In the beginning was a record.
It was sometime in the mid 90's at a WFMU record fair that I purchased my first record from Ozy. I was literally lured to his table by the music playing on his turntable: Jerry Washington's "Right Here Where You Belong" recorded for the Excello label in 1973. It was an impulsive purchase, but I felt I had to have it.
In the Beginning from Eric Feldman & Leyla Modirzadeh on Vimeo.
Our paths crossed again, several months later at a record show in New Jersey. "You're the guy who bought that Jerry Washington record." I was invited into the inner sanctum filled with boxes of records labeled "rare", where I spent the rest of the day as well as the rest of the money in my wallet. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Flash forward. Many years and dollars later I proposed to accompany Ozy on one of his record buying trips and document it. There were many polite refusals, but in the fall of 2005 he invited me to tag along. Hurricane Katrina had just devastated New Orleans and perhaps Ozy sensed much of what he loved about the South was also in jeopardy of survival.
The agreement was that if he did not want something filmed, it would not be filmed and that I would not compete with him for records.