"Well-known bluesman and one-time Oklahoman Bill Homans, known in the blues world as 'Watermelon Slim' and known by '70s rare psychedelic vinyl collectors as Merry Airbrakes found work as forklift driver, funeral officiator, small-time criminal, newspaper reporter, saw miller, and truck driver for industrial waste among others. In 1979, Slim and a friend came to Oklahoma and wound up in Pushmataha County, where he bought a piece of land and took up watermelon farming. That vocation didn't last, but the nickname he got doing it did. It was in Vietnam, while laid up by an extended illness at a Cam Ranh Bay hospital, that Homans negotiated in French the five-dollar purchase of his first guitar from a 'papasan' in a tiny commissary on the hospital grounds. 'It was the nastiest old guitar you ever saw, but it did have all six strings on it,' he said. There, with a Zippo lighter and a broken shard of a coffee can top, he began to teach himself to play his unique, backwards style of bottleneck slide. After returning stateside he would join the ranks of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), and in 1973 recorded with his brother and friends an LP titled Merry Airbrakes, a protest album he categorized as 'psychedelic folk.' A cut from that record eventually appeared on a Country Joe McDonald compilation of music by Vietnam veterans. However, his music career would soon tank. A brief career in petty crime ensued, which he would forsake by 1978. What is an underground album? Some people would say that it is one which has been produced outside, or in spite, of the music industry, whether or not it has prospered. This album, Merry Airbrakes, has incontrovertible underground credentials. This may be one of the only albums one can hear by a Vietnam veteran, and aside from certain American bluesmen, John Prine, and a literal handful of others, American music has never addressed the Vietnam War and its effects. Certainly it is the only place one can ever hear a song from the Vietnamese point of view."
After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.
This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).
Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.
Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.
Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).
So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.
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