Saturday, October 28, 2006
ROCKIN' on the counter at DOWNHOME MUSIC
One of the world's greatest record stores is Downhome Music in El Cerrito, CA. It was founded by Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records (more on Chris in a separate blog) and is today managed by John McCord and Scott Glascoe.
Opal Louis Nations occasionally works the counter at Downhome, but he's also a secret agent man. He's one of this country's top music researchers, and authors like Peter Guralnick (most recently "Last Train to Memphis" and "Careless Love;" both books are now regarded as the definitive 'life of Elvis' histories) rely on Opal for gems and nuggets. Like, when I was in the store two weeks ago, Opal reminded me of the Screamin' Jay Hawkins song, "$10,000 Lincoln." How could I have forgotten that one??
Today I swung by the store to present Opal with his copy of ROCKIN'. He was simply overjoyed. He called ROCKIN' "scrumptuous."
Also working at the counter today was Lyuba, herself a specialist in Latin music. You can see from the wide shot here that the store is chock full of treasures. In fact, Downhome serves clients worldwide on a daily basis. Many of the '50s "boxing style" posters included in my ART OF ROCK book were contributed by Chris and the Downhome staff.