Randomly browsing the soul strut forums and found this really GREAT story from Thes. He talks about when he found the Matt The Cat LP in Mexico (Stepfather DVD)
I know theres a few diggers on here but I think this is a must read for everyone.
..I know you're super busy Thes but we'd love some more stories like this on the forum!
2004, My friend Alex and I up and went to Mexico City with the sole intent of turning the city inside out record wise over the course of a week and a half. He had a friend there who was in the press corp and well connected with the ins and outs of the city, and I spoke spanish plus had a good enough grasp of what was what record wise. We arrived late the first day, I think it was a saturday, and the following day he was going to take us way the f out of town. We woke up early and got a juice across the street from the dude who would stand there and squeeze oranges - he turned out to be "DJ Hercules" but that's a different story. We hopped on the subway and about an hour later and at the end of the line we arrived outside a woman's prison. Everywhere you looked there where stands of vendors set up around the prison wall, and it was explained to me that most people selling used things were trying to raise money for their family members inside, and everyone else was selling provisions for them; the prison, of course, did not give the women anything. AS far as the eye could see there were piles and piles of stuff and junk completely unsorted with families trying to get whatever they could for them. Meanwhile there were drug transactions happening everywhere, guns for sale, and no shortage of people eyeballing us. The portable was going to have to stay in the backpack and i shifted, as i always did in these situations, my money to under my ballsack. As the sun beat us down we walked from stall to stall and soon realized a) all the records were going to be mostly warped and at the minimum skated and b) the experience would by far outweigh finding anything. I kept digging, I was getting bit up by fleas but somehow I rolled a pile of sh!tty blankets over and underneath them was - no kidding, 3 stone sealed Mary Lou Williams records. How they got there or WHY I just couldn't wrap my head around. I quickly copped for less then a dollar. As the day wore on i found lots of good Mexican rock and psych, all kind of tattered, included some wierd 45 i have yet to find any info on, a mini-lp 33 rpm with 2 meters covers on it but it is utterly rinked. f'd
Here's a quick comp i threw together just now if you wan to get a visual feel for what i was talking about:
We went home to drop off the records an change out of our filthy clothes, and on our way back out, as we were walking to the train station we spotted a dude wheeling around three crates of records on a dolly. Wtf? so we copped a seat on a park bench and watched him set up a makeshift record store under a freeway overpass. After about 45 minutes we sauntered over and had a dig. I found a bunch of weird private stuff which i assumed was mexican. The best one i found, was some weird mexican dude called "Matt The Cat". We bought our records - I think i got 40 records for $5 US and made our way back to the crib. When I got home i used the "Matt The Cat" record on a beat which made our Stepfather LP in 2006. With no publishing or writer information on the LP's sleeve, and with no one I knew at the time knowing about it, I had no reason NOT to think it wasn't a mexican dude and mexican record.
Fast forward, 5 years and I get a letter from "Matt Cassell" aka Matt The Cat threatening to sue me. Someone had dropped the dime to him I had sampled his song. My first thought was, how the f did this mexican dude find out about this??!! Then I quickly realized it was a Bay area record all along. I explained the whole story to Matt and we had a good laugh over the complete randomness of the situation. At that point I went back and reviewed the 10 stacks of video tapes we had shot on the trip, not only did i have video of the dude i bought it from, but to my complete disbelief, the lady can be seen in the video holding the actual frickin MLC record! I slowed it down and here is a copy of the video i sent to him:
Some days buying records is just another day, but every once in a while, there is a day that is truly memorable, and this was one of those days. Digging around the world, in my life, I have collected more experiences than I have actual records, and I am absolutely fine with that.
As such, I will never live to have dug as much as Roc, and though we don't always see eye to eye, I have enormous respect for him and his history in this game. A true legend. It saddens me that ebay has created a generation of shut in record grippers. Life is out there next to the records!