Long Player en Francais

The Ugly American: stalking the streets of Paris’ Latin Quarter, tongue wagging, wrists dragging along the pavement like Quasimodo, desperately searching out record stores in which to spend my rapidly depreciating (Go!) Euros.

Yes, that sad image is a slightly exaggerated portrait of yours truly, trying to hold together a marriage while also getting in as much record shopping during a trip to Paris and Berlin as is humanly possible. After many forays into the wonderous side streets of the French capital, I settled on Crocodisc as my favorite. Two stores side by side, one filled full of rock Lps and CDs and the other specializing in world music and jazz, it’s the kind of place that will make a collector’s eyes sparkle. A section called “Texas Blues” which contained everything from Marshall Tucker Band to John Lee Hooker, was a ball to leaf through. And then there were those Eurocentric filing decisions to marvel over. Paul Butterfield n the American Rock while Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive was under British Rock. Yes, Frampton is British, but Frampton Comes Alive recorded mostly in San Francisco, is about as American a rock album as is likely to ever be made. When I asked for suggestions in the French rock section, a flood of ideas poured out of two very sweet helpful rock dudes who were manning that side of the Crocodisc empire. Trust and Telephone instantly became favorites. Condition of the LPs varied with none being horrible. The prices were not cheap, but in a variation of the standard NYC chant: “Hey, you’re in Paris what did you expect?”

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