No, the Value Villages of Vancouver are not the same. A different game entirely. Early, certain weekday mornings, you see determined men hauling twenty or thirty leather jackets out at a time. Those are professional second-hand buyers: they are there when the store opens. Nothing of value hangs on the rack here for very long. The record selection of Vancouver Value Villages is equally impoverished, and also well-monitored by vintage vinyl silver foxes ranging in age from 55 to 85. Unlike the menswear re-sellers, who are businesslike and efficient, a type of camaraderie seems to exist among the old vinyl men. Several months ago, at the Victoria (south) store, a fellow noticed me browsing in a section he’d evidently just finished with. He came over and watched as I skipped past the record pictured above.
“The Dave Edmunds is in good condition,” he said. “If you’re looking for real rock music, Dave Edmunds is still pretty good.” He wasn’t engaging me in an esoteric discussion on authenticity in popular music. He was merely pointing out that in a section stocked nearly entirely with classical music, easy listening, and Bill Cosby records, Dave Edmunds was a notable exception.
Welshman Dave Edmunds, who I had not previously heard of, formed the band Rockpile with Nick Lowe in 1980. When that band split, amicably, after releasing a single album, Edmunds and Lowe continued on with solo careers, and continued to share the same band. Rockpile, the band, basically became Rockpile(s). Twangin’ is Edmunds’ first post-Rockpile solo release, from 1981. That same year, Edmunds produced Stray Cats first record, eponymously titled. “Stray Cat Strut” peaked at #6 on the British charts, and pretty much ensured rockabilly, in the UK anyway, would never, ever die. In the video below, for the song "The Race is On," from Twangin', old-hand Edmunds is joined on stage by his proteges, sort of a passing the torch to the young guns moment. Much the same way as the Value Village oldtimer handed the flaming twangin’ Edmunds torch to me? Sure, why not. Let’s run with that one.