiting in the lobby. Since I didn't clear customs yet they get security and we go get him. He is freaked at this point after about 2 hour delay since the plane landed and I explain my problems. He smiles and says let me handle this....Well he starts talking to the boss, tells her these have little value and I guess all along they had been telling me I owed something like $600. He flat out tells them to keep everything, no way is he paying almost a months salary in customs on the stuff (a lie of course, he needed those lacquers BADLY at this point to keep his label going). Anyway we finally leave without paying a dime after a long discussion with the supervisor. During this time he gave her his business card. It turns out this supervisors husband has a large record collection and I guess for years she had been nagging him to get rid of those damn things, old samba and brasilian pop, etc. Somehow during the course of their negotiating, he mentioned being a huge fan of all this stuff (another lie, haha) and would gladly buy it all, even the records that were kind of beat up. The threat of making the airport keep the stuff and her desire to get rid of the stuff at home, even possible to sell them, made it somehow possible to walk out of there with the stuff.....

Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:31 pm
by Khnud
Ouch. Never had a problem with shady customs people myself, but a friend and his girlfriend got detained in one of the countries that emerged after the break up of Yugoslavia in the early 90's. She was bringing some form of prescription medication with her, and the customs guy was clearly looking for a bribe to let them into the country, using the pills as an excuse. As it was on a Sunday they were unable to reach her doctor to get confirmation that the pills were legit, and I think they had to wait 5 hours or so for the customs guy's boss to arrive and finally let them in.

Conclusion: be wary of customs, they're out to get you.

Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:49 pm
by nightsblood
Crazy story Rob.
Here's one I alluded to in the Best-Fave NWOBHM LPS thread.
To the Mods: sorry if this is posted elsewhere on the site; after 10 years of posting, it's not easy to recall (or find) things posted here long ago.
To everyone else: I'm stuck in bed recovering from surgery and I like telling stories, so you all get another nightblood story-post.

I started dealing with John Haupt (known as glockose on this site in years past) in the mid-late 90s, buying and trading records on occasion. He ended up with my extra Desolation Angels 1st pressing and a really nice 2nd pressing of DH's 'White Album' in two separate trades where I got things like the Italian Metal Eruption comp, Omen Searcher 7", Demon Pact 7", and lots of other goodies. But those are different stories....
In spring 2000 I went to a record show in Raleigh, NC, where I lived. Turned out that John, whom I had never met in person, was one of the vendors set up at the show. When I came up to his table and saw the OPM fliers it clicked, but he was deep in a deal with another customer, so I just started flipping through boxes.
One of the top items on my want list at that time was a copy of JAGUAR's 'power games' on purple vinyl. Loved the album, but had never seen a copy on purple vinyl. It was listed in John Allinson's book, 'Heavy Metal- the Vinyl Years', and, being a sucker for colored vinyl, I started searching for a copy. Years passed and no luck. Black vinyl copies have never been hard to find, even in the 1990s USA, so at record shows I always pulled copies out of their covers to check the vinyl. They were always black, which I already had.
So I'm flipping through John's boxes. Nothing amazing; lots of Ebony LPs, Metal Blade albums, etc; nice stuff, but all stuff that I already had. Oh, there's a Jaguar, better check the color. As I started to do so, John noticed out of the corner of his eye- he was wrapping up with the other customer, counting money- and said "oh, if you're checking the vinyl, it's black, not purple".
But by the time he said it, I already had the record slid out of the plastic outer sleeve, so I just continued the process (an object in motion stays in motion) and slid the record out. Huh, that looks kinda....purple. Is it the lighting? I tilt it. Still looks kinda....purple. I turn towards John and start to open my mouth to ask. Meanwhile, he's finally done with the other customer and has turned towards me. He sees the now-exposed purple vinyl in my hands and says "Oh shit". We both stand there and look at one another. Silence ensues.
Having never seen a purple copy for sale before, I have no clue what it's worth. But I've looked for it long enough to know that it's worth more than the black vinyl copies, and the $5 price tag on the plastic sleeve was definitely meant for a black vinyl copy, not this copy.
So I'm standing there waiting for other shoe to drop. I've followed my dad around to record stores and record shows my entire life, so I know that to say record dealers are 'mercurial' is putting it nicely. I've seen dealers pull every shitty, shady thing you can imagine. Seconds tick by. My prize is in my hand. But I've got to wrangle with this dealer who has mislabeled his record. Seen this before multiple times, so I know one of two things is about to happen:
1- my best case scenario is he tells me "sorry, that's the wrong price. The real price is $X", and we start the haggling process.Which is gonna be a pain, 'cause I have limited cash and no idea what the thing is worth.
2- my worst-case scenario is he tells me "that's not for sale anymore", jerks it out of my hand, and puts it behind the table. I've looked for years. I do not want to leave without it, but I can't force him to sell it to me.
Seconds pass.
John opens his mouth to speak. Here we go, get ready to haggle against price $x or try to talk him into getting over his embarrassment and putting it back out for sale.
"Well, looks like you just found the best deal at the show. That'll be $5 please".

The show was pretty slow, so we talked for the better part of an hour. I wanted info about the Avatar 7" on yellow vinyl that was auctioned on ebay in December of '98, and John was happy to share what he knew (which was a lot). I bought a few other albums too- Metal for Muthas vol II, an Ebony comp (I don't remember which, does it even matter? haha ), etc. John later told me that he had a black vinyl copy he meant to take to the show and somehow they just got mixed up. He also told me that, at that time, he could've gotten about $500 for a purple 'power games', which I could never have afforded that day. (if you want one now, I've seen a couple auctioned in the past 5 yrs and they went for around $200+ each). To this day, I have never again seen a dealer take a hit to his wallet for mislabelling his own record.

So always check the vinyl, 'cause sometimes dealers make mistakes. But don't expect them to handle it in such a nice manner as John.

Oh, and if you find a copy of 'Green Eyes' on green vinyl, please let me know. It's also listed in Allinson's book, but after 20 years of searching and never seeing a single copy, I think it was a typo.

And if you find a purple copy of 'Land of Mystery', it's mine b/c DaN stole my copy on ebay back around 2008 :)

Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:32 am
by doomedplanet
John fucking rules. I've had my share of great deals with him, not like that but I have gotten good stuff for free so maybe it has been that good.
Good luck on your recovery. I'm on my recovery phase at the moment too from my ordeal.

Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:57 am
by nightsblood
Thanks Rob! Hope you're doing better!

Post-Surgery Hunting Story #2:

So in 1996 I moved to Lubbock, TX, which is way out in the western part of the state where some of the Texans really are still cowboys. The girls are gorgeous, the guys will fight you over anything, the land is flatter than newly-pressed 180-gram vinyl, and the beer is....outlawed. Lubbock is in a dry county, so no beer or liquor sales outside of bars/restaraunts, which have a notoriously hard time getting licenses to serve. Neither my new roommate nor I knew this about Lubbock until we ventured down to a store and asked where the heck the beer was kept. The clerk's reply of "try the next county over" left both me and my new 'mate rather shocked and seriously questioning our life choices.

Once settled in after several days, I did what every good record collector did in 1998 when in a new place- I combed through the phone book to see where I might find heavy metal albums for sale! I had been collecting since the late '80s, all the way through college in the early-mid '90s. So I was firmly hooked and anxious to see if my new, beer-less home town would yield better record hunting than my last port of call.

I had spent the previous four years living in Ohio, firmly set in the American Midwest Rust Belt, on the shore of Lake Eerie and an hour or two south of Detroit. To say there was no metal scene in the area is an understatement. It took me about three years to meet someone who knew that HELLOWEEN wasn't a candy-ridden holiday typo. And trying to collect 'real' heavy metal in the US during the early 90s was a chore even in a more ideal locale. Unless you wanted to stock up on CDs of Cannibal Corpse clones or you thought 'Vulgar Display of Power' was true genius and the Future of Metal, you were shit out of luck. I had cobbled together a collection of used tapes, CDs, and vinyl, finding a handful of goodies in the used record store but mostly relying on mail order lists from the likes of Denis Gulbey (Sentinel Steel), John Allinson, Alfred Spremo, and Paul Rote (I don't think I crossed paths with John Haupt until a year or two later).

So there I was, scouring a phone book in a cowboy town, where the only thing bigger than the pickup trucks were the cowboy hats, hoping aginst hope to find some place I might buy a BLIND GUARDIAN CD. :lol:

Two record stores where in my area: Ralph's Records and Campus Records (being close to the campus of Texas Tech). So as soon as I had an afternoon off, I set course to check 'em both out. First up was Ralph's. The exterior was a small shop with bright pink roofing. Not exactly hope-inducing. But I go in and start digging. The clerk was a friendly guy who used to be into metal, and had put some of hi personal stuff in the used racks to try and sell. He assured me Lubbock had once had a thriving Metal scene. So I started digging with at least some hope of finding something passable.


On that first day, I came across the following:
Warlord Deliver Us
Warlord And the cannons...
Savatage Sirens on Par (black vinyl)
Cirith Ungol one foot in hell
Running Wild port royal
(both bands I was dying to hear albums by, having only heard 1-2 comp tracks from each previously).
The tapes were $3 each, the Warlords $10, and the Savatage $40, which had to wait until my next visit/paycheck.

There was a wall of oldschool used cassette tapes, tons of Metal Blade, a ridiculous amount of Noise titles, and also demo tapes! Hey, want to hear Desolation Angels' post LP demos? Check! I'd had the album for awhile and loved it- I didn't even know 'English Bastards' and the others existed! Want a Heathens Rage demo? Multiple copies sitting there. Want Oliver Magnum demos? Uh, how many copies? Combat releases? Take your pick!

Oh, and we're not done with the vinyl. One the clerk, Gary, saw me reappear a couple of times to keep buying his personal vinyl items, he started restocking and bringing things in just for me. Over the next couple of years, i bought the following from him:
Mercyful Fate 'Don't Break the Oath' pic disc for $20- had never heard King's pre-KD material. Took one spin of 'Dangerous Meeting' to make me sell my soul.
SA Slayer go for the throat. Oh yeah, Gary knew them, had seen them back in the day. You interested? Sure, I got a sealed copy of the LP. How's $8 sound?
Shok Paris 1st album on Auburn.
The list goes on and on and on.

Hell, even the used CD bin could produce gold.
Bathory 'hammerheart'? Yep.
The promo-only Savatage comp 'From the Dungeons to the Streets' that I had spent 4 years looking for? Sure; how's $8 sound?
Riot 'rock city'. Sure, how's $8 sound?
New ROTTING CHRIST album? Sure, how's $8 sound?

And it didn't stop there. Lubbock made a great stop for bands coming or going from Dallas, being about 6 hrs west of Dallas and another 6 hrs to anywhere else. I saw more good shows in 2 year in the plains of TX than in 4 years living maybe 2 hrs from Detroit.
Oh, DIO is coming to town, bring an album by the store and he'll personalize it for you while he's standing behind the counter signing autographs.
Oh, Fates Warning are in town and I got them to sign an LP copy of 'Guardian'. Here, happy birthday!
Hey, Misfits are coming to town! Did you know 'American Psycho' has a bonus track on the vinyl version? No? I'll get you a copy.
Hey, need some video footage of Glenn fronting the Misfits?
Hey, need an Iron maiden boot CD from the DiAnno era?
Hey, wanna borrow this huge metal book Martin Popof just published? Keep it as long as you want.
Thanks Gary!
I cannot overstate how many of the classic 80s metal bands finally entered my ears and hands thanks to Gary and Ralph's Records. I don't have an exact count, but I'd estimate that, before I moved back East, I bought at least 100 titles from that place. I know at one point I averaged a new title once every 3 days, usually for $3 (tapes) or $8 (LPs or vinyl) each. I went from the guy who had heard of most of the bands to the guy who owned multiple albums by most of the bands.

Great story, huh? Oh, did I ever make it to that other store? Eventually, yeah. It was a pretty typical college town used record store. With one big difference; the bottom of the CD shelving units had sliding doors packed full of old vinyl. I flipped through a few with zero expectations.
The third album I flipped past was MEDIEVAL KILLS!
The 5th was the DEMON FLIGHT EP.
I had about 20 and a half racks left to flip through.
They were ALL littered throughout with pure 80s metal glory.

Two stores like this. Within maybe 4 blocks of each other. Both less than a 15 minute walk from where I was living.
I have died and gone to heaven.
My 4 years of Rust Belt purgatory have paid off all my karma, and I was reborn into the land of cowboys, pretty girls, no beer, and apparently all the metal I could handle. Quite a change from the Midwest, where the booze was as plentiful as the asshole frat boys, Biohazard was all the rage, and the girls were built like rugby players but with more testosterone and thicker beards.

So I proceeded to do the only thing I could do. On payday, I returned to the store with a notebook, created a numbering system for the cabinets, and then proceeded to sit in the floor for over three hours making a list of every heavy metal LP they had in the place. The clerk checked on me a few times before realizing what I was doing, at which point he just smiled and told me to take my time. That day ended in me carrying about 30 albums back to my place for $2 each. Here's a sampling:
Demon Flight
Tokyo blade (1st 2 LPs; they also had a different pressing of the 1st LP I picked up on a later trip thanks to my store map!)
Celtic frost emperors return
Torch electrikiss red vinyl
Accept restless and wild red vinyl
Motorhead beer drinkers ( 'bastards' was picked up on a later trip)
lead weight comp (actually I left this for a later trip and it was the 1 LP on my store map that disappeared before I came back to buy it)
There was a sealed copy of 'Tales of Creation' for $10. I casually asked why that one was so much more expensive than the others. The clerk looked at it: "hmm, beats me, you can have it for $2".
The list goes on and on.

This store closed down after another year or so, but by then I had easily purchased close to 100 LPs as well as a few tapes and CDs. I had rescued most of the 'good' metal vinyl before they closed their doors, but there were still dozens of LPs left that I didn't get, mostly things that leaned a little more AOR/commercial but were probably worth picking up (stuff like TKO, more commercial-friendly NWOBHM acts, etc) Like with Ralph's. this store really helped get me over that hump of KNOWING about the bands to actually getting to HEAR and BUY records by those bands.

So if any of you millennials ever wonder why old codgers like me sometimes get pissy when some of you whine about not finding FAR EAST on YouTube, trying discovering new music the way we old farts had to- you move to west TX, spend hours making your own notebook list of the metal vinyl in the store, then spend every payday for 2 years doling out some cash so you can learn what Coroner sounds like via the used turntable you carried home from a pawn shop 19 blocks away- and maybe then you'll understand why we're not very sympathetic when your 3-second Google search yielded full audio of only one side of the METAL MERCHANTS EP. :)

So if it wasn't for those 2 years of living in the liquor-less land of Lubbock, I would never have gotten to own so many great metal albums by so many great metal bands.

A lot of that fare is gone now. Not every album turned out to be a winner. Some I later replaced; tapes became CDs, vinyl got upgraded. A big chunk of material was sold to Dave Weber around 2003 when I wanted to thin out my collection. The 'fight til the end' demo was ebayed to a Russian collector for about $150, which along with some KD pic discs and that 'English Bastards' demo, helped pay for my wife's engagement ring about 10 years after I left Lubbock.

I never did find a BLIND GUARDIAN CD in Lubbock, TX
...but I did find a used CD of 'Hypertrace' at Ralph's :lol:
Thanks Gary, $8 sounds just fine :)

Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:52 am
by Avenger
The last three stories were pretty great. Been a while since this thread was updated with good content.

Not sure the "millennial" snip is warranted though as this demographic knows nothing of this music let alone buying physical copies of the material. Let's be honest, late 90's collecting wasn't exactly at the forefront of the scene either.

Nice read none the less.

Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:42 am
by nightsblood
The millennial snip was a last-second addition, meant mainly for some humor and to highlight just how different- and difficult- it was trying to hear obscure 80s metal music in 1996 vs doing so today. There is a bit of a misunderstanding among some younger fans re: why some older fans are against having everything uploaded onto the internet for everyone to easily consume. It struck me that my story was a pretty good example of how much time/effort/patience it used to take for us to get to hear an album we were interested in. I'm definitely not saying that things were better in the good ol' days ("Make Analog Great Again") or bashing younger fans for getting to hear things more easily thanks to the internet- if there had been an easier way to hear stuff like Ostrogoth, Oz, and Virgin Steele back then, we definitely would have done so! :)

Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:16 am
by doomedplanet
To highlight how difficult it was back then, one of my favorite obscure demo only bands from Seattle area has 7 demo tapes. I only got to see them once. I knew of only 2 demos at the time they were around. I only own one original tape. I have yet to this day have not been able to hear 2 of them; Their first and last oddly enough. From rumor I heard the band actively suppressed the first demo. And of course all the info isn't on M-A.

Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:23 am
by nightsblood
Rob- I hear you. It took me years to piece together info on one of my favorite demo bands, Armoured Angel. I got a few things via tape-trading in '97, found a CD at a festival in '99, contacted Lucy in '00 and ordered some stuff, etc etc..... and still didn't get to hear their first demo until it was reissued in 2007 (holy shit, that was a DECADE ago?!). So it took me a full 10 years to hear 4 demos, 2 EPs, and one album!

Re: Tracking & Hunting Stories by request (Dan)

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:26 am
by bigfootkit
Loved your stories Alan, your impressive recall & attention to detail really transported me right back to the dusty racks of many a long-gone haunt. And now that my sciatica's playing up again, it really feels as as if i've just spent a few hours digging through those crates. What a drag it is, gettin' old...