Events like the Dallas Music Expo aren't for the casual fan. Things like this are for the kind of people who can stand to spend two hours sifting through musty cardboard boxes full of 45s, looking for a piece of black (vinyl) gold. They're for the fans who have to have every scrap of Elvis Presley-related merchandise that exists, from the limited-edition set of decorative plates to the bootleg video of The King eating an Elvisburger--a ground-beef patty between two donuts (and people still actually believe he's dead). They're for the collectors who hit every garage sale in the metroplex every weekend, hoping some little old lady in Euless is willing to sell all her old mint-condition Frank Sinatra albums for a quarter apiece. Events like the Dallas Music Expo are definitely not for people who are looking for the latest matchbox 20 CD or a Marilyn Manson poster.
One of the main keys to record fairs like the Dallas Music Expo is patience. Thousands of albums, CDs, videos, singles, posters, and photos are jammed into one room, looking more than a little like your grandmother's house without the cats. You probably won't find anything special if you aren't prepared to dig a little, and we do mean dig; the best stuff isn't always easy to get to. It might be in a tightly packed cardboard box beneath a table, overlooked by anyone who isn't willing to get their knees dirty in the name of rock and roll. (There's a bad groupie joke in there somewhere.) Or, it'll be right there on the table, hiding in plain sight. The point is, you never know where the album or single or poster that you're looking for will be found, so you just have to look. And look. And look.
The other key to the Dallas Music Expo is money. We're not talking about money to get in; admission is only $3. We're talking about cold, hard cash to buy records with, because--unless you're looking for Gordon Lightfoot's second album--someone else is probably looking for the exact same thing you are. Which means that one of you will have to pay serious money to get it. In a seller's market, no price is too high. Even that Gordon Lightfoot album might be worth more than you think.
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The Dallas Music Expo happens on Sunday, August 2, at the Sheraton Hotel, located at 1241 W. Mockingbird Lane. The Expo will be open one day only, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is $3; children under 12 are admitted free. Call (214) 630-7000.