…but that doesn’t mean he can’t try. Days after the New York Times profiled São Paulo busing magnate turning record hound-to-the-extreme Zero Freitas and his efforts to snap up collections faster than his interns can archive ’em, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Scott Mervis reports Jerry Weber (above) of the legendary Jerry’s Records is keen to talk turkey. Or records for cash, as it were.
“I heard whispers about [Mr. Freitas] for years,” Mr. Weber says. “He was a little sneaky about it. He didn’t want people to know what he was doing.”
“I’m sorry to see the records leave, it’s kind of sad that they’re leaving our country to go to Brazil, but those records have been out of circulation. We weren’t allowed to look at them, they were too expensive to buy.”
Mr. Weber, who owns 2.5 million albums between his store and warehouse and has been featured on “best record store lists” as well as on the A&E show “Hoarders,” admits that he’s a bit jealous of the Brazilian operation, which he estimates at around 8 million pieces.
Not surprisingly, he’s conflicted about his collection, built over three decades, saying, “I don’t want to sell them to Brazil. I’m patriotic. I think people in Pittsburgh should be able to hear them. But I’d have to be a fool not to do it.”
He has five grandchildren, he said, and “my kids would never forgive me” if he passed on a deal like that.
Nonetheless, Pittsburghers shouldn’t worry too much about the disappearance of Jerry’s, because collecting is in his blood.
“I just turned 66, so I’ve got four, five years,” he laughs. “I would start all over again. The way I buy records, I could build it back up in no time.”