return of the rockahula baby

ON THIS SITE’S HOME PAGE SIDEBAR, you can read a few words on a nickname that I was given almost thirty years ago: the “price guide guru” (no caps that first time, just quotation marks). I have long forgotten the name of the fan who assigned it to me, but I have used it on and off ever since, both in pieces that I contributed to Goldmine magazine and in the commentary sections of my books.

Guru is Sanskrit for teacher or master and the Hindu guru-shishya is the oral tradition of doctrine and wisdom handed from teacher to student. In the United States, the word guru is often used to describe a teacher from an Eastern religion or philosophy, or more and more a teacher of any sort.

The first such guru that I was aware of consciously learning from—as opposed to school, where I was essentially coerced if not actually forced to learn—was Jiddu Krishnamurti. In my teens I found a copy of his book Think On These Things, which contained perspectives on life and its living that were unlike any I had read in traditional European-based philosophy.

Around the same time, I discovered the books of Alan Watts, especially The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are and This Is It. He was the second writer who I adopted as a guru of sorts. (Joyous Cosmology, is account of his experiences with LSD, remains perhaps the best such book ever written, but that’s another story.)

As for me, well sure, some might consider me a teacher. I am attempting to impart lessons learned in the record collecting hobby/business, either through experience or study or a wee bit of a-priori-izationing (sic).

Lots of people have lost lots of money buying and selling records as collectables—including me. If I can prevent some of that from happening to you, well then, my day is made!

Another sobriquet that I used in articles that I wrote and in personal communication with other record collectors (usually my friends) was “The Rockahula Baby.”

Silly, I know.

But Rock-A-Hula Baby was a silly song—and the first truly silly song that Elvis released as a single—and there are a few people who think me a silly person (usually my friends), so why not?


In the recording in the video from the movie Blue Hawaii (1961) above, I always hear the lyrics as, “And when she starts to sway, I’ve gotta say, she really moves her ass around.”

Maybe it’s just a part of getting seniorly (becoming more comfortable with being silly as I await the dawning of the promised wisdom of the ages to come upon me) but whenever I sign off with that nickname, I feel I’m Heaven bound!



Postscriptually, I can also tell you about how a few guys in junior high who were street-smart-punk-wannabes and came up with “Spinout” as a nickname for me that wasn’t meant to be friendly and usually came with a few pushes and shoves (this is back when it was almost embarrassing to admit to being an Elvis fan), but that’s another story.

NOTE: While writing a caption for some photos on another post (“Fake elvis autographs on records and memorabilia”), I remembered that I had used this alias decades ago with my high school sweetheart, Janet G.


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