Easy Street Records in West Seattle Gave Out Free Records Yesterday--The Ultimate Birthday Shopping on a Budget

This past weekend, I saw the movie Horrible Bosses. Coincidentally, it was also my boss Mike Seely's birthday on Sunday. Actually, the movie got me thinking about all the god-awful bosses I've had in my lifetime and how, right now, I've got a pretty great boss. I felt kind of bad that I missed his birthday, even though that's only because he didn't tell anyone, but I still wanted to do something nice for him. The problem is, I'm broke, and after he told me that he got the complete works of Gordon Lightfoot for his birthday ("five discs of Gordo gold!"), I was wondering how I could top a gift like that. All of this is to say that when Easy Street Records owner Matt Vaughan tweeted yesterday afternoon that he'd just put out thousands of free records outside the West Seattle store, I knew I had to get down there.

There was an accident on the West Seattle Bridge, and I ended up sitting in traffic for a good 45 minutes, so by the time I parked and walked up to Easy Street, I was thinking this better have been worth it, which was a silly thought, because obviously getting loads of free stuff would be worth it. One of the first people I saw outside the store was Matt Vaughan himself; when I asked him why he was giving away so many free records, he shrugged. "'Cause, why not?" The easy answer is that Easy Street loves us.

Predictably, a lot of the records out were last wanted by someone around 1982. The most represented artist? Johnny Mathis, followed very closely by Glen Campbell, Barbra Streisand, and Jose Feliciano. There were some Reader's Digest compilations that had never been opened. There was also a disc of remixes of Chris Brown's first single, "Run It," and a full album from Shyne, the Bad Boy rapper who went to jail after that infamous Puff Daddy/Jennifer Lopez shooting.

That was the bad--we still left with a box full of records. When I first got there, Vaughan started handing me records to start my pile--Poco, Rod Stewart, Cricklewood Green. "I played this song at Eddie Vedder's wedding," he said, handing me Gerry Rafferty's City to City.

Here's a sampling of my swag. (Remember, when stuff is free, you don't have to be picky.)

Stanley Turrentine, Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

Split Enz, Waiata

TLC, "Unpretty" single

Midnight Cowboy soundtrack

Lou Rawls, Feelin' Good

Chic, C'est Chic

Wings, At the Speed of Sound

Lena Horne, The Incomparable Lena Horne

Cher, Half-Breed

Elton John, Honky Chateau

Todd Rundgren, Hermit of Mink Hollow

The Golden Hits of Lesley Gore

Un Homme et Une Femme soundtrack

Ramsey Lewis and His Gentle-men of Jazz

The Human League, Dare

Roberta Flack, First Take

Emmylou Harris, Luxury Liner

A beautiful haul--and an amazing way for Easy Street to get rid of old stock and further endear themselves to the people of Seattle.

Oh, and as for good old Mike Seely?

Happy belated birthday, big guy!

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