Today I went to the Record & CD Fair at the Ukrainian Hall in Essendon to grab myself some bargains. I have been to this fair before and there is usually a good amount of swag to be purchased. The flyers claim 70,000 records and whilst I didn’t bother counting them all, I can definitely say there were “shitloads”. Right now I am listening to “Rated X” by Black Oak Arkansas which cost me a total of $3. Other vinyl swag I snapped up was a mint copy of Rainbow’s “Rising” for a measly $4, “Relaxing with The Heads” for $9, “Framed” by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band for $5 and the creme de la creme for me was finding the soundtrack for The Sore Losers released by Sympathy For The Record Industry in a nice gatefold cover housing a double slab of wax. I have been searching for this album for years and finally here it was, chucked in some random box of some newly arrived slabs of wax. Mine! Other notable mentions were the Tygers of Pan Tang, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, ZZ Top, S.O.D.’s “Speak English or Die” and a copy of Danzig’s “Lucifuge”. I also snapped up some J Church singles and Flaming Sideburns split 7″ with Thee Virus. So all up, I’d say that was a good day.

The prices today were pretty good too although I still have to laugh at some Record Fair ettiquette. I laugh when I go there and see stall holders selling KISS records for $25 – $30. Look, I don’t care if your copy of “Unmasked” still has the poster, it ain’t worth $25 when I bought mine for $10. I think some of these stall holder have come from the same schooling as those who work in airports. Seriously, $40 for a copy of Iron Maiden’s “Number Of The Beast” is just stupid. Besides, every Maiden fan should already own that anyway. I also laugh when I see people slap stickers on the most easily accessible records; for example, a copy of the Sex Pistols “Never Mind The Bollocks” had a sticker on it saying “RARE UK Pressing!” No, it’s not rare, the Sex Pistols were British so it makes perfect sense that it’s a UK pressing you idiot! I just don’t get it. Bruce Springsteen records for $15? Are you kidding? You’re a fool if you pay that much.

I also find merchants who know nothing about the music they’re selling to be complete frauds and not really at all interested in music. I wish there was a way a big trapdoor would open up below them and they’d fall down it. I heard 2 dudes having a serious heated argument over which was a better record; some shit band’s debut #1 or some shit band’s debut #2. Like, really? Whatever, dude. Another thing that I find amusing is when some buyer wants to snap up record A and the merchant is like “Yeah, this is a fantastic record. I love it. One of my favourites!” Well, if it is, why the fuck are you selling it? “Oh, I’ve moved on to CDs now.” Nice save. Pity it reveals a lot about your love of music by selling off a nice analogue medium for a stale digital reproduction.

Still though, I love crate digging at record fairs. One dude today was selling off what I guess was his own record collection. He was selling everything at half price. When asked why he was selling it all, he answered “I’m done, I don’t have time for it anymore so it’s time to give back”. Works for me. I scored the Rainbow record for $4 from him and it is in superb condition. Bargain! How good is the track Stargazer? Yeah, heaps good!

Anyway, that’s my rant about the Essendon fair over. Not a bad day. I love record hunting. I can’t wait to go back to the USA next year and just go hunting for records that I have been searching out for years. All those basement shops with boxes of $1 LPs are just itching to be dug through again.

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One Response to RECORD FAIRS…

  1. Lars Salle says:


    I’m into early British blues of the ’60s and early ’70s and I’m also having difficulty finding decently priced blues records in Oz. I would like to buy records overseas but have no idea where to start looking. Have you had any experience buying vinyl in UK or Holland? I’ve read about the Utrecht record fair being the biggest fair in the world. What are your thoughts?


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