If you find yourself in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, one stop you’re not going to want to miss is Heyday Guitars. Heyday always features a stunning array of vintage instruments, proven weekly by their FB posts, and is a Batcave of sorts, for discriminating musicians.
From Heyday’s FB page, “Join us for a trip back to a time when instruments were built to be heirlooms, craftsmanship was prized above convenience, and music was measured in RPMs, not megabytes.” Now that’s a mission statement that I can get behind.
The man behind the counter is Michael Slawter, who not only sells the tools of the trade, but makes some damn fine music of his own. When I saw his FB post about a limited-edition Flexi disc that he was releasing, I knew I had to order a copy. Growing up in the 1970’s, Flexi discs could sometimes be found in the pages of a guitar magazine, or even a cereal box. The fact that someone was putting one out in 2020 really made me grin.
Slawter explains the inspiration for the Flexi disc, “It all started with a dream. In the early days of 2020 I woke from a dream that involved hanging out with Paul Westerberg (The Replacements) as he was recording a new song called Dear Bastards. As I came to and realized it was only a dream I rushed to my guitar and banged out the chords and the basic melody. From there it took a life of its own. Fast forward to May and I had an idea of releasing a Flexi disc with one song on it. This became the obvious choice. with a little help from a few friends we recorded Dear Bastards in my new studio at Heyday. Only 100 Flexi’s were pressed and this song will not be available on any streaming.”
Pressed into beautiful, translucent red vinyl, Slawter’s original tune is a burst of indie rock that’s as instantly likable as its packaging. As rough and tumble as the band that inspired it, it truly is one of the musical highlights of the year. You should own this.
The Dear Bastards Flexi disc by Michael Slawter & The Pleased To Meet Me’s are $7 or $10 shipped. If you’d like a copy you can come by Heyday Guitars, or you can use VENMO (@heydayguitars) or paypal (email@example.com). Please include your address.
By Dan Pavelich