Friday, March 10, 2006

Hockey Ducats and a Visit to Cheapo

Hi All!

This is a lazy post as it is something I wrote for the Kinks fan club, but I feel guilty for being so infrequent a contributor to this blog. So allow me to plagiarise myself...

Long story short, I got in line at 7:00 am to get tickets to the Minnesota State Hockey Tournament at the "X" which is what we lovingly refer to describe the XCEL Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild. My alma mater and teacher of my kids, the unforunately named Cretin High School. When I matriculated in 1974, it was a Christian Brothers/ROTC, boys-only place for working class, mostly St Paul Catholics to get God and Military in equal and emphatic measures. No wonder I am confused to this day, as I push 50.

What fun to have short hair in the mid-70's and having the Twilight Parade of the Cadets picketed by angry hippie jerk wads protesting Vietnam. Hey guys, we were just HS kids and you would find more informed and dedicated radicals (myself included) who could run intellectual circles around youse...and I still have long, mostly black hair.

After I got the tickets for the 15,000+ seat sold out HS hockey game (hockey is to MN as football is to TX) I stopped by Cheapo Discs, an establishment that goes back so far that I used to by used "Albums" from them.

Here's what I scored -- all CD, alas, as the album store was broken off and located across the street:

Spendy at $8.95 per:

Classic Queen
The Great 28 Chuck Berry
REO Speedwagon, The hits
The Who, The Millenium Collection
Graham Coxon, Happiness in Magazines

Also Led Zepp Song Remains the Same DVD - same price!

Remarkable, ain't it?

Well hold onto your shorts.

Playing on the PA system was a new album by an obscure artist called Ray Davies.

As I clicked thru hundreds of discs, I heard the whole thing.

It must be one of those great albums that "grow on you" 'cos I was left a bit cold. For one thing, I'd heard many of the tunes before and wondered why it took 6 years to get it out for a guy who once coughed up 3 pearls of albums per year.

Harsh, but this is my honest impression. This is less a work of art than a tortured artist wringing out the last of his remaining (still exceptional) talent.

That said, I enquired of the storekeeper whether the CD could be considered "used" as they were playing it. No dice. It came in Friday night, USED! The fellow behind the counter had pounced on it before sale to the huddled masses. He had an interesting take on why someone might get rid of it so soon. "People are buying this CD expecting the Village Green Preservation Society." Fairly well said.

I am now going to mine my Kinks Kollection and try to bribe him to trade, say "Story Teller" for Other Peoples' Minds. Or perhaps a signed '60s promo photo, a poster for Dave's last visit to MN at First Ave, where Ray will be 4/4, etc.

Lest I draw fire, people, I am one of you! I hold my heroes to high standards and I know that some of my favorite albums were the ones that improved with repeated playing.



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