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Rick Frystak

June 24, 2004|Leslee Komaiko

Los Angeles native Rick Frystak has been in the music business 29 years. He's spent the last 3 1/2 years as a used-music buyer at Amoeba Music, which he helped open in Hollywood. He also buys music memorabilia for the store.

You must see a lot of bad music. Yes, we do. But to me, there's no such thing as grading music. It could be bad, but because every person has his own taste, everyone's right.

What's a good day in your business? If I bought an amazing jazz record collection. In addition, if nobody yelled at me at the buy counter. People tend to get a bit testy.

Why do people get upset? There are two or three reasons. The first is because they're absolutely crazy. Being in Hollywood, we run into a lot of people who are slightly off their rockers and/or high on something. Or they just get a bad feeling out of us as buyers. They tend to take personally an offer we make on their stuff.

What are people trying to unload these days? Mostly '70s and '80s rock music and a lot of '90s rock that kind of didn't make it. We see a lot of INXS CDs and dance compilations that contain music that no one cares for anymore.

Fictional scenario: I have a stack of Britney Spears CDs. You interested? Yes, we're interested. We sell all kinds of music to every kind of person. And Britney will sell. She will. There are still people in the world that need a Britney Spears CD, and they'll buy it for the right price. Not everybody already has Britney. Sometimes I think, how can there be somebody buying another 'N Sync record?

Have a recent memorable encounter? I've had two. One guy tried to sell me a famous rock star's empty prescription bottle. I passed. Although it was worth some money, I thought it was in poor taste. Another guy pulled a framed drawing that he said was a Rembrandt out of his trunk. He had a nice Mercedes, so who knows? I told him it wouldn't fit in.

-- Leslee Komaiko

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