Mystery Train Records specializes in the sale of rare and collectible vinyl recordings from every genre of music. Based in Gloucester, Massachusetts, they have tens of thousands of rare LP’s, 12″s, 10″s, 45′s, 78′s, eight track tapes and CD’s in store. Read the interview with Tim Castro and watch the mix at the bottom.
How did Mystery Train start up and is it still going strong?
Mystery Train was started by Jack Evans in 1980, where it was located inside of Oona’s Clothing Shop in Harvard Square. Over the next several years Jack opened up a total of five stores, eventually selling the others to employees to focus on the Gloucester store. I (Tim) recently became a partner in the Gloucester store in September of 2011.
We’ve been located in Gloucester for 15 years, and are still going strong. We are consistently adding great and interesting records to the shop.
Could you give a brief description of what you stock and how much is first or second hand.
We have thousands of records – LP’s, 45′s, and 78′s – and we focus only on used records. Our goal is to have as many interesting original records as possible.
What styles of music are your biggest sellers, maybe a couple of examples of records that walk out the door as soon as they go on the shelves?
Right now, classic rock and heavy psych LP’s are going out as soon as they’re coming in. However, we have a steady supply of vinyl fiends looking for a wide range of styles – synth funk, hidden power pop gems, deep soul, cosmic disco and everything in between.
Any little anecdotes you can think of, perhaps a big collection that came in or a stand out collection of rare records? Something that will get record lovers drooling?
Three recent stories come to mind. First, was our lucky invite to buy the collection of a local Boston area Be-Bop trumpet legend, which not only turned up some great jazz records – like early Charlie Mariano – but also, surprisingly, a large amount of 70′s Finnish jazz funk gems. Second came when we unearthed a large collection of original late 50′s and early 60′s heavyweight jazz LP’s from a guy who turns out was the dentist for many of the players – and a close friend of Stan Getz, Buddy Rich, Teddi King, and others – some of who stayed with the family in Gloucester at the house we were in. Finally, a recent trip out to off the beaten path Massachusetts led to a serious 60′s LP collection – from a guy who not only collected LP’s, but also first edition Beat Generation books and original art by the poet Kenneth Patchen.
What expertise do the staff at shop have?
Although our two employees have devoted endless hours to gaining knowledge about rock and roll – from New Orleans roots to power pop – Jack and I try to leave no area of records unattended in the store.
Do you stock any specialist equipment, turntables for customers, record cleaning machine etc?
We do sell some audio equipment (turntables, receivers, etc.) – since we have a good amount of people interested in getting set up to play and buy records. We also have multiple listening stations for CD’s and vinyl.
Have you got anything coming up, either in the shop or perhaps an event the shop is affiliated with?
Right now Mystery Train employee Joey Unis and myself do a monthly DJ session at River Gods in Cambridge, MA and both Joey and our other employee Ryan can be found playing around the east coast in the power pop trios The BF’s and The Achers.
Could you list a top 10 of whats been sold recently?
Here are some interesting records that recently passed through:
- Dino Pacifici “Become A Man” (ultra rare private press soft rock) (NAB CCL)
- Jimmy Crain “Shig-A-Shag” (Promo / Spangle) (superb Rockabilly 45)
- Bram Rigg Set “Take The Time Be Yoursel / I Can Only Give You Everything” (Kayden Records) (rare 60′s garage fuzz 45)
- John Lee Hooker “I’m John Lee Hooker” LP (Vee Jay) (original copy of this Blues classic)
- Olli Ahvenlahti “Bandstand” (Love Records) (Finnish Jazz – one of several awesome Finnish Jazz LP’s that came through recently)
- Shade “Lost In Summer” (Seatown Records) (Private press psych funk from our area north of Boston)
- Sun Ra Arkestra “Unity” (very rare Italian 2xLP by the legend) (Horo Hop)
- The Jamaica Story (Featuring Count Ozzie and Ernest Ranglin) (great rare Jamaican history and music 2xLP)
- Charlie Mariano And The All Stars 10” (Imperial) (amazing early release by the jazz legend Mariano)
- Julie Andrews feat. Moondog “Tell It Again: Songs of Sense and Nonsense” (Angel)(Interesting 1958 LP – not one you see everyday!)
Mystery Train Records
21 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
Tel: (978) 281-8911
Fax: (978) 281-8916
Stacks from the Rack – Mystery Train Records Mix Vol. 5
(a mix of tracks pulled from LP’s on sale at Mystery Train Records)
A Stack of Dusty Records
1.the bruce westcott trio “sunny” (And Along Came Bruce / MGM Records)
2.edison electric band “ship of the future” (Bless You, Dr. Woodward LP / Cotillion Records / 1970)
3.bags “it’s heavy” (45 / GSF Records / 1972)
4.brother to brother “we love to party” (Shades In Creation LP / Turbo Records / 1977).
5.jay mitchell and hot ice “i love those days” (The Messanger LP / Bush Fire Records / 1981)
6.clive stevens “celtic rock dance” (12” EP / Guerrilla Records / 1981)
7.billy “soul” bonds “punkathon affair” (Deep Inside My Soul LP / M&T Records / 1985)
8.jayson lindh “second carneval” (Second Carneval LP / JAS Records / 1975)
9.shango “brotherhood” (Trampin’ LP / Dunhill Records)
10.the rose brothers “i wanna be your lover” (Everything’s Coming Up Roses / Muscle Shoals Sound / 1986)
11.cameron “magic of you (like the way)” (12” / Salsoul / 1980)
12.soiree “you keep me hanging on” (12” / Roadshow Records / 1979)
13.manfredo fest “arigo” (Manifestations LP / Tabu Records / 1979)
14.simone pedacos “povo da raca brasil” (Self Titled LP / EMI / 1979)
15.toquinho & Vinicius De Moraes “ate rolar pelo chao” (Um Pouco De Iluasao LP / Ariola Records)
16.pi de la serra “la cultura” (No Es Possible El Que Visc LP / BASF / 1974)
17.jack sheldon “by strauss” (Out! LP / Capitol / 1962)
18.jerry gonzalez “Agueybana Zemi” (Ya Ya Me Cure LP / Pangea Records / 1980)
19.valerie simpson “i believe i’m gonna take this ride” (Self Titled LP / Tamla / 1972)