Wednesday, October 13, 2010

RIP Old Man Mike...


The Old Man showing off some rare gems...


Digging in his bag for some gold...


JJB & the old man.... the back seat and trunk of that car was always full of vinyl...



DJ Prestige, Old Man Mike and DJ Jack The Ripper, Not even freezing winter weather stopped the sale of records...

I aint been feeling much like “blogging” these days for a multitude of reasons… Sorry there will be no Halloween here @ The Devils Music. But the news I got the other day really hit me like a ton of bricks. I found out a good friend and record mentor passed away. I’ve been buying records off Mike or as he is better known Old man Mike, The Old Man or Samurai Mike since the 80’s when he ran a record store out of the Tom’s River Connection, which was an indoor Flea Market type joint. When that closed up he had been selling records at “The Spot” for years and years and I’ve been buying records from him ever since. Some of those very same records have been posted here time and time again.

Mike and I became fast friends when I brought him a record to de-warp. See he had some “device” (actually just 2 pieces of cut glass w/ holes in the middle for 45 labels to fit in) that he could de-warp old 45’s. He would put the 45’s between these 2 sheets of glass and then put them in a toaster oven and depending on the make up of the 45 (Plastic, Vinyl, Styrene) he had a precise time set for each one, he would then de-warp the records. He told me that he had found out these times by trial and error and had ruined countless 45’s by the trial and error method included a few rare gems… But anyway I heard he had the system down and I brought him one of my fave 45’s to de-warp. It was a 45 by “The Wheels” and the Songs being “My Hearts Desire” and Let’s Have A Ball”.

He really liked this 45 and was surprised by such a young guy (remember this was a while ago and yeah, I was young once) having this 45. And I can remember him asking me a question about the 45 before he took it from me to de-warp. He said to me, “Do you know what the best part of this record is?” and I said without hesitation, “yep, it’s the breath the singer takes in between lines in My Hearts Desire. He started to laugh and was like man that’s wild that you say that because that is my favorite part too!

That locked it in right there. We were buddies full time now. From that day forward he would hold certain records for me and we would spend hours and hours shooting the shit out there at the spot talking about records, music and life. He would even hip me to certain tables that had good records and never turned his back on me if he got into a box of gold. Even though he made his sole living from buying and selling records if we were walking together and he came up and a box or some said hey Mike I got some records for you to look at he would always say to me “Go ahead take half the pile” That is just the kind of guy he was. Not unruly or surly like most Flea Market Record guys that would shove their own Grandma out of the way to get in a box of moldy old records first. I loved that guy and I’m really going to miss him. I always looked forward to getting out there bright and early with my coffee and finding the old man and see what he was holding for me, shooting the shit and talking music. We would talk about old times when he grew up in North Jersey, about family and friends but mostly music and records. And he knew his stuff about Music and Records. He was always awesome with my kids and would sell them old coins and comic books and the occasional Hot Wheels car.

We became such good friends that I actually sold records for him via eBay for a while. The only time in my life I ever sold a record was for the old man who didn’t have the internet and still used a rotary phone. He was more than fair with me and I got a handsome percentage of the total after sale. We sold some soul records together for over 600 dollars!!!

After I had kids and needed more money to live and raise kids I didn’t go to the spot as often as I used to and Mike found someone else to sell his soul 45’s on eBay but even if I didn’t see him for months at a time always had a pack of 45’s for me. He would store in brown paper sandwich bags and write down on the outside who it was for. He never wanted anyone to know what any other guys was getting for fear of getting anyone upset that they weren’t getting the best records…. Crazy sounding I know but if you knew how some of these kooky record guys are you would understand.

I’m going to miss you Mike. I don’t think I ever told you how much you meant to me or how important an influence you were on my musical journey through life. It just never even dawned on me that you would just be gone one day… Rest easy and I hope heaven has all the records you ever wanted…

I'll be back to posting some music at sme point but right now the music has died...

11 comments:

J said...

Thank you for sharing the knowledge he shared with you. Sorry to hear about his passing.

prof. grewbeard said...

sad to hear a story like that, Mike sounded like a great guy!

Devil Dick said...

He really was a great guy... thanks.

mersenne said...

truly heartfelt condolences. RIP

HipKat said...

Some very fond memories to be had by you.. Very sorry for your loss. A common interest in music can create such life spanning bonds. Take care, and spin a black circle in tribute and remembrance.

Poppacool said...

Thanks for sharing and reminding us to tell those we care about how much they mean to us. I have a couple of friends just like Mike and I need to tell them how much they mean to me.

whatever1964 said...

What a great story and a sincere remembrance... it's a shame that we can't have more characters like him in all our lives... you've honored him with the telling of this story....

Todd Lucas said...

Great tribute. I've read Flea Market Funk's many accounts of the spot and the old man.

The Hound said...

Did you ever get the formula for dewarping? The times and temputures?

Devil Dick said...

many thanks guys.... i appreciate the comments. Hound, i never did get the formula or times for de-warped them 45's.... all i know is that the glass was think and the glass had holes cut in it that fit around the labels.... other than that i knew nothing. if i had a warped 45 i brought it to the old man and he would de-warp it free of charge with the stipulation that if he did fuck it up by accident there would be no repercussions.

Anonymous said...

My Heart goes out to you. May the his memory and the music he loved and shared live on.
John From Tucson