If you are a regular reader of Popthomology, you will know that I LOVE going to thrift stores. One of my favorite things to do there is find weird old record covers or bizarre knick-knacks, photograph 'em, write up some commentary, and bring 'em to ya for some fine comic relief. It is quite stunning to me that no matter where I travel in the country, the castaways in the dusty record bins are so often the same: lots of '60s-'70s adult pop like Barbra Streisand, Engelbert Humperdinck, Ray Coniff, Herb Alpert, Perry Como, and lots of locally-produced Christian music. For many, many years now, it's been exceedingly rare to find anything that was actually valuable or awesome, or both. People started getting smart about the value of their old records in the later '70s and then got annoyingly smart about them with the advent of the Internet, making it harder for scroungers like me to SCORE. The pro pickers clean out the actual good stuff long before I ever get a chance, so I never expect to find anything amazing when I go on my jaunts other than funny crap, which is quite wonderful just in itself.

Yesterday, amidst the Barbras and the Perrys and the Holy Rollers and also about fifty 45s of Top 10 bilge from the early '80s (DeBarge, bleah), one 45 caught my eye. It was obviously old, on an unusual label. I picked it up and took a look. Hmm, I thought to myself, just based on the group name, the titles of the songs, a run time of under two minutes, and the record label name, I think this sounds like it could very well be something I would like, being a die-hard fan of obscure '60s garage/punk/pop/psychedelic music from about '65-'68. That is my bag, man. Hmmmm....

I pondered for a minute what the little green felt pieces stuck to the label were, and then went AHA! I will bet you that the original owner put them there to lessen the chance that the record would scrape or slip against another 45 when used in an automatic stack record player! I felt very pleased about my find, thinking at the very least the record would be amusing, and then put it in my red cart at Value Village.

When I got home, I decided to utilize Our Friend Internet to try to figure out what this was. It wasn't an immediately-successful search, as "Epidemic Records The Plague" brings up lots of dire medical history instead. YouTube was my better friend, and I just couldn't believe my ears.

The Plague, "Go Away"

OH. MY. GOD!!!!!!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME????????????????????????????? THIS RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the REAL DEAL, some crazy teens from New Mexico who sound like a cross between the 13th Floor Elevators and the Kinks, with a PERFECT slice of classic garage punk, from May 1966!!!!!!


Seriously, it's like the Thrift Store Record Gods looked down upon my head and said, "OK, she's seen more Oak Ridge Boys and Mitch Miller records than any one person should have to flip past in a lifetime, her fingertips are permanently grey from cardboard dust...throw her a bone already!" and just quietly SET this TOTAL GEM ANOMALY in the bin JUST FOR ME TO FIND of the music I LOVE THE MOST.

This is such a hot track that it was re-released on Pebbles, Vol. 5 (which I think I actually own, duh) and repressed as a 45 bootleg fairly recently. I am 100% sure this is not the boot single, as the vinyl is very stiff and heavy, typical of the time, and the wear on it is significant. The value (assumably for the original press in excellent condition) looks like it's running from $200-$400.


So, was I going to be in the...

or not? My expectations were very low. This record is beat up bad, and in examining it closely I was pretty certain it was going to have multiple skips. Only one way to find out...

WOO HOO!!!! It's crackly, but it DOES NOT SKIP!!!! WOOOOOOOO! But whether or not it's worth a stash of cash isn't really the big deal. It's the SMOKIN' music, and the thrill of having an original little piece of my fave STUFF fall right in my hands, for a grand total of 99 cents.

Good day at the Value Village!