One of the most enjoyable experiences of the first three months of Driver 8 Records is having people in the store and hearing them get really excited about a particular record they find. Usually that excitement is directed at whoever they walked in with, sometimes it is directed at me, sometimes it is just directed to the records themselves. Often times their excitement comes in the form of swear words. Hearing this makes me happy and reinforces my belief that the store is valuable to the Ft. Collins community and that we are on the right track to being successful.
The term Holy Grail is used often in record collecting circles and though I don’t believe anyone has discovered a personal Holy Grail inside Driver 8, I am sure that day will come. One of the regulars around the shop is a guy named Tim who hosts a youtube channel called The University of Vinyl. You can find his videos HERE. In a recent video Tim talked about finding a number of personal Holy Grails at a Denver record fair. The great thing about Tim’s video is that his grails weren’t expensive records, they were personal to him and ones that he just had not been able to find in the wild in excellent condition.
All of this reminds me of when I found my first personal Holy Grail. As it happens, it was at the same record fair in Denver about 10 years ago. I believe the record cost me $12 and until I saw it I thought I would never put my hand on it. And because this was before widespread streaming, I had never heard the music on the album, I had only heard about it.
I clearly remember where in the giant hotel conference room where I found the record and I remember looking around the room to see if anyone else had seen what I had just found. The album was by an artist named Eddie Hinton called Very Extremely Dangerous. I knew about this album because Patterson Hood from Drive-By Truckers talked about the artist and the album during concerts. In my mind it had become mythic. The story of the album according to Hood is that the album was released by Capricorn Records just before that company filed for bankruptcy and that because of that the album was stuck in warehouses and couldn’t be sent to stores. So the album didn’t sell in 1978 and didn’t surface much in the used market either. All of this was on my mind at that moment at the record fair when I held one of my Holy Grails in my hands for the first time. That rush I will never forget. That rush is what keeps all of us flipping through piles and piles of records. That rush is partly why I wanted to open Driver 8 Records.
When you have some free time look up Eddie Hinton’s Very Extremely Dangerous. Hinton worked as a songwriter and session guitarist in Muscle Shoals Alabama. He worked with many amazing artists like Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke and Wilson Pickett. Keep digging and remember that a Holy Grail doesn’t have to be pricey, it just has to be something you are really excited about.
The Search For The Mythical Holy Grail is one of the reasons I have spent so many hours of my life in record shops.
My guess is that we all know of at least one that we’re after. We (probably) know the name of the artist, the title of the album, and maybe even the year and record label that released it. And, most importantly, there’s a story behind our search. A time, a place, a friend or family, a memorable situation. Just a reason that is important to us.
My No. 1 is the first album by Elvis Presley (https://bit.ly/3SkDIqM). It was part of my now-gone-forever collection, and yes, it has a story. It’s not hard to buy it online, but part of the Holy Grailness is that I have to find it in a record store. Again, that’s part of the story.
As I think this through, I’m listening to Eddie Hinton’s Very Extremely Dangerous for the first time. I know of him because of his history in Muscle Shoals, but I wasn’t aware that this album existed. I’m happily on the EH-Line train. Are you?
p.s. No italics in the text editor! An affront to all logophiles, methinks…
love this, charles! and so stoked i found ‘one’ of my holy grails @ Driver 8 last week! now to find my second one… see ya soon.
Enjoyed the time I spent in your
shop this week, Charles.
Looking forward to many return visits!
I made an Instagram post about grails not too long ago, this was a great write up! I haven’t made it into your shop yet but I plan to rectify that very soon.