Trini Lopez, Live At PJ’s (1963)
Often it’s about how you experience the music; how it’s introduced to you. I used to work long weekend shifts in a record store back in the mid/late-1990s. We still sold cassette tapes. And vinyl – before it was all about vinyl reissues. And we sold CDs and T-shirts. And the thing is we actually sold stuff. Weekends were busy. I’d do a 10am-10pm or 11am-11pm shift. One day one of the staff found a $10 budget CD copy of Trini Lopez’s live album; his debut. I didn’t know the name. But I knew a lot of the music – Latinised versions of songs from musicals, of pop and rock and jazz standards of the day. And it was fantastic. There was limited musicality going on. This rudimentary trio hacked out the songs – but what they did a stellar job of was communicating them. The audience loves it, the band loves it – and that has stayed with me. Ever since that first hearing. I’ve introduced a bunch of people to Trini – it’s infectious and effortless. There’s a joy about this – everyman music served up for every man, woman and child. I hunted around for a while to find this on vinyl – finding other Lopez albums; fine but not Live At PJ’s. And then, just the other year, I found it for $2 in Auckland’s Real Groovy. I was up there for the Pixies gig. A total letdown. The best thing about that weekend was finding Trini Lopez’s Live At PJ’s on vinyl for $2. The second best thing? Going to the Lady Gaga gig the night after the Pixies one. Weird, right? But it’s true. And it’s true that now, 15 years on from when I laughed and enjoyed Trini (I was hungover and working in a store for coins) I still give him a spin and it cheers me up: feel good music – Trini Lopez’s Live at PJ’s is the very epitome.
Sample Track: If I Had A Hammer
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown