Bruce Carlson's, Ye Olde Record Shoppe, has had many stories to tell. I am sure there are some good ones out there just yearning to be addressed. Send yours to us so we can share them. I, will include them here on this page with all the rest.
If you do not want your name included, please let us know with your submittal. If you never had a chance to meet Bruce, or even live the experience of his collection, you can still leave your mark here. Just jot down a short line or two to let us know you were here. I will do the rest. Use the link below to write your comments. And thanks so very much..!
To Bruce's Visitor's:
We Want To Thank-You
Submit your story here if you don't want to email it..! It will be added within the week. I edit over the weekend, so check back. Let's see how many complete jukeboxes we can put on this page..!
Just a note to say that Bruce Carlson's website is helping with the victims of the terrorist acts on September 11th, of this year. We are offering links to put on your website, and show your support, and pride in being a civilized person of this world.
So, grab a ribbon and show your support. The link is on the main page. Bruce would be happy to hand them out, and show his pride in the process. He was a people person as true as red, white, and blue.
- Thank-you for helping, Henry
Stories Submitted Already
The Energizer Bunny
Submitted On...March 31, 2001
Labor Day was an event in itself at Ye Olde Record Shoppe, and this particular year was one to shout about. Upon one of his many trips to Sacramento, in search of new stock, Bruce picked up a complete bunny suit. Now, anyone who knew Bruce, also was fully aware, that he would do as he promised and he promised to wear the suit on Labor Day. Much to our begging him and joking with him not to do it, we knew it would happen.
By this time in his life, Bruce's mode of getting around was in a three wheel electric scooter, rigged with "ape hanger" handlebars, compliments of me, a borrowed crescent wrench, some dreaded cursing, knuckle bashing, and of course B&G salvage. He was the menace of Diamond Springs, and he loved every minute of it. He had a good time and believe me, it was a good day indeed..!
One of the prized possessions that I was able to obtain from the store, was the Energizer Bunny itself. Not the suit that Bruce wore, but the stuffed animal.
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Conway Twitty Collection
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Submitted On...April 4th, 2001
Bruce helped me build up my collection of Conway Twitty songs, he knew everything about music, and was such a nice person. I didn't hear about his passing in time to go to the service. Rest in Peace Bruce you deserve it.
Lesson For The Day
Submitted On...April 6th, 2001
I don't really have any funny stories about Bruce.....but I DO remember the Bunny suit.....I didn't know the Flattegg himself in those days, but I DO remember being intimidated by this long bearded codger that gave me the eye whenever I came into the store....or is this another acid flashback? Oh well, none the matter. What I remember most about Bruce was his vast knowledge of music, and how if you went into his store thinking you had a clue about music......well you were soon educated. I always left knowing more than when I entered, and I had my obsure song/album tucked neatly in hand. I'm sure gonna miss that Man, and his Shoppe!!
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Meditate In Bruce's Honor
Submitted On...April 6th, 2001
Hey Henry, Got your tribute to Bruce. Think I'm gonna go self-medicate and listen to some tunes in his honor. Later, John
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One of A Kind
Submitted On...May 14th, 2001 @ 6:16 PM
Do your remember where you were when you heard Joey Ramone died? Me? Ummmm...I don't know. Pittsburgh, I think, but I'd have to check around. Granted, the guy was in a great band, and, for better or worse, one of the most influential rock'n roll bands of all time. However, the direct impact that he had on my life is slim. To me, Joey Ramone was just another dude in another band. I do know where I was when I heard Bruce Carlson died.
It was Monday, May 8, 2001. I had just got back from a trip and was at work sorting records. It was afternoon. It was as hot as the Sacramento Valley can get in May. Three friends from Seattle were in the store, as well as my coworker and another friend named Giovanni. It was Gio who told me that "the guy from Diamond Springs died." I can remember my conversation with Gio word for word. I can recall exactly how I felt when I heard of Bruce's death. I know where in the store my friends were and what my co-worker was doing. All of this stuff comes to mind because Bruce Carlson had an impact on my life. I wasn't good buddies with him. I didn't know about his past or what he did in his spare time. But he still touched my life. You see, Bruce Carlson owned a record store. Bruce's store was in a rinky-dink semi-rural strip mall in Diamond Springs, California, a small town outside of Placerville, on Interstate 50 midway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra foothills. The Ye Olde Record Shoppe was, in Bruce's words, "the only real record store for 3 counties." It was also a remarkable shop.
My introduction to Bruce and his store came through much hard work. Though Bruce had been dealing records since 1984, it wasn't until '92 that a couple of friends stumbled into the Record Shoppe on the way home from a camping trip. Word traveled that someone had found a goldmine. However, the finders wouldn't reveal the location. We tried prodding them when they were drunk, stoned, and we got nothing. So like explorers of yore, a couple of us set out to find this Shangra-La.
One spring day, Dave Smith and I hopped into one of his hotrods and headed east. We had no idea where we were going but we knew that we would find the store. Before we left, we tried once again to pry the location of the store out of the finders. We leaned on one of their girlfriends but she wouldn't spill. "I can't remember the name of the town," was all we got. Placerville? "No." Shingle Springs? "No." Whiskeytown? "I don't remember." Fuck it, let's go. Slamming a Boys tape in the tape player, we took off down Highway 16 toward Jackson. There was once a record store in Jackson, I remembered. Maybe that was the one. A couple hours, a few thrift stores and a yard sale later, we were in Jackson. However the record store wasn't. The shop I had remembered was history. We drove back scoreless, except for a 1950s handbill for some drag show that Dave found at a rummage sale.
The next weekend we set out again. And again we worked on the finders and their gals. Truckee? "No." Soda Springs? "No." Auburn? "I don't think so." Arrrggghh!!! We ruled out Grass Valley and Nevada City. I was familiar with what was up there. So that left us the I-50 corridor.
Off we went, hitting all the towns and suburbs east of Sacramento - El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park, Rescue...until, finally, Diamond Springs. Off the freeway and onto the main road into town, we saw a music store and a bit off from the music store, in a old strip of storefronts, in a dusty lot, was a record store.
We parked the car and went into the place. There were records everywhere. Bin after bin of LPs and along the walls boxes and boxes of 45s. Though the place looked chaotic and had a peculiar smell of rat piss, it was meticulously organized. Every 45 and LP was either filled alphabetically or each band had a box of its own. We found what we'd been seeking, the Ye Olde Record Shoppe.
That day Dave and I dug and dug. We pulled out records and laughed. Hey, Dave which one of these Devo records you want? The picture disc with the promo flexi or the Brit pressing with the promo poster? "How much is the picture disc?" Five bucks. "I'll take that then." Hey, look a Japanese pressing of the first Clash LP with an insert...I think I spent about $75 that day. Dave dropped about $50. Between us, we took home about 40 records. That score wasn't just a one time event. In the nine years I went up to Bruce's, I left only once without a record. And very few times did I leave without Bruce tapping me for $20.
Even as the store's existence became widely known, our fishing hole was still well stocked. As Bruce said, he was the only used record dealer in 3 counties, at least the only one who looked at records not as a way to make a fortune but to make a living. Bruce priced his stuff to sell. Rarely was a record more than $4.50. And every 45 went for $1, no matter the condition. So you could not only find real rarities for cheap, but you could fill in gaps in your record collection, standard things like a Marvin Gaye greatest hits, for very little. But, most important, Bruce priced things so that if you wanted to take a chance on something that you never heard before, some obscure, no-name, self-released 45, you could and it wouldn't be a waste. Bruce encouraged you to discover music, not just through dropping hints but by making it affordable to experiment.
Though Bruce had an encyclopedic knowledge of music, he was always eager to know more. He'd look at the records I'd dig up with a Hmmmmm or an Ohhhhhh or a That's a good one or a What's this one? We would talk about the record biz about music. He'd curse his failing health, about how he hated to be wheelchair bound, or grumble about the last helper who filed all the Rolling Stones under "S" because he thought that was their last name. A few years after my first visit, Bruce stopped totaling my records. He'd trust me to do it myself and then knock off about 20%. I never ripped him off. Why would I?
I could go on and on about my experiences at Bruce's, about how I'd spend hours pouring though his 45s, the joy in finding real gems, or coming home, dropping a needle in the groove and, oh my god, this is amazing...
I would take out of town visitors up to show them what a real treasure hunt was. Friends knew that all they had to say was "Hey, Scott, wanna go to Diamond Springs?" and I'd fire up the Toyota and we'd be on our way. We'd talk music all the way up and compare scores on the way home. Like I wrote, I could go on and on; but a proper tribute to the man would be a short list of my most prized scores.
Four Folk Tunes of Pakistan 7". This is one of my most treasured records. On blue vinyl in a picture sleeve, this four song "folk" record is really a Pakistani garage band from the mid-60s that meshes "Eastern melodies with western musical instruments." The results are four hot Pakistani surf tunes. I know I'll never see another one of these. This is truly one of a kind!
Johnny runs for paregoric 45. A fantastic "art-punk" 45 on the Fried Egg label. How this obscure Brit release found its way to Diamond Spring is a mystery, but it did and I found the damn thing. Think of Spizz Energi if the punk would have won out.
You Upset My Soul 45. Though I pulled at least 500 R&B, soul and funk 45s out of Bruce's boxes, this is one of the best. Raw R&B with Sue-era Tina Turner-style vocals over a ? & the Mysterians organ driving the tuff beat. Black Randy & His Elite Metro Squad: Idi Amin 7". Boy oh boy did I burble with excitement when I came across this. A Dangerhouse original for a buck? But who cares how much this would fetch on eBay, the fact is it ain't going there. Hell, this is one of THEEEEE best records to come out of LA ever. It's catchy. It's dumb. It's brilliant. It's funny. It's raw. It's the perfect punk record.
The World of Gorillas & Monkeys 45. This was the prize of my last visit to Bruce's. I bought it on a whim, only because it is on Mala and has the word "monkey" in it. I got home, put it on the turntable and, WOW! The world's first Planet of the Apes exploitation song! And as funny as this 45 is, nowhere in it can you find tongue in cheek. This is as serious as Charlton Heston. "All human beings will be flunkies/In a world of gorillas and monkeys!" And the flip is the instrumental version, total Vegas funk. What more do you want?
Bruce Carlson died in late March 2001. He was 65 years old. ( * ) Because Bruce left no next of kin, the Ye Olde Record Shoppe was closed and auctioned off by the county for a mere $5,500.
Though Bruce didn't have any flesh & blood family, he did have a ton of friends and a fair number of fans. The Ye Olde Record Shoppe was one of the best and Bruce Carlson, a stand-up guy, a very pleasant person, and great music fan. How many record dealers can you say that about?
Thank you, Scott..!
And I will add this to Scott's top-notched edition...
Scott edits a column in Max RNR, and also has his own hour long format at The UC Davis Radio Station, KDVS 90.3 FM. Check him out and remember Bruce caught his eye.!
Oh, and check out the New Findings On Relatives, that Mel & I have received.
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A Taste of What Was
Submitted On...May 14th, 2001
I was led to that store by Karl Ikola and some unfriendly Sacto scum collector of local note named Tim, very 60's centric. I remember the trip up, seeing the store in what looked like an abandoned strip mall out of a 70's post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie (where was the rusting Pontiac with the skeleton in the front seat?).
We pulled up to the front porch(?) and I got a taste of what was to come:
They were inside the store before I'd even opened my fucking car door.There were still plenty of good records there, this was about four years ago, and I brought home some good punk discs, including a Black Randy "I Slept In An Arcade" (which I rate his best 45), mint condition Blue Cheer 45s and an original Heartbreakers LAMF LP for $2. Lots of soul to go thru, too much almost. The other two scored by hitting the new arrivals bin before me in a hysterical frenzy, stuff that Tim guy ended up selling at record swaps for mega $$. He found an Oxford Circle 45 etc.
That guy Bruce sitting behind the counter gave off such an inquisitive air, totally friendly and curious as you say. He looked 20 years older than he was, but he didn't act it. He liked the Nancy Sinatra Lp I bought, said it was a good one. It does have good fuzz and Lee Hazelwood.
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Tribute Show To Ye Olde Record Shoppe
May 14th, 2001 @ 11:52 PM
I decided that my radio show tomorrow will be kinda a Diamond Springs special. Over the years I've pulled enough great records out of the Ye Olde Record Shoppe that I can easily fill an hour of my radio show with 'em so why not. My show is on KDVS 90.3 FM Tues at 11 pm (PST). You can listen to it on-line at www.kdvs.org, either while the show is on or anytime during the week as the show is archived. To get to archived shows, just go to the schedule and click on my name. You need real player to listen.
And some friends of Bruce put up a website in memory of him. It is at http://yeolde1.tripod.com/index.html.
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State of Affairs
Date: May 15th, 2001 @ 15:12:06 PM
I grew up in the town where Ye Olde Record Shoppe existed for many years. It was the foundation of which my collection was built! I'm 27 years old and I have been going to Bruces shop since my early high school years.
My friends and I would go in there every week and discover classic vinyl for cheap.
Being young and into Punk records, Bruce's shop lended a selection to settle into that were not punk but allowed me to find music that was just as exciting..., from classic rock, new wave, no wave, jazz, free jazz, hip hop, stoner rock..., and the occassional DK record or Ramones.
Through the collections of my friends and I, people would shit if they found some of the records that we found.
The cool thing was that if one of us found a stooges record or a blue cheer record you knew that another would soon come through and before long we all had copies and would look out for one another.
Bruce would be the first to keep an eye out. We would come in and He would say "ahh..If you look over under that stack I believe I got in a really nice copy of that miles davis record you where looking for".
So I'd check it out and find all the miles davis records I was looking for..., "ah sure wipe out my whole damn miles section while you are at it!" he would say.
I moved out of town back in '92-93. I live in Portland now and every time I come back to visit friends they all know the first thing on my list of things to do is go to Ye Olde Record Shoppe!!
It is a sad state of affairs that Bruce is gone. His Character was rare and it was always fun to Chat with him. I am so bummed that The funniest shop owner & Best Record shop on the west coast is gone.
I'd tell him whenever I came back to town that his store was still the best record shop that I could think of & that I pretty much came down from Portland just to visit him.
What a legacy that shop will leave. It's nice to hear that Bruce touched other people's lives just as much as he touched mine.
Peace and love to Bruce,
I can not believe all the amazing records that I got from Ye Olde Record Shop.
Here are just a few. Most collected during the early 90's MIND BLOWING! I picked a few up last time I was there in Nov. 2000, that still had dates from'93.
Unbelievable! & I dare Carter, Mario, Grobie, Pritchard, & Fritchie to make a list of their own because I know that it is just like mine.
Here's The List...
Alien sex fiend
Buzzcocks-singles going steady
Blue Cheer-First 3
Booker T. & the MG's
John Coltrane(too many to name)
Ornette Coleman( at least 2-3)
Elvis Costello (all)
Miles Davis ( all the greatest early 60's-late 70's records)
Dead Boys(first 2)
Flying Burrito Bros.
Fred Frith & Chris Cutler
Gang of Four
Love (first 2)
MC5( kick out the jams)
Yoko Ono/ plastic ono(all the good ones)
Ramones(first 2 )
Rolling Stones (all)
Rod Stewart (all)
stooges(2 out of 3)
T Rex(slider & electric warrior)
Sonny boy Williamson
Neil Young (all)
If I were to dig deeper into my collection of Bruce records I would probably come up with a list twice this size!!
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Storehouse of Knowledge
Submitted on July 27th, 2001 @ 11:52 PM )
By...TIMO (Grateful Dude)
I can remember utilizing Bruce's storehouse of information on many occassions to find obscure musical selections. It didn't matter if you were trying to find a Don Ho or Axel Rose; Bruce knew it all. His presence and input will be dearly missed by all who truly knew him.
Rest in Peace, Heaven has better music now.
Peace. S. Great job on the site Henry!! Get a job man!!
--->Henry's Input...."I am trying" :-(
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Your Story Could Be Here
Updated On...July 29th, 2001
Don't be shy, hell that's the last thing Bruce would want. Let it all hang out, and I will not omit any gramitical errors or anything else. Just keep it to the point and cool..!
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