Tuesday, September 13, 2016


 I was walking downtown during my lunch hour in the Spring of 1976 and happened on a record store across from USC.  It was just a hole in the wall, and it was easy to miss.  I went inside and my life changed again.
 As I have written before, I love music.  Especially The Beatles.  I love going to concerts.  By this time, I had seen Elton John, The Carpenters, Canned Heat, Goose Creek Symphony, Climax, Lester Flatt, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Mountain, Gene Cotton, and more.  For me, live music was the best.  Most of the songs were longer than were on record.  So, when I walked into this record store called Tunes and Things.  I found a new avenue to enjoy live shows--bootlegs.
 I really didn't know what bootlegs were.  They were secret recordings of shows or unauthorized releases.  I bought two records that day.  One was a concert by Elton John, and the other was BBC radio songs of The Beatles.  The quality wasn't the best, but it was something not everyone had. 
 This discovery started me on a quest to find more of these rare albums.  I bought a bunch.  I had a huge selection of bootleg Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elton John, Bob Dylan, and many more.  I also found that there were collectors from around the world who had stuff too, so I began trading cassette and videotapes with them.  At one point, I had the second largest Beatle video collection in the world.  It was documented as such.  Years later, Desmond Morris found out that I had a TV show featuring him and John Lennon.  He wanted a copy.  I sent it to him in London, and he sent me several of his books, which he autographed for me. 
 Record Collecting became a serious hobby for me.  At one point, my records alone were valued over $100,000.  I have since sold a lot of them, but I still have a few things.  Check out eBay for "wdurst".  You may find something there.  I branched out to other collectibles including books, posters, autographs, and memorabilia.  I always have wanted to open a store in town, but have never been able to for financial reasons.  Maybe one day.  If Oprah would send me the $50,000 I asked for several years ago...  And just to be clear, I don't sell bootlegs.  That would be illegal.

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