Woman singing and guy on guitar

Weird, the stuff you find cleaning out your beloved record store of 27 years, preparing it for the Campus Partners/OSU wrecking ball:
--Several still-sealed vinyl copies of the '80s Columbus Police Department unofficial band, Hot Pursuit. The album? Communicate, recorded at Musicol Studios. Engineers: John Hetrick (not me, not my pseudonym), Doug Edwards, Lisa Dale and John Hull. Five of the band's six members were or maybe still are full-fledged members in good standing, I assume, and have never arrested me to the best of my knowledge.

Which is why I probably never reviewed the album. As James Brown once sang about trouble, 'don't start none/won't be none,' and I've got enough as it is without antagonizing our safety forces. I did see them once at the Newport--and the most I will say is they were no Phil Dirt and the Dozers. Good guys, though, I'm sure.
--Not one but two copies of a Christmas album put out by...Dominos Pizza.
--A small stack of die-cut promotional stickers for a Snoop Dogg side-project called "Doggy's Angels" and yes, silhouetted just like Charley's. Who among you vintage rap fans remember that? "More about spitting rhymes than spilling cleavage," according to the Vibe magazine quote. Great promo item, lousy record.
--A bunch of ancient bottle rockets and packs of firecrackers looking older than mummy meat. Tim Devin of Ishkabibble and I used to shoot them off out back in the parking lot so they'd arc over High Street. Funny. I also once took some dumb college kid's self-produced book of unbelievably shitty poetry he'd left on consignment and got it to catch fire thanks to several dozen firecrackers strategically placed among the worst poems. Make of that what you will on the metaphysical level of your choice.
--Found a book I must've put on Amazon and forgotten about: "The John Hunt Memoirs: Early Years of the Maumee Basic, 1812-1835 (not to be confused with his "Chillicothe Childhood: Face Down In the Muck of Life."
--an article entitled "Homo-Hop" featuring two black dudes in embrace in only t-shirts and no shorts, which I found slipped under the store door one morning. Hmmm. As Maureen McGovern sang, 'there's GOT to be a morning after..."
--a very old store flyer taken from some forgotten punk band's album or 7" cover of two monkeys humpin' with the heads of Partridge Family members David Cassidy and his mom Shirley Jones. David was in the driver's seat. People loved 'em--the flyers, that is. And the Partridge Family. The punk 'band'? Art. Z Fartzche.
--a pair of brass knuckles I found out back one morning, just laying there on the steps. No blood, no explanation. Weird. But you got used to stuff like that in the neighborhood. I'm sure there'll be no squatter punks bothering OSU's new buildings. Pity, that.
--nothing sadder than an abandoned old-school gumball machine. You know, the kind with the heavy metal base. For years I thought it was some sort of charity thing. But it never was. Just something some low-end capitalist sent a guy out periodically to replenish with large fresh colored gumballs and take the pound of quarters. So I plunked a quarter in the other day, got a big purple gumball and almost my broke my teeth on it. Then it occurred to me no one's serviced the thing in months if not years. Thus it is now mine--and the quarters within I now call them. So if some one of you has the right gumball machine key, I will split the take, 70/30 my favor.
--and then you have all the consignment CDs left over the years and forgotten. Some of the more recent--and bands, I'm more than willing to return them if you contact me--Dan White, Jesse Henry and Butterfly, Old Hundred, F Bomb, Envelope, Deprecator, the RFG Quintet, a Fo'Mo'Deep and a shit-ton of Mas Bagua. I think I gave away every Blatant Finger, Stretch Lefty and Wigglepussy, Indiana. Hey, there's gotta be some sort of statute of limitations for consignment CDs, right? You pawnshop lawyers, get on it.

--also found a couple of police reports filed by shoplifters whom I dealt out a little ape law justice on who in turn tried to get the summoned cops to charge me for whatever. It was the same thing every time: the cop would say to the perp, "So let me get this straight: you admit you were shoplifting but now you want us to arrest Johnny Go for smacking you?" Dumb-ass thief would always nod affirmatively. Cop would shake his head in disbelief and just write out my information, tell 'em where to go to file a complaint and then wish 'em luck. Hey, what can I say? As John Cougar Mellencamp sang about a state trooper lettin' him and his girl off with a warning for getting busted trespassing on someone else's swimming hole, "sometimes you're golden, man." After a quarter-century on lawless High Street--I caught seven shoplifters between December and the first week of January, a sure sign the record industry is coming back--I am basically pro-cop. I'm especially proud of the cop who blew away Dime-Bag Darryl's killer at the Al Rosa, a gig I would've been reviewing if it hadn't fallen on a Wednesday night, which wasn't compatible with The Other Paper's publishing schedule.

Again, when that Campus Partners/OSU wrecking ball pulls up, I plan to be on the first swing of the big round monster as it crashes into my old building, waving my Elvis commemorative postage-stamp ball cap like Slim Pickens did his cowboy hat in Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" as he rode an atomic bomb rodeo-style waving into Cold War Russian oblivion.

There was a nice little tribute to the House O' Music a couple weeks at the Tree Bar with my absolute favorite local bands, the riotously awesome Upallnights and Betsy Ross, one of the most unlikely and unpredictable trios of alterna-folk-punk I've ever seen. The Upallnight's rank as this town's most killer trio and you've gotta see 'em: three brothers named Dodge who rock like Nirvana with a sense of humor, Skynyrd with their heads still on and the Killers when their souls were completely dominated by the raw glam-boogie of that most magnificent of rock'n'roll years, 1972.

In the meantime, yours truly will be on the big screen at the Gateway thanks to a little music review project (The Armchair Report, I believe) created by Keida Mascaro, a videographer and commercial maker who has me riding around with him as he drives this humongous vintage blue Coup de Ville Cadillac recording our conversations about the music of the bands he's working with. I guess you could say I'm the mouth and he's the host. The most recent sacrificial victims are Playing To Vapors. So always bring a rotten vegetable to the Gateway when you go to see a movie because you can't miss your target when you hurl.

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