Craig Moore has been involved in more musical adventures than the number of drummers that pounded the skins in Spinal Tap.
He’s played in bands, promoted bands, produced bands and it’s been rumored for years that he was the one that left Freda Payne holding a band of gold, back in that magical year of 1970. He’s also been on both sides of the record counter. He’s sold records for years out of local record stores he’s owned in Peoria and he’s also been sold in record stores all over the world.
Craig’s played in a slew of bands through the years, but the one that’s given him his biggest dose of fame, is the garage band, Gonn, which Craig was the bassist, vocalist and songwriter. In 1966, Gonn’s first 45 record was released, which was titled, "The Blackout of Gretely." It was written by Craig and guitarist Rex Garrett and it was on the strength of this and other Gonn recording’s that they played and appeared on stage in concerts with such well-known bands of the day including: The American Breed, The Trolls, The Mob and the Shadows Of Knight.
The song has had a long life and is a must have for serious collectors of garage rock. Gonn gained a large audience, when it was included in the Nuggets box set, released by Rhino Records in 1998. You can read all about the band on their Wikipedia page right here. In 2004, Gonn was inducted into the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
Craig opened his first record store in Peoria in the fall of 1984 and has owned and operated his current store, “Younger Than Yesterday,” since 1998. That store opened five years after I had moved to New York and I’ve never been inside of it. I was a regular at Craig’s other stores, so I think it’s time to check it out and go see Craig.
They're open, you gotta love that Johnny Cash t-shirt!
Craig's stores always were decorated in an exquisite manner and this one is no exception.
I love the yellow 45 records hanging from the ceiling.
And here's a familiar face I haven't seen for a few years, ladies and gentlemen, Craig Moore!
I mentioned Gonn in the introduction and here's their section at Younger Than Yesterday.
And there's more Gonn goodies on a back table. Buy them while you can, they're here today and Gonn tomorrow.
Here's the re-released single that put them on the map and into the garage, The Blackout of Gretely.
"The Best of Gonn," I need to add this to my collection.
Okay, let's go check out some of the other vinyl in the store.
As you can see, there's a diverse selection of albums to peruse in here.
I asked Craig to show me the most valuable record in the store and here it is...
An original promotional copy of "Baby Let's Play House," by Elvis Presley on Sun Records. If you look at the Sun logo on top of the record you can see it's stamped and says, "promotional copy." Craig told me that it was stamped by Sun Records owner, Sam Phillips. This record is worth $25,987! Imagine how bad I felt when I dropped it and it shattered into hundreds of pieces of vinyl. Oh well, maybe Craig can sell the pieces for five dollars a whack. See, I'm always thinking!
Hey, hey, he wasn't a Monkee when this 45 was released. Davy Jones back when he was David Jones.
Craig has been friends with The Yardbirds drummer, Jim McCarty for years. Here's a Yardbirds album that Jim autographed for Craig. One of these days I need to write about the time Craig, Jim, myself and some others traveled to Memphis to record an EP for Craig at Sun Studios.
Sonny Bono, Yoko Ono and Perry Como, what a power trio! And check out the red reflection on the poster...
Collectible Kiss masks hang on the wall right above...
A Kiss pinball machine. Very cool!
I've never been able to walk out of Craig's store empty-handed and today is no exception. I got three of the Gonn discs and check out the Albert Brooks album I found. I sold that to Craig along with thousands of other albums when I moved to New York back in 1993, and now I'm buying it back! What goes around comes around! See you all tomorrow.