JJB & the old man.... the back seat and trunk of that care was always full of vinyl...
DJ Prestige, Old Man Mike and DJ Jack The Ripper, Not even freezing winter weather stopped the sale of records...
I aint been feeling much like вЂњbloggingвЂ� these days for a multitude of reasonsвЂ¦ Sorry there will be no Halloween here @ The Devils Music. But the news I got the other day really hit me like a ton of bricks. I found out a good friend and record mentor passed away. IвЂ™ve been buying records off Mike or as he is better known Old man Mike, The Old Man or Samurai Mike since the 80вЂ™s when he ran a record store out of the TomвЂ™s River Connection, which was an indoor Flea Market type joint. When that closed up he had been selling records at вЂњThe SpotвЂ� for years and years and IвЂ™ve been buying records from him ever since. Some of those very same records have been posted here time and time again.
Mike and I became fast friends when I brought him a record to de-warp. See he had some вЂњdeviceвЂ� (actually just 2 pieces of cut glass w/ holes in the middle for 45 labels to fit in) that he could de-warp old 45вЂ™s. He would put the 45вЂ™s between these 2 sheets of glass and then put them in a toaster oven and depending on the make up of the 45 (Plastic, Vinyl, Styrene) he had a precise time set for each one, he would then de-warp the records. He told me that he had found out these times by trial and error and had ruined countless 45вЂ™s by the trial and error method included a few rare gemsвЂ¦ But anyway I heard he had the system down and I brought him one of my fave 45вЂ™s to de-warp. It was a 45 by вЂњThe WheelsвЂ� and the Songs being вЂњMy Hearts DesireвЂ� and LetвЂ™s Have A BallвЂ�.
He really liked this 45 and was surprised by such a young guy (remember this was a while ago and yeah, I was young once) having this 45. And I can remember him asking me a question about the 45 before he took it from me to de-warp. He said to me, вЂњDo you know what the best part of this record is?вЂ� and I said without hesitation, вЂњyep, itвЂ™s the breath the singer takes in between lines in My Hearts Desire. He started to laugh and was like man thatвЂ™s wild that you say that because that is my favorite part too!
That locked it in right there. We were buddies full time now. From that day forward he would hold certain records for me and we would spend hours and hours shooting the shit out there at the spot talking about records, music and life. He would even hip me to certain tables that had good records and never turned his back on me if he got into a box of gold. Even though he made his sole living from buying and selling records if we were walking together and he came up and a box or some said hey Mike I got some records for you to look at he would always say to me вЂњGo ahead take half the pileвЂ� That is just the kind of guy he was. Not unruly or surly like most Flea Market Record guys that would shove their own Grandma out of the way to get in a box of moldy old records first. I loved that guy and IвЂ™m really going to miss him. I always looked forward to getting out there bright and early with my coffee and finding the old man and see what he was holding for me, shooting the shit and talking music. We would talk about old times when he grew up in North Jersey, about family and friends but mostly music and records. And he knew his stuff about Music and Records. He was always awesome with my kids and would sell them old coins and comic books and the occasional Hot Wheels car.
We became such good friends that I actually sold records for him via eBay for a while. The only time in my life I ever sold a record was for the old man who didnвЂ™t have the internet and still used a rotary phone. He was more than fair with me and I got a handsome percentage of the total after sale. We sold some soul records together for over 600 dollars!!!
After I had kids and needed more money to live and raise kids I didnвЂ™t go to the spot as often as I used to and Mike found someone else to sell his soul 45вЂ™s on eBay but even if I didnвЂ™t see him for months at a time always had a pack of 45вЂ™s for me. He would store in brown paper sandwich bags and write down on the outside who it was for. He never wanted anyone to know what any other guys was getting for fear of getting anyone upset that they werenвЂ™t getting the best recordsвЂ¦. Crazy sounding I know but if you knew how some of these kooky record guys are you would understand.
IвЂ™m going to miss you Mike. I donвЂ™t think I ever told you how much you meant to me or how important an influence you were on my musical journey through life. It just never even dawned on me that you would just be gone one dayвЂ¦ Rest easy and I hope heaven has all the records you ever wantedвЂ¦
I'll be back to posting some music at sme point but right now the music has died...