Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Back in the '60's you learned when Harvey was getting the new Beatles album in. You'd get in line on Central Street outside of Harvey's Book Land and wait for him to open. When he did, you'd enter and pay his daughter. He preferred that you pay with 3 singles as the price was $2.50 + .15 for tax. Teresa was standing on the right, with a stack of dimes and quarters, accepting the folding stock and handing you back your change. She'd have a five on the counter, close to the edge, in case some rich kid from Chelmsford had rolled in to town. She'd say "Thank you" and you'd shuffle ahead and when it was your turn, you'd spy Harvey half hidden amongst the plain brown boxes. You'd hold out your hand and Harvey would hand over the sacramental vinyl and you'd make a left turn and walk out into the grit and chop of Central Street, Lowell, Mass not knowing Kerouac, the great Beat Angel himself would right then, be up Back Central at Nicky's Bar regaling the regulars with stories of Old Angel Midnight.

It would take years of friendship with Harvey, before he would acknowledge the times Jack would slip in the back way and watch his flock running their hands over the spines and edges of the holy goof book classics stacked in haphazard order. How they'd sip from a bottle of wine and marvel at the will of the people to read, desire, consume.

That's gone. Harvey now running with Jack and Poe; chasing Lucy down Merrimack Street, threatening to dip her pig tails into the universal ink.


Dave said...

There's a little record store called Blueprint in downtown Lethbridge. It's not in a mall. It's a nice little (12ft) store front in an old building. There's no Teresa changing cash, just a surly little guy who has pretty good taste in music. These days it costs $25 for a new Tom Waits album or a copy of Elk Lake Serenade. You won't find Jack in Lethbridge, but you might find Richard Stephenson down at the Penny Coffee House around the corner (reading or playing guitar). I take my kids in there because they can still buy a Bob Seger or Kiss album for 50 cents. The proprietor only sells new vinyl for full price, perfect used vinyl for $7 or $8 and scratches that will play through for 50 cents. No junk. The neat thing about Blueprint is that kids still do line up to get a new album release. They're all just Goths and Emos now. If you want to order an album, the owner will find it for you and call you when it comes in. There are little pockets I think.
Your thoughts are clear and hard and bright Robert.

Reverend Lowell said...

Thanks Dave.
When Dylans "Modern Life" came out I ordered both the CD and the Vinyl from Amazon. I was amazed at the difference ! z The CD sounds flat; the Vinyl has depth; like music should have.