One night I found myself hawking my brother’s posters in the Providence’s Convention Center.
They had a band there, Girl Haggard and the speakers were turned up so that not only could you hear the band inside the chamber it rattled the dividers and walls on each side. Rock-a-billie punk covered the echo of footsteps as patrons came over to the booths to buy whatever was there. I was in full bore BS mode. Crowds, especially extremely loud events with crowds drive me to hypo-mania. All the Social Distortion posters and the Dropkick Murphy posters were on the table and whatever rock bands Uncle had designed for lately displayed so that people can get close and see their quality. He can have up to 30 posters on display. Different bands and different styles help sales feeding a buyer’s curiosity.
Sun Scream #9 came over and asked how it was going. She chatted a while with her Mom, my sister who had come to help me out. Lulu had a booth on one side of ours to give out coupons for her Lulu’s Locks store. The girl that ran that booth was new to it but really sweet. It was an interesting mix of vendors that night. Next to us a table of “adult toys” were packaged up and displayed with their stats on pamphlets for people to take and order at home. Next to them was a woman who was selling candles and scent warmers a la tupperware style. She looked a little uncomfortable which didn’t really surprise me. This was a crowd that didn’t inspire home goods sales. Raggedy Ann-eurysm dressed in her typical striped tights was there with her husband. I think I saw Baby Fighterfly and Cindy Lou Screw there too but I was busy and didn’t leave the table except once. They were only there during the intermission, they had to go skate once Rev Al Mighty and Lady Miss Iris ramped up the crowd.
Uncle also sells misprints but this was the first time he put them out there. $5 dollars a piece I didn’t think people would look at them but they did. Uncle’s really picky about what he prints and how he prints them and his quality control left posters I would have sold as regular in the misprint pile. And Uncle wasn’t there that night so I didn’t push them. Usually he’ll stop by but not all the time. That night he was working on printing another design.
Now you might be saying, “What’s the difference between a poster I can buy at Walmart and one of Uncle’s?” The difference is Uncle designs all of his, silk screens them on particular paper (not that shiny cr@p that doesn’t last long,) and each one is signed. The lower the number the higher the value.
This year one of the The Rock N’ Roll Yard Sale events was held on the Saturday before Cinco De Mayo. It was outside on the streets of Providence. The crowds were thick, the Mariachi music was loud, the sun was out but the breeze was cool. Food trucks which have become so popular lately were parked up and down Westminster Street. Usually Chris reserves a space for Uncle’s wares, they’re pretty good friends. Bill arrived late with the table and the set up and got a spot on a side road. It’s difficult keeping the posters down when there’s a breeze. On the corner the wind would push a gust that would flap the posters up and over the table. I came over to help with some tips for Bill but felt I was cramping his style. I stepped back and let him do his thing. Usually I’m out there chatting up the customers gently. It’s good to be pleasant but not pushy. There were actually a few die hard fans which I was thankful for. And I was able to sell to a customer or two who didn’t look like they were very interested. One, a guy from New York admitted that he didn’t like any of the bands but he liked the Hank III skull design and bought a damaged one for $15.
It’s a good day and a good sell when a person buys a piece of art work they’d be proud to frame and hang on their wall.