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Anyone Have A Copy of Penndorf's Recollections?

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  • Anyone Have A Copy of Penndorf's Recollections?

    Just picked one up from eBay last week. Mint condition. Has mostly classical suggestions with smattering of jazz lps. Also a short selection on record grading and labelography for RCA/Mercury/Columbia and Blue Note.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	20180324_000844.jpg Views:	1 Size:	1.84 MB ID:	83097
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
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  • #2
    Ron was a character. He had his vinyl business in West Berkeley in the flatlands and did post blogs on political subjects as well as vinyl. I think most of his business was by mail order from overseas clients. He meticulously graded his records and charged premium prices for them. I did peruse his websites for information, but never bought anything from him except when he hosted the phonogram group in the early 2000's - as part of a multiday convention we held in the SF Bay Area.

    Ron passed away in 2014 at age 76, but his website is still up -

    http://ronpenndorf.com/

    and has quite a bit of information on vinyl that he had for sale as well as his political writings, mostly about Berkeley and environs, and various reviews of local merchants.

    Not sure whether the website duplicates any of the material in the book.

    He does list records in detail, with deadwax information and you can see his prices, from $20 or so at the low end to $150 or more at the high end, not including records that you need to ask for the price (pretty sure they were higher than those listed).

    With the many local used record stores in the Bay Area, I am guessing Amoebas and the other stores was the source of many or most of his records. His customers were clearly paying for his expertise and selection, somewhat similar to Tom Port's hot stamper records, though Ronn shared the detailed stamper information on the website.

    Larry

    .

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    • Rob
      Rob commented
      Editing a comment
      In the circles I hobnobbed with, Ron evoked as much disdain for his options as he did respect. when I was trading records for extra cash (college days) I would often quote Ron--and HP for that matter--whenever I could, they had the cred with collectors I dealt with. Ron's pricing was firmly in the absurd category not unlike that other guy with the "hot stampers"

    • MylesBAstor
      MylesBAstor commented
      Editing a comment
      I bought one album way back from Ron. Ancient Airs and Dances on Mercury. Didn’t think the LP deserved the grading Ron gave it. Can’t remember what I paid.

  • #3
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    • #4
      Originally posted by astrotoy View Post

      With the many local used record stores in the Bay Area, I am guessing Amoebas and the other stores was the source of many or most of his records. His customers were clearly paying for his expertise and selection, somewhat similar to Tom Port's hot stamper records, though Ronn shared the detailed stamper information on the website.
      AFAIK, Ron's inventory came from buying collections. I don't think he would buy used vinyl off the street the way that other shops do. I have several pieces from his shop that were coded with the collection they came from, e.g., "HL" from Harold Lawrence. He would also annotate them that way in his catalog, e.g., "ex-Harold Lawrence". And yes, that's the Harold Lawrence of Mercury Living Presence fame.

      I used to hang out in Ron's shop once in a while on weekends, and he told me about some of the collections that he bought, how he graded them, and what made some records special. He also had a wonderful motorcycle collection in the warehouse behind that tiny record shop. Now that he's gone I really miss him, but I'm grateful for all that I learned.

      BTW, Ron's website is gone now, the domain name having been bought by a real estate developer.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by pshanks01 View Post

        AFAIK, Ron's inventory came from buying collections. I don't think he would buy used vinyl off the street the way that other shops do. I have several pieces from his shop that were coded with the collection they came from, e.g., "HL" from Harold Lawrence. He would also annotate them that way in his catalog, e.g., "ex-Harold Lawrence". And yes, that's the Harold Lawrence of Mercury Living Presence fame.

        I used to hang out in Ron's shop once in a while on weekends, and he told me about some of the collections that he bought, how he graded them, and what made some records special. He also had a wonderful motorcycle collection in the warehouse behind that tiny record shop. Now that he's gone I really miss him, but I'm grateful for all that I learned.

        BTW, Ron's website is gone now, the domain name having been bought by a real estate developer.
        Thanks for your clarifications and insights. I remember seeing at least one of his vintage motorcycles when we visited him. Also remember the Harold Lawrence collection. It's been more than 15 years since our group visit to Ron's. Now I am getting very close to his age when he died!

        Larry
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        • #6

          His site domain name may have been sold, but the wayback machine still presents his site content.
          Here's a link:
          https://web.archive.org/web/20040606.../contents.html
          Sorry if I can't comment re: the thread title and the booklet, but I have referred to Penndorf's site over the years with regard to mercury living presence lp's and collected a number of them based on his writings to that subject.
          webmaster at The Analog Dept.
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          • pshanks01
            pshanks01 commented
            Editing a comment
            There was a very nice framed print of that photo hanging on the wall in Ron's shop.

          • user510
            user510 commented
            Editing a comment
            It would seem a good photo to remember him by.
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