The Hound, Ichiban's Debbie D and WMBR DJ John Funke.
Last year we were celebrating Norton Records' 25th anniversary, this year they're struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy. I spent two days this week helping out, cleaning discs on the volunteer assembly line. It's a daunting task, two hundred thousand + records destroyed, jackets ruined - although some of the discs can be salvaged, hence the assembly line, but they need some help.
I go way back with the Norton Records people - Billy Miller and Miriam Linna. Before Norton Records, before the Zantees, before Kicks, Bad Seed and Flamin' Groovies monthly magazines even. Back to another time, back when it seemed like there were maybe a dozen or so people in the whole world that liked the type of sounds Norton has brought to the world - Esquirita, Hasil Adkins, Jack Starr, et al. Now it seems like everyone knows who they are. Last night a friend texted me - his daughter was playing on WFMU at that exact moment. I tuned in to hear the kid, and she and her friends are warbling their way through a Charlie Feathers tune! My, things have changed. If there was one factor in bringing great rock'n'roll to the world, it was Norton Records. Now they're fighting for their life, Hurricane Sandy (obviously named for the Dion tune) destroyed their warehouse, taking out records, personal items like most of Miriam's fabled paperback collection, Billy's 78RPM's, master tapes, fanzines, Kicks Books, etc. If there was ever a good cause, this is it. You can donate money at the Norton website or time or both.
Reasons you should head to Norton headquarters and volunteer:
*For one thing, it's a good cause, maybe the best cause ever. Norton Records has long been at the forefront of what some of us think of as rock'n'roll, and they're just about the only ones who still do it.
*Free pizza and beer. And rubber gloves....
*Its' where all the cool people are, the ones who hardly ever go out anymore (like me and my wife....). I saw some of my favorite people in the world there this week.
*Despite the tragic and stressful conditions, Billy Miller is still one of the funniest people in the world.
*You'll earn indulgences to get to heaven, or where ever you plan on spending your afterlife.
*Learn the record business from the ground up.
*Learn about the hazards of global climate change and how it affects you and your Hasil Adkins records.
*Meet folks from all over the world, study their habits and learn to recognize their accents.
*More fun than it looks, in fact more fun that most NYC clubs these days.
To volunteer call the Norton office (718-789-4438) or Billy's cell (917) 671-7185 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the word Volunteer in the subject box.