Down in the bins with Waterloo's Bill Jeffery
By Shelley Hiam,
12:38PM, Tue. Feb. 26, 2008
Bill Jeffery is a buyer at Waterloo Records, where he's worked for the last 18 years. That’s a lot of used records, a lot of New Release Tuesdays, and a lot of in-stores. He’s the kind of guy you want to be quiet around so you can hear as many of his stories as possible.
He was there for Nirvana’s 1991 in-store, on the brink of Nevermind’s explosion, when Kurt Cobain played one song on acoustic guitar before smashing it and leaving the stage. He saw the Stooges during last year’s South by Southwest, and has experienced Willie Nelson’s strong handshake.
A trip to his website is highly recommended. You'll find Jeffery’s amazing record review illustrations for albums by Blue Oyster Cult, Robin Gibb, Nick Gilder, Captain Beefheart, Carl Wilson, and the For the Love of Benji soundtrack. The hobby started eight years ago, and his next project will be Dave Davies’ solo albums. He has three rules for choosing the albums:
1) It has to be on vinyl
2) He has to kind of like the band
3) The album has to be kind of oddball
Like most employees of Waterloo, Jeffery is also a musician, playing trumpet in Manikin, Attic Ted, and Night Viking, and fronting the Bill Jefferys.
The album that started it all: The Times Square soundtrack, minus the Phil Collins track
Favorite album artwork: Blondie’s Eat to the Beat
Record collection: Roughly 5,000, organized alphabetically, with a shelf reserved for a mix pile to keep it interesting
CD that gets sold back most at Waterloo: Aerosmith, Big Ones
Records everyone should own: The Zombies, Odessey & Oracle; the Kinks, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society; Emmit Rhodes, The American Dream
Most interesting customer: An unemployed man who would come in every day and ask about Bill Nelson and Be Bop Deluxe
Most prized record and guilty pleasure: Blue Oyster Cult, Club Ninja
Favorite local bands: Hex Dispensers, Alright Tonight, Ripe, Attic Ted, Attack Formation, Manikin
Favorite local record stores other than Waterloo: End of an Ear, Sound on Sound
Favorite concert attended: Nick Cave’s 1994 Lollapalooza performance in Houston
Best score: Butthole Surfers live on vinyl