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World's Greatest Record Collector: Geoffrey Weiss Pop-Up at Rappcats, Aug. 16-17, 2024

World's Greatest Record Collector: Geoffrey Weiss Pop-Up at Rappcats, Aug. 16-17, 2024

This is our third pop-up record sale from the collection of the man we confidently call the World's Greatest Record Collector. Expect Weiss to have rare, obscure, great, and unexpected records spanning practically all genres.

Friday, August 16, 6-9 PM
Saturday, August 17, 12-6PM
Rappcats, 5638 York Blvd, Los Angeles CA

Introduction to Geoffrey Weiss by Eothen Alapatt, from Dust & Grooves by Elion Paz:

I’m not a fan of hyperbole, especially when it comes to records. The “rarest” record of the moment might be one that boxes of are waiting to be released back into the field. Some of the best “insert-genre-here” albums might be misunderstood by entire generations, and what’s regarded as “the best record of all time” by one person might be seen as a pedigreed relic with little historical importance by another. Such terms get even more watered down when they aim to describe record collectors. Lofty phrases like “deepest,” “best-schooled” and “the Alan Lomax of…” get liberally attached to everyone from hobbyists to the life-long obsessed. The result is hyperbolic noise, which is a shame, because what is there left to say when it’s actually true?

There is one person I’ve met about whom I feel compelled to say: Geoffrey Weiss is, to me and to many, the world’s best record collector.

I first heard about Geoffrey when I was living in Nashville in the ’90s. I was on the trail of funk and soul when I met David Forman, who introduced me to Barry Wickham, who told me about the legendary Geoffrey Weiss. Shortly after I moved to the Eastside of LA in 2001, I encountered Geoffrey at a backyard barbecue in Echo Park. He had a long beard and looked something like Gandalf. I was offered an introduction but declined. What the hell was I going to talk to the Geoffrey Weiss about? I was certain I would only make myself look like an idiot.

Some years later, when I had the opportunity to hang out with him, I realized my fears about looking like and idiot were unfounded. He isn’t the jaded, braggart type, though he easily could be. Instead, he is gracious, enthusiastic and trustworthy. And it didn’t take me long to confirm that he is indeed the world’s best record collector.

His massive record collection has its own house, adjacent to his actual house. When I saw a copy of Tintern Abbey’s “Vacuum Cleaner” sitting in its stock Deram sleeve on a table with a $1,000 price tag on it, I knew this wasn’t going to be your average collection. “You’re lucky to own that,” I said. “It’s a spare,” he told me. He added that I could have it as part of a trade we were working on—a trade we negotiated for more than a year, punctuated by evenings filled with stellar bourbon and interesting beers; evenings where the assignment—the trade—was pushed aside in favor of the pursuit of knowledge and the enjoyment of listening to vinyl. But on that first visit, when I gasped that he had spent a grand on a spare, no matter how great, he shrugged his shoulders and remarked that the record was better than a grand.

I have countless stories like that about Geoffrey. He’s not known as a funk or soul collector per se yet he had the wherewithal to buy Marvin Whoremonger and doubles of the Southern University Jazz Ensemble Goes To Africa with Love LPs in the ’80s and ’90s because, simply, they intrigued him. He’s the guy who pulled the Stephen David Heitkotter LP out of the reject bin at A&M’s publishing division in 1986 and cemented its status as one of America’s great outsider rock albums. Weiss doesn’t need validation from other collectors or from guidebooks, or from the ego of owning the rarest this or the most expensive that (though his collection is full of those things). He simply loves music, always has, and he wants to share that love with others. Through the years he has worked for major labels, has helped find and promote important bands, and now spends his time managing a young artist. Anyone gifted the opportunity to share a moment with him in his space, exploring his thousands of records, all of which he knows intimately, is in for—damn, here I go again—a singular musical experience.