Solar Moon Day 12 - Year Of The Blue Electric Storm
It's been quite a while since I was down at the Oxford Town Hall for the monthly Record Fair. Pixie checked our finances and gave me the green-light for the March fair. Woo hoo!
I planned to meet Pixie's bro there and when I arrived at the Town Hall - I found I was a bit early, so I bought my ticket and had a quick look at the tables near the entrance. CD bootlegs and some vinyl were the order of the day at those. Some interesting stuff, but nothing really essential.
Pixie's bro finally showed up and we started making the rounds. I by-passed a lot of the boots at first, because I was hoping to pick up some good LPs. I found some excellent items: Van Der Graaf Generator's Aerosol Grey Machine (at £20!--oof) and Camel's Mirage (at £18--mmm, maybe another time). I was hoping to score Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here on LP (to replace my copy that I bought in the 80s, lent to someone and never saw again)--which I figured would be a relatively easy find. I checked all the tables and no luck. Maybe next time. I circled around the floor a few times, trying to make the crucial decisions. I found Ekseption's fifth album, startlingly titled "5". As I don't own any of their records and the LP was going for £8, I nabbed it. While the jacket isn't exactly in great condition, the disc itself is in pretty good shape, just a bit of dust in the grooves. The music seems decent - keyboard-led jazz-prog...if you like Hammonds and tricky time signatures, this'll be your bag. I didn't find "W.Y.W.H.", but I did find the EMI/Fame LP re-issue of Piper At The Gates Of Dawn going for £12. I figured, what the hell, I always wanted it on record too, and forked over the cash.
We were supposed to meet with Rich's wife and the neices for lunch - so I was told that time was running low. Aaaaaargh - I needed to get cracking on some purchases. I had another look at one of the LP tables and found VdGG's Pawn Hearts (at £10, too! No fabled lyric sheet, though - that would've been the find of the day if it had), Gryphon's first album (in good shape - well, a bit of wear & tear on the outer sleeve), Hawkwind's Warrior At The Edge Of Time (the edition with the fold-out Celtic shield inside the sleeve...nice!). The Hawkwind record still hasn't been officially released on CD. The folks at Atomhenge are supposedly in negotiation for the original tapes, but it may be a while. I haven't listened to it yet - I have heard a few of the tunes from a bootleg I've got, a show from Newcastle in December 1973. I also bought Richie Havens' Stonehenge, as a last-minute find. It's been out-of-print on CD for a while now, so it's nice to have a copy of it on LP, to make my own CD from.
I had a little dosh left, so I wandered over to a bootleg CD table. I tried avoiding buying from this seller. The last time I did, the King Crimson disc was an entirely different show from the one shown on the cover art (the artwork was for the "Cosmic Muir" Highland boot - which is allegedly from Portsmouth in December 1972, the show I actually bought was the Oxford concert in November 1972), the Amon Duul II boot was of really poor quality and the Steve Miller Band 2-disc'er had incorrect title info. on the tray liner. I managed to somewhat salvage the Amon Duul II show, though the quality has only slightly improved. I created all new artwork for the Steve Miller and Crimso boots. To be sorta fair, the VdGG 2-disc set and the Mars Volta set I bought from him are decent and the Steve Hackett 2-disc set only needed a bit of tweaking to make it sound a lot better. With that in mind, I had a quick look over his stock. A Steve Hilllage 2-CD show from the Rainbow Theatre, London in 1977 seemed really cool and I honestly couldn't pass it up. D'oh! I then spotted another VdGG set - this one from the Weeley Festival in 1971. Oh dear....I added that in as well. The final strike was a Yes boot, called Swirling Wind, from Maryland in 1972. Nooooooooooooo! Yep, I handed over the cash.
He done got me again - as the Yes show is definitely not from a 1972 tour, but is, as far as my t'internet research tells me, the Wembley show in 1978 (the giveaway is a couple of tracks off the Tormato album, released that year). Maybe the guy's stoned when he's printing the artwork off or something. I think I'll send this one to Singing Bear - if'n he wants it. I've got another copy of this show somewhere. Luckily, the Hillage boot seems pretty good to my ears - good sound quality and setlist and the VdGG seems O.K. as well, for a recording from an outdoor festival in 1971. I may tweak it a bit and then copy another one for the Bear! As for official discs - I did buy the 2-disc Dawn Anthology set - another of those progressive-rock label compilations. It doesn't seem to contain quite as many gems as the Decca ones, or the Harvest Breath Of Fresh Air comp., and as such is probably only for prog-rock completists.
A pretty good haul, I'd say. Now, I've gotta get round to listening to it all :)