Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Wuxtry Records

Having found the Jet Lag blog. It’s come to my attention that there is a lot of misinformation about the history of Wuxtry Records.

Wuxtry was the first used record store in St. Louis (if you don’t count Spectrum’s Akashic or Bob Koester’s Delmar Records in the 50’s). This was before Vintage Vinyl or Euclid Records.

It was started by a guy named Fred down in Carbondale Illinois. His partner Dan Wall went solo up here and I was his first hire. I was very young and had extremely long hair. I followed a pretty girl into the store and was amazed that the store specialized in my two favorite pastimes, records and comic books. The girl was Carol, Dan’s girlfriend. I ran into her years later. She was as pretty as ever and didn’t seem opposed to the idea of our getting together on a more intimate basis. I hated myself for years for not pursuing it.

We bought records for a dollar and sold them for two. People would walk in with their stolen library records and scold us for our greed at making a hundred percent profit. I would have to give them a brief lesson on the economics of overhead and non-moving merchandise.

The store was on Euclid.

Dan would sometimes pay me with an amp or saxophone.

We would sell independent records including locally produced ones. My band Earwacks sold all our records this way.

After several years Fred went off to start a store in Denver. Dan had me open one for his brother in Charleston, Illinois called Mazuma. We opened store two on Cherokee but our only customers were kids that came in with plastic bags that had rags soaked with some kind of industrial solvent. I was always getting a contact high. Store number three was on Delmar.

Right about this time Dan and another friend opened a store in Athens GA. My friend Dan Stefacek went down to work the place for Dan Wall. There was an abandoned church there that Danny lived in with Cindy from the B-52s. I believe REM and the Swimming Pool Qs rehearsed there as well. I think members of all these bands worked at this Wuxtry. Dan tried to convince me there was a thriving music scene down there but I didn’t believe a small college town would do us any good. Dan’s partner opened another store in Atlanta.

Employees that came in included Dominic Schaeffer, Dan Stefacek, Dan Holt, Mark Secunda, Ron Bowman and others. An employee from the Carbondale store named Howard bought out Dan Wall and brought Dan Holt to St. Louis to run the stores. Dan Holt and I became great friends. He eventually went to L.A. to pursue a career film make-up.

I’m sure I’ll remember much more later. I’ll follow up as memory returns.

3 comments:

Dan said...

Don't forget Gabriel's store on the North Side. He sold new, used, and really, really used.

Doggie said...

How could I forget Gabriel? I'm sure there are others.

marksecunda said...

Howard had a partner, Jay. They later added a third partner, Don from Illinois. It was Don's third which I bought. Selling that piece financed my move to California. My current hobby is posting acoustic Jethro Tull covers on YouTube. I have also posted Kevin's Sound Waves show on YouTube. I'm sure you will find it quite entertaining.
"marksecunda"