Wombleton Records sells an amazing collection of rare- and not-so-rare imports--though its stated mission is to further cultural exchange between Los Angeles and Glasgow, it does all that and more carrying everything from Suzy Quattro and Zounds LP's to original pressings of Dutch freakbeat and English post-punk 45s. Wombleton's co-proprietor Ian Marshall joined us to share his thoughts on manufactured rarity, farting, and imported vinyl.
Oh, did we mention Wombleton is also where Sasha Grey buys her Throbbing Gristle records? Read on:
What RSD-only release are you most looking forward to?
I don't really place a lot of value on these sorts of limited edition releases with their built-in, completely fabricated sense of "rarity". For me, something rare earns that designation by natural selection. Not... "let's make something rare. We'll press up a hundred and hand-number them. We could do a million identical ones, but we want this to be rare, so we'll only do a hundred. If we change our minds we could press up a few thousand more." Like certain old baseball cards have a value because, back in the good old days, the little kids who bought them would stick them in their bicycle spokes and carry them around bent up in their back pocket. Very few cards from the golden age in nice condition actually survived- that's rare. As soon as baseball cards were ordained as "collectible" and released and marketed in numbered limited editions, the whole thing became a sham. For example, how about that highly-touted Death of Superman comic in the collectible bag caused a buying frenzy back in the 90s? None of us will live long enough to see that thing trade for any significant sum of money. You might as well sign up for the Franklin Mint and start collecting decorative plates.
How is RSD different from any other sale or in-store day at Wombleton?
Allow me to be the fifty-thousandth idiot to say that "every day is record store day at my shop". I guess it's different in that you get elbowed by a bunch of people while you're shopping.... at least at the places that do it up really big on Record Store Day. The fart to oxygen ratio in the air is probably way in the red. I try to avoid scenes like that; like going to Disneyland on the 4th of July... its non-fun; a punishment!
How are RSD patrons different from non-RSD patrons?
Did I mention the thing about the farting? I can't imagine that there are a hordes of people out there saying to themselves "By golly, it's record store day... let's celebrate and go to a record store. It's our patriotic duty". But I understand that's kind of what happens. People like that and me live in a different dimension... and we're visible to one another as vapors only. I can only surmise that lots of people hang around saying things like "I didn't know they still made records" or "Wow, vinyl's really making a comeback" or "You know, I have a copy of a really rare record: The White Album by The Beatles. I wouldn't ever sell it, but what do you think it's worth?". Yeah, in short, more punters and time-wasters per square inch.
What is your favorite release from RSD's past?