What's In Your Fridge: Frankie Neilson of Beatmerchant Record Store

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      What’s In Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz Ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6 cubic-foot refrigerators.

      On the grill

      Frankie Neilson of Beatmerchant Record Store

      Who are you

      I am a music addict. I may not be monetarily rich, but I am rich in other ways. I have a fantastic record collection which I started over 50 years ago!

      I was brought up in London England and was lucky enough to have worked in the UK music industry from the age of 16 (1969) until I was 37 before I moved to Canada in 1990 working in an upwardly mobile dull job for a corporate company in Toronto and B.C. In 2005 I decided to drop out and start my own business which is the Beatmerchant Record Store in Steveston Village, Richmond which I have been running very happily for the last twelve years. When you come to the Beatmerchant I have the knowledge about most things music.

      First concert

      I think the first concert I went to was in spring 1969—it was to see the Fat Mattress band which was formed by Noel Redding who was Jimi Hendrix’s bass player. It was at the Lyceum Ballroom in London. It was an all -night concert and I met up with two friends and we dropped some speed to get through the night , but what I remember most was running up the street with my Dad chasing after me because he didn’t want me to stay out all night!

      Fat Mattress was crap, but I suppose we thought Jimi Hendrix might turn up on stage. But no he didn’t and so we arrived back in our town outside of London wasted on a beautiful sunny morning and  we went and crashed  in the park.

      Life-changing concert 

      On Friday nights me and my mates would meet down at the pub and one night my friend Kevin said this band that I liked called Free was playing at a local college and should we go. So we jumped into his van and off we went!

      We got into the hall and got a drink and made our way down to the front of the stage. Up to this point I had heard a couple of tracks by this band but had seen no photos. These four guys strolled on to the stage and plugged in and started to blow my head off my shoulders. They were so young and probably had the best guitarist I have ever seen in Paul Kossoff—who died at the age of 27. And the best vocalist in Paul Rodgers who now lives in B.C. And the best bass player in Andy Fraser, who played solos on the bass (check out Mr. Big). And the funkiest drummer in Simon Kirke, who knew the meaning of leaving space for the music to breathe. Four equal parts that couldn’t be bettered. The following year they would have the world wide monster hit with “All Right Now” from their Fire and Water album.

      Top three records

      Small Faces Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake I’ve always been more of a mod than a hippie.

      Terry Reid Super Lungs The Complete Studio Recordings 1966–1969 The man who turned down Led Zeppelin and rightly so! What a voice.

      Free Free The second album from free has the band finding its direction for its next album, Fire and Water. 

      All-time favourite video

      Ian Dury “Sueperman’s Big Sister” With Wilko Johnson in the band the Blockheads, the clip was filmed badly in a gas station with Ian in an old Ford Perfect car. But any of the Dury videos are great! I think he only made five. Brilliant!

      What’s in your fridge

       Beer and wine. When I think about what’s in my fridge I think of the Dr. Feelgood song “I’ve got more milk than alcohol” and the Jim Morrison lyrics “I woke up this morning and got myself a beer!” So I always like to have some beer in the fridge, and my fave at the moment is Stanley Park ale. Also I make my own wine, so I would have some white wine in there and some red wine in the cupboard.

      A minimum of food.  Around about every three weeks we have to clean the fridge out as I buy things and don't eat them all or partly, and then nasty things start to grow on them. So most of the time your can see the four bare corners of the fridge -

      A quiet motor. When we were looking for a new fridge recently we went to a lot of different places until we settled on one we liked—and not just for the look. There is nothing worse than a noisy fridge, especially when you are listening to a new record on your hi-fi.

      Beatmerchant Record Store is located at:

      12240 Second Avenue

      Richmond, B.C.

      V7E 3L8

      (604) 245-6834