Bongo's - the coolest in primitive vinyl

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about me

Welcome to my 'About Me' page.
I've been selling records for over 40 years.

I grew up during the 1950's and was an avid fan of the great music and the great radio DJs of the era. In 1953, when I was 7 years old, I had the 45 of "Little Blue Riding Hood" / "St. George and the Dragonet" by Stan Freberg, and my sister & I would act out the dialogue. Couple that with a steady diet of Mad Magazines, and Saturday afternoons at the movie theaters watching the latest monster movies, and you have one happy kid. I also particularly enjoyed all the Italian treats my family would make for holiday gatherings.

As a music lover, my interests carried through into the swinging sixties - first with the early-60s teen idol & girl group sounds, then the mid-60s British invasion & garage sounds, to the late-60s trippy hippy sounds. During that time I would sell records on the sidewalk in front of Boston University on Commonwealth Ave, and it was there that I had turned a young Jeff 'Monoman' Conolly on to the virtues of Roky Erickson & The 13th Floor Elevators. Then, after attending the Woodstock Music Festival, I moved to Portland, Maine and opened a collectors' type record shop called The Wax Museum. The shop ran from 1970-1979 in the 'Old Port' area of the redeveloping working waterfront area of the city. In fact, the area was redeveloped so much that the building my shop was in was sold, and all the tenants had to leave. I still reside in Portland, and most of the LPs I have to offer on this site are unsold stock from my record store days.

During that decade, I was able to offer Michael DelleFemine (aka Mort Todd) his first professional (paid) artwork assignment when he silk screened some eye catching posters for my record shop. Michael went on to become a writer & artist at DC Comics, Marvel, and later editor of Cracked Magazine. I also organized & put on some live music shows in the area, including two Casco Bay 'Booze' Cruises in 1977 - One with DMZ and the other with The Real Kids. For the DMZ Cruise, I paid Monoman with the first Sonics album on Etiquette Records. I've sold records in person to Bob Dylan, Steven King (who references the shop in his book "The Stand"), Overend Watts (British Lions, Mott The Hoople), GG Allin, members of Deaf School, and many many others. My original copy of The Shaggs "Philosophy Of The World" LP was used to make the Rounder Records reissue possible. During my record shop days, I interacted with movers & shakers like Miriam Linna, Greg & Suzy Shaw, Alan Betrock, and Greg Prevost among others. At the first big East Coast record-thon in NYC, I bought out the unsold record collections of Lester Bangs & Michael Ochs.

As the 1980s came in, I offered records for sale by mail order via my own periodic hand-typed & printed bulk mailings, as well as through publications such as Goldmine; Discoveries, Trouser Press; Record Collector, etc. I also DJ'd between sets at a local club known as The Downtown Lounge that presented a variety of regional music acts. On my nights off, the DJ post was filled by Tim Warren, now head of the Crypt Records empire. Then, in the spring of 1984 I began booking bands at a downstairs club called Genos, which led to becoming manager of The Brood, a 4-piece all-girl 60s style band. By the end of the decade I had produced 4-LPs with them, and several singles. Some of the highlights of booking Genos include shows with: The Chesterfield Kings, Bebe Buell, The Pandoras, Blood On The Saddle, DOA, Plan 9, Gruesomes, Kenne Highland, Neighborhoods, Del Fuegos, Fleshtones, Slickee Boys, Flaming Lips, The Three 0'Clock, Untamed Youth & countless others.

As the 1990s came in, I found work as a movie projectionist, while still keeping in touch with my interests in music & managing The Brood. I rose to secretary of the IATSE Local-458 Projectionists Union, and worked summers at the Saco Drive-In, which is the 17th Drive-In ever built, and the 2nd oldest still operating Drive-In in the world! One day, a friend of mine came by to visit and showed me some items he had for sale on eBay. At that point, I felt I finally had a reason to get a computer, and joined eBay in the spring of 1998 as a way to offer records to a wider variety of buyers. Since then, I have been able to sell to everyone from Ivy Rorschach of The Cramps to Richard Zvoner of the Ill Wind; from Johnny "Loop De Loop" Thunders to Henry Rollins & Rusty Warren; as well as to members of The Soul Survivors, The Wild Ones, and others, including fashion designer Anna Sui.

Why the name Bongos? It was inspired by the Cliff Richard character, Bongo Herbert, in the 1959 UK film, "Expresso Bongo". In the film, his girl friend called him Bongos, and after seeing the film, my girl friend began calling me Bongos. I used the nickname when I signed up on eBay. Over the years I have earned good feedback, while watching eBay grow - perhaps too fast at times. As a result, I felt the site became somewhat bloated and increasingly cumbersome to list my vintage records for sale. As eBay moved their infrastructure towards the 'Muze" system of pre-written descriptions & stock photos, it became easier for new dealers trying to list the latest Britney Spears CD by entering the UPC bar code information. But, most all the records I have to list do not have bar codes. So, it came time for me to build my own site so I may continue to offer records to a wide variety of people around the globe. And here it is, my first site. It's not trying to win any awards... just trying to offer you the coolest in primitive vinyl.

bongos sketch