Legendary Portland dealer Craig Moerer digs through his 3 million records and brings the heat to Los Angeles for a two day pop up record shop – thousands of hand picked vinyl rarities and promo goods.
March 10-11, 2018, Noon-6 each day.
Rappcats, 5638 York Blvd, Los Angeles CA.
This is a first for Rappcats and for Craig Moerer. While he is often sighted buying records across the world and at America’s best record fairs, for him to sell from his collection in person is a rare treat.
A small-town Montana native, Moerer started his record dealing career in earnest as a Portland-based, 18-year-old blues enthusiast in 1974. With $1000 in his pockets and the help of his 16-year-old brother, he drove his Ford Galaxie thousands of miles, criss-crossing around America looking for records for six weeks before returning home. 44 years later, Moerer is the ears, brains and stamina behind the long-respected, far-reaching, well-staffed, 8,000 square foot well-oiled-vinyl-mecca-machine that is known as Records By Mail. Moerer is one of the last of the great record dealers of the pre-internet era – Records By Mail, as many will know, carried on its business through a printed sales catalog that those on its list eagerly awaited each month. But unlike many who came of age when he did, Moerer never lost touch with changing tastes, and has amassed a trove of records unlike anyone else in the world.
Located in Portland’s Industrial District, between a brewery and a winery, Moerer and his staff labor happily at Records By Mail amongst Moerer’s 3 million records. Those records have come from everywhere: 32,000 came from Curitiba, Brazil, where Moerer bought the estate of culture critic Aramis Millarch; half a million records came from the legendary John Anderson’s Soul Bowl; an odd handful came from the collection of Liza Minelli’s ex, David Gest; and a great amount came from the most exhaustive rock record collection the world has ever seen, from Ashley Johnson’s estate.
While collectors the world over would love to be able to buy from Moerer at his Portland warehouse, that simply isn’t possible. “Our stock isn’t arranged by genre, so it’s impossible to browse. We welcome visitors and are happy to give folks a brief tour,” Moerer explains, before adding, “It’s unheard of for us to sell in person.”
Since 1974, Moerer has shipped out millions of records, with an average of 8,000 pieces of wax leaving his warehouse every month. For his Rappcats event, Moerer and his staff are digging deep into their crates to pull out rarities and well-priced essentials, both in LP and 7” format. As Moerer notes “I sold my small collection six months after opening shop. It’s ALL for sale!”