Turntables & Vinyl #22 – The Live Albums

One way to tell how good a band really is is to see them live.  If you can’t do that, then it is to listen to one of their live albums.  If they can capture what they have done in the studio and bring it to the stage or even take it up a notch, then you have a solid band.  Growing up, I was never in to live albums.  It was all studio albums for me.  One day, that changed and live albums became the thing.

Now, I tend to be gravitating to the live albums and trying the get them on vinyl or even CD if that is all I can get.  I figured we would go through what Live albums I have in my collection, then with the ones I am trying to get, my Top 5 Favorites and lastly let you weigh in on which ones I have to get my hands on as I am sure there are some I am not aware are great and I should go grab.

We will kick it off with the Hottest Band in the Land…KISS!!  It was the Kiss Alive albums that did it for me.  These things are great.  I have 4 of them…Kiss Alive!,  Kiss Alive II, Kiss Alive III and Kiss Unplugged.  They did get original with their names as you can tell.

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But that is not all, I also have a ton of Kiss Bootlegs as you have seen through my Kiss Bootleg Series…

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Turntables & Vinyl #21 – Colored Vinyl

The typical vinyl is black.  It is a beautiful color and when I see it, I want to drop a needle on it and give it a spin.  It draws me in and all I care about is the music that it holds and it needs to be heard, right now and very loud.  There is nothing better.

Or is there???

Whenever a band seems to put out an album nowadays, they are always putting out colored editions…and sometimes many different colored versions (Ace Frehley, I am talking to you).  And I want them!!!  I don’t go get them, but I want them.

Now, when I find I have a choice between a plain, old, boring black vinyl and a vibrant, elaborate, colored vinyl, I typically pick the colored vinyl.  Why?  Because they are so pretty!!  And different.  Different is good.  It can be exciting and invoke so many emotions and feelings.

Why am I talking about this?

No reason, other than I wanted to show off all the different colored vinyl I have in my collection so far.  Maybe not all, but as many as I can before I tire of putting this post together.

What is the most popular colored vinyl I have in my collection?

WHITE!!!

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Turntables & Vinyl #20 – The Paris Adventure

For Spring Break this year, we had the pleasure of visiting a quaint little town in this little country.  The country was France and the little town was Paris.  It was a dream trip come true.  I had hoped to have a little time to have a little rock & roll adventure while I was there, but there was so much to see and so little time to do it.

I did hit a couple record stores, but didn’t get to as many as I had hoped.  I didn’t get to see Jim Morrison’s grave or visit the Place Vendome to see where the band got its name.  But we did do so much that I thought I would share a little of it with you.  Oh yeah, this a music site so we will get to what I bought by the end.

Now, we skipped the whole Hotel thing and rented an apartment for the family and an awesome neighborhood with lots of cafes and lots of pastries.  Below is the door to the courtyard.  It was a beautiful blue door and made it easy to find.

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There was so much room in the apartment which is surprising for Paris.  It was absolutely stunning. These were our windows right above that blue door.

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And the view down our street was awesome as well. The architecture was always amazing. The streets were so cute. This one was a one way with real small sidewalks and we loved being in that area.  Everyone was so nice and helpful.

We of course visited all the museums and the typical Paris sites, but nothing is better than the Eiffel Tower.  Every time we saw it, I had to stop and just admire.  It is breathtaking.  There is just something about it that is so special and I don’t know what it is.  Here are a couple of my favorites…

Oh!  And at night!!  She is even more beautiful…

Now, a week before we arrived, there was devastating news that Notre Dame Cathedral caught on fire.  That bothered me a lot as that was one of the top places I wanted to see while we were there. Now, we weren’t able to get inside, but we did go on Easter Sunday and take a look.  This was as close as we could get.  We weren’t the only ones that had that idea as the area was slammed with people.  I am glad I got to see her.

I have no real exciting stories to tell on this trip.  It went off without a hitch and we got to see so much. Nothing unusual or strange happened, the weather was beautiful and all was right with the world so I apologize for no real adventure.  Just a lot of beautiful places visited, memories had and unforgettable times with family.

Here are a few more things we saw…

We saw the Louvre which houses the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo statue among many, many other things.  The Mona Lisa was tiny. She isn’t this grand painting and at times hard to imagine why this painting is so famous, but it is and we saw it.  The picture I took does it no justice so I am hoping my daughter with the good camera got some good pictures.

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We also went to the many churches and cathedrals and all were amazing.

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And the museums were boundless and if I never step into another one for rest of my life I am okay with that…just kidding.

And let’s not forget Versailles.  Wow!  What a place that small, tiny palace is.  I think they liked Gold…A LOT OF GOLD!!!

And the fountains were amazing at the palace as well…

Everywhere you went in the city there were statues and fountains as well.  I mean it, every time you came out on a new street, you had to stop and soak it all in.  There is nothing like that where I come from.

And of course the Arc de Triomphe…

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Okay, Okay…I have bored you enough with the pictures.  Let us get to the music.  The goal on the trip was to hit as many record stores as I could find and only buy things I couldn’t find here in the States.  It didn’t always follow that rule, but I stuck to it pretty hard.  The first store I went was a bust.  Nothing.  The rock section was weak.  The next store, which happened to be a block from our apartment was NEVER OPEN!! I think they went out of business.

I was getting worried.  We were traveling around so much, hitting museum after museum and walking mile after mile (we averaged around 8 miles a day walking) that there was little time to record shop.  I finally got out one afternoon and walked to a place called Betinos Record Shop.

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It was a great little store, but I didn’t find a lot.  I did find the UK pressing of Billy Idol’s Vital Idol with the different cover and one less track than the US version I have.  I was pretty excited about that.

I also found a 12″ Single of Billy Idol’s “To Be A Lover” from Whiplash Smile which I  could probably found in the states, but this was the French Edition.

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And the last thing at this store was a 12″ Single of Whitesnake’s Give Me More Time from the album Slide It In.  The B-Side was the song Need Your Love So Bad which was the bonus track on the Cassette.

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And that was it…only 17 Euros spent.  Not too bad.  After this stop, I continued over to Born to Be Bad Records and guess what, they were closed.  The website showed as open, but the site was wrong.  At this point, it was late and I headed back to the apartment so we could all go to dinner.

The next day, I was able to squeeze in a little time at the best record store I could find…Rock’n’Roll Voltage.  The specialize in Hard Rock, Thrash, Glam, Death, Doom and Black Metal…Heavy Metal Overload (HMO) would feel right at home in this store.

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I found a lot here!!  A LOT!!!  If I wanted to spend $1,000’s on 12″ Singles for Def Leppard, Kiss, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, etc…I could have gone broke.  I needed unlimited funds in this store which I didn’t have.  I walked out with two Non-Kiss items at this store.  The first was this beauty…

A 12″ Picture Disc of the Coverdale * Page song “Take Me For A Little While”.  It gives you two versions of that song (LP and Acoustic) as well as “Shake My Tree” (The Guitar Crunch Mix) and “Easy Does It”.

And to top it off, I found a 12″ of David Coverdale’s “The Last Note of Freedom” from the Days of Thunder Soundtrack.  This will work great in the David Coverdale series that will be starting soon on the site.

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Then I hit the mother lode of Bootlegs for Kiss.  The guy specializes in Bootlegs and he showed me all the bootlegs he had and he had tons!!!  We stayed focused with Kiss and I ended up buying 7 different Kiss concerts from his selection.  I am telling you, I needed unlimited funds and I would have enough material to write for years on this blog and never have to buy another thing.

Anyway, here are the shows I bought…

Kiss – The Summer of Satan: The Devils Ride Out! (Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, NJ – July 10, 1976):

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Kiss – North Hampton, PA – March 19, 1975 (Roxy Theatre):

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Kiss – With Fire & Thunder (He Victory Burlesque, Toronto, ON, Canada – September 14th, 1974):

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Kiss – Return to Capital Center (Largo, MD – July 8, 1979):

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Kiss – Look Wot You Dun To Me: Kiss On Japan Tour 1988 (The Castle Hall, Osaka, Japan – April 18, 1988):

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Kiss – The Hottest Show On Earth (Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA – September 2010):

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Kiss – Accept No Imitations (T. H. Barton Coliseum, Little Rock, AK – November 29, 1985):

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And that was my haul.  Getting them back to the U.S. was a pain.  I had to borrow my daughters Paris bag she bought as it was the only bag that fit the albums and let me tell you, she wasn’t happy about that.  I had to carry them under my arm the whole way (except overhead bin when on the plane).  They weren’t light by any means, but no complaints from me.  All these Kiss Bootlegs will get reviewed for A Kiss Bootleg Series I will now do as a result.

There you have it. The Paris trip in a nutshell.  Thanks for taking the journey with me and I hope you enjoyed it.  It was the trip of a lifetime for us and memories the kids will have forever.  We did New York City last year, Paris this year…what will next Spring Break hold??? We will have to wait and see (I am thinking Hawaii or London; the kids are thinking LA/San Francisco)

Turntables & Vinyl #19 – She Met Sabrina Carpenter

Turntables & Vinyl is my journey through music.  Most of the time it is about my vinyl purchases, but occasionally it is about my musical experiences.  This time it is actually about my youngest daughter’s musical experience.

My youngest keeps bringing up the fact she has never met anyone famous while her older sister has gotten to meet so many famous people including Matt Nathanson, Tori Kelly and actor Keegan Allen.  So, when she found out former Disney star, Actress and Singer Sabrina Carpenter was coming to town she mentioned she wanted to go to the show.

Now, my daughter never really asks to go to concerts (except for Shawn Mendes, but that is another story) so I immediately told her we would go.  She asked about getting to meet her and I reminded her that if it was too expensive, we would not be able to do it.  On the day of pre-orders for the tickets, I go online and look up ticket prices and you know, they weren’t terrible for the meet & greet.  Well they were, but her birthday was going to be shortly after the concert and I thought it would make a great early present.

They were offering two packages, the expensive one that gave you a tour of the Tour Bus as well as a personal meet & greet with Sabrina for individual pictures.  The other lesser expensive one (but still expensive) was no meet & greet, but Sabrina was going to do a  Q&A with the VIPs and a group picture, no individual photo.  You also would get an autographed show setlist and a special gift from Sabrina.

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Turntables & Vinyl #18 – The Guitar

Turntables & Vinyl is usually about my vinyl collecting, but most importantly it is really a documentation of my journey through music.  Instead of talking about vinyl today, the discussion is on The Guitar.

I turned 50 a couple weeks ago and one of my goals for this year is to learn to play guitar.  Most people when they turn 50, their mid-life crisis is a fancy sports car or some 20 year old young thing that ruins their marriage, but I am not most people (not really most people, but has been known to happen).  When my wife asked me what I wanted for my 50th Birthday, I said I want to finally learn to play guitar so I want a guitar.

I sent her a picture of the one I wanted.  She replied back with several other possible choices and I said the following…

“…went through the list and still like the one I chose.  I love the style and color (it has to look good!!)…”

And she kindly responded back…

“Sounds great!  and, of course it has to look good otherwise your awesomeness would overpower it!”

Yes, that is why I love her.  Her sarcasm can sometimes out do mine!

I tried learning to play when I was a kid, but I couldn’t understand why I didn’t learn it in 2 days and my frustration level was not manageable.  I gave up too easily.  I am definitely older, but not sure if I am wiser.  However, I think I can patiently work through it this time.

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Turntables & Vinyl #17 – The Thanksgiving Collection

For Thanksgiving, we always travel to Atlanta to visit family and celebrate what we are ‘thankful’ for and just enjoy being around people we love.  And two things happened this year that involved vinyl.  The first was Black Friday Record Store Day and the second was that a family member brought up they have a collection of vinyl they have sitting around.  Anything that involves music or vinyl is a good time for me.

First off, let’s talk about the Black Friday Record Store Day.  Friday morning came and everyone was a little tired from eating too much the night before and it was a slow start to the day.  My sister and brother-in-law were kind enough to make us breakfast and I couldn’t refuse.  Now this started at about 8 or so in the morning.  The one record store that was fairly close to my sister (20-25 minute drive) was going to open at 10am so I felt I was still good on time.

Breakfast didn’t actually get ready until closer to 9am and now I was getting worried. I didn’t want to be rude and skip out on breakfast, so I decided that it was more important to sit with the family and enjoy what was a very yummy breakfast rather than get some exclusive limited edition vinyl’s that would bring me hours and hours of enjoyment.  And I was right.

My daughter and I eventually got on the road and made it to the record store, Sweet Melissa’s Records at about 9:50 which was 10 minutes prior to opening.  And there was no line!!!  That is right…NO LINE!!!  I was so excited.  We got a parking space right in front of the store and couldn’t be happier.  We get out of the car and there was a lady at the door coming out and we asked if they were open and she said Yes, come on in.  Then she added, we got bored and opened early!  Early????  Red Alert….Early?? Danger Will Robinson, Danger!!

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Turntables & Vinyl #16 – The Kiss Kollection

If you follow this blog at all, you will know I am a Kiss fan.  I am not the crazy fan that collects everything although I am starting to have those tendencies and might be there soon.  I am a fan that wants their music whether it is vinyl, CD or DVD, I want it.  I have been working really hard on doing just that.  I have a long way to go, a very long way to go, but I feel I am off to a good start.  I am not missing much on the vinyl set; however I still need a few.

This post is just to document where I am with the collection.  The Turntable & Vinyl series is basically a diary of sorts of my vinyl adventures and this adventure needs a good update, so here we go.

I have broken it apart into sub-eras.  The first era is of course the debut up to Kiss Alive I.  When I started this blog, it talked about a box of vinyl I had, well in that box were Alive and Hotter than Hell.  I have since found Dressed to Kill and just recently bought Kiss (the debut).  I bought a new copy as I wasn’t having much luck finding a decent used copy, plus the new was only $12 which is what I probably would have paid (if not more) for a used original.

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Turntables & Vinyl #15 – More & More Vinyl

Vinyl, Vinyl, Vinyl…I keep getting more and more and I get more addicted to wanting more and more.  My wife shakes her head and just sighs at this point.  I guess I could be drinking, smoking or doing drugs, but thankfully that is not the case.  If I did those things, I would consume everything and I would just be throwing money away.  With the vinyl purchases, I at least could sell them if I ran out of money, so it is an investment…yeah, let’s go with that!!

There is a friend at work that her husband has 2 big crates of vinyl in their closet and she wants them out of the house.  So before they took them somewhere to sell them, she gave me first crack at going through them and letting me pick out the ones I want first. I gave her a fair price (more than any record store would give her, even more than they would in store credit).

The crates were very heavy and full of vinyl.  My wife said I should take them upstairs in the Loft and sit with the family while I went through them.  I declined as they were too dang heavy and I didn’t want to tackle the stairs with them.  Instead, I stayed downstairs for a couple hours and slowly went through the collection.

The collection consisted of albums from the late 50’s all the way up to the late 80’s.  Each crate was sort of themed.  The one crate was from the 50’s-70’s and it was all her husband’s parents vinyl.  It had stuff I had never heard of and a lot I had.  There was Elvis, Liberace (I passed on those), Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, the Kingston Trio and I could go on and on.

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Turntables & Vinyl #14 – #RSD 2018

Record Store Day is upon us.  It is April 21st, 2018 and I can’t believe I stood in line to get vinyl in 40ºF temperature.  It could be worse, it could be freezing & raining.  Thankfully, it was absolutely beautiful and sunny…just cold.

My daughter and I were tackling it again this year.  This time my daughter had something in mind she wanted.  I called the Record Store on Friday and asked if they had the album she wanted and he said he didn’t see it.  So, we made a plan to divide and conquer.  I asked my daughter to call a friend to see if they were stupid enough to stand outside with her at Lunchbox Records while I stood in line at Repo Records 5 minutes down the road.

We arrived at 7am (which means we left the house at 6:15am since it is a 45 minute drive to the record stores – we live in the boonies).  We decided on 7am since last year we arrived at 8am and the store lines were awful (except at Repo).  I get my daughter and her friend over to Lunchbox right at 7am and the line is not that long.  They jump out and get in line and I head over to the other store.

Repo Records line was shorter than Lunchbox and so I jumped in line.  Now the 2 hour wait since the stores didn’t open until 9am.  After chatting with everyone around me and everyone discussing what they were there for and what bands they liked and concerts they had seen, the doors opened.  The time flew by.  That was an enjoyable 2 hours…wait…it hadn’t been 2 hours.  The store opened a little early at 8:40am.  There is a God!! (yes, there truly is but that is another discussion).

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Turntables & Vinyl #13 – The New York Adventure

The family and I took a wonderful Spring Break vacation to the bustling city of New York.  What an amazing city.  There are so many things to see and so little time to see it all, but we crammed in as much as we could.  I was even able to take a few hours and visit some record stores while we were down in Greenwich Village. Lucky Me!!

Before we get to that, let’s talk a little about the trip.  We arrived on Sunday afternoon and had a little time to run down to Time Square to check things out.  The kids were stunned by the huge, bright, flashing billboards and all the people…all the interesting and very strange people.

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We saw where the film the Late Show with Steven Colbert, where the Broadway Show Rocktopia was playing which was starring Pat Monahan from Train while we were there (didn’t see it though), we of course saw Time Square and even went and snapped a picture at Radio City Music Hall.

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