You may be surprised to know that I'd never been to a record convention until yesterday. I'm not one of those collectors, searching high and low for the first pressing of, say, the Sonics or an early numbered release of the Beatles White album with embossed lettering. I collect records but simply choose them for the sake of listening.
I stopped by the semi-regular convention held at the American Legion Hall on Brookpark Rd. in Fairview Park. Both my brother-in-law and a friend on Facebook mentioned it or it would've been off my radar. In fact, it wasn't until 2:30 that my wife mentioned it while we were driving around town. I had an hour left to peruse before the show wrapped up at 4.
Honest to god, I could've spent the entire day there. As I say, I'm not on any mission in search of specific LPs. I'm content browsing the vinyl from A to Z, waiting for an album to jump out at me. To do that sort of searching at this convention would've taken me the better part of the day.
For some that would seem like a waste of time, but for music geeks like me it's a pleasure. Album covers trigger past memories. You spot records you once owned, wondering what happened to your copy. You take note of prices for records that you already own. And you inveriably find something you must add to your collection.
I only had an hour so I spent it at just one of the vendors. I picked up the following: The Dwight Twilley Band - Sincerely (one of those used to own LPs), Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul (a killer 12 minute verison of Walk On By starts the album), Michelle Shock - Short Sharp Shocked (has Anchorage, an all time favorite song) and JJ Cale - Naturally (an import version from Holland that has three of his classics "Call Me The Breeze", "After Midnight" and "Crazy Mama").
Have you ever seen the movie Ghost World? Steve Buscemi's character is a complete record collecting nerd. His niche is old jazz recordings. Well, the vendors and attendees of these conventions are reminiscent of that guy. I felt right at home.