We won’t tell you that you have good taste.
Thirty Years ago, two Goth and New Wave audiophiles started our infamous little store in the heart of Denver. When they moved to Chicago in ’78 to start their own label (also under the name Wax Trax) we bought it to preserve their tradition, and keep our favorite record store running.
Then as now, we were into all the music from every new niche: trendy stuff from England and Europe, all the mainstream titles, and all the vintage records we could find. We were selling Elvis bootlegs to old women with blue hair and bowling shoes, Dead Boys albums to guys with spiked hair and dog collars, and Eagles records to kids from the suburbs.
Then the ’80s hit, and we weren’t selling songs anymore: we were selling identities. Music was even more vital, more exciting and important. We were in the thick of it, and shared some pretty amazing experiences.
Music was always in our house and the car radio drew me like a magnet. But after Buddy Holly died, I got into Jazz. It wasn’t until college that I got back into Rock ’n Roll. Tulagi’s (on The Hill in Boulder) had a house band called The Astronauts, who were hugely popular. Judy Collins was beginning then. I saw her many times at the Exodus club in Denver. In ’67, I went to San Francisco, and saw Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver at the Fillmore and Avalon. It wasn’t until The Rainbow opened in the late ’70s that Denver had a concert scene, which at that time was primarily New Wave: Iggy Pop, Talking Heads, Devo. Those were some of the best concerts I’ve ever seen.
All Time Favorites: Gene Vincent, a Rockabilly artist from the ’50s, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Billy Holiday, Dave Brubeck, Hank Williams, The 13th Floor Elevators, Radiohead, and going through old vinyl collections.
I grew up in small towns and listened to the radio — WLF out of Chicago. I loved the hits: Elvis, the Drifters, the Posters, Buddy Holly. Later, I got into the whole Psychedelic era: Hendrix, Beatles, Cream, Creedance. I saw the original lineup of The Byrds in the cafeteria of the Marysvill-Ubu City Community College in Sacaramento. The Rolling Stones were like nothing I had ever seen before. They were so wild. I saw Dylan in ’67. I also saw Black Flag, Flock of Seagulls and was into Noise Bands for a while. Ensturzende Neubauten (Collapsing New Buildings) played jack hammers and sand compactors and electric drills. They played in Denver in a junkyard on a flat bed truck with four refrigerators on each corner and a yellow VW tilted on a ramp to shine lights on the stage.
All Time Favorites: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Kinks. It’s 40 years on and we’re still listening to their music. Even though it's cliché. The Sex Pistols were the John Lennon of their time. But also Joy Division, Bauhaus, The Cure, Killing Jolie, Magazine and Elvis. My wife and I have a shrine to Elvis in our home, and we renewed our 25th wedding vows with an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas at the Graceland Chapel. I’ve loved him for 50 years.
© 2006 Wax Trax Records — Design: Berto Graphics