Phil Chaput Record-Palooza

Big crowd this afternoon at the Chelmsford Elks on Rt 110 for “Big Phil’s Record Show.” I hadn’t been to a collectibles extravaganza for years, so this was different and a lot of fun. I even saw people whom I know among the avid music appreciators, most of whom were leafing through the hundreds of boxes of old-technology albums, small 45 rpm singles, CDs, and music miscellany such as Elvis trading cards, Sixties op-art concert posters, and a framed copy of Boston baseball star Tony Conigliaro’s one rock’n’roll record combined with three vintage Topps baseball cards of Tony C.

Overloaded tables groaned (I know, a cliche) with vinyl stacked in wooden crates,  cardboard boxes, and plastic bins. I think Phil Chaput said there were 40 vendors. The front parking lot was full when I arrived an hour after the doors opened, so I swung around the back. Inside, music, of course, made a sonic background for the talk-talk-talk and the deals-deals-deals. Caught up in the excitement, I picked and chose until I had an armload of discs culled from various sources. I came away with The Buckinghams, Carly Simon’s best hits, Foster the People (on CD, for my son), The Lovin Spoonful, Bob Marley, Marianne Faithfull, a Fifties early rock compilation with Little Richard and others, and a few vintage Beatles albums that I did not have in LP format. There were whole genres that I didn’t have time to investigate: Jazz, Soul, Blues, Movie Soundtracks. Prices: $2, $4, and higher, but mostly $20 and under.

The legendary local record man and recording artist Ron Lessard was in the building, as was our regional music savant Dave Perry. Suzz and Brett of Cromwell creative industries were promoting their cover art enterprise. Jim Arciero, a music authority as well as being one of our outstanding elected officials at the State House, straightened me out again about Northern Soul vs. Northern Blues, a sub-specialty of English culture. I keep mixing up the two categories. Everyone in the house had a swell time. It was good to see Phil on top of his game after health challenges. When I left, he and Dave were cooking up the next shindig in the fall. Don’t stop the music.