Things to Do

Arizona Music Historian John Dixon Is Hosting a Record Sale This Weekend in Scottsdale

John Dixon (a.k.a. DJ Johnny D) with some of the many records he sells on the regular.
John Dixon (a.k.a. DJ Johnny D) with some of the many records he sells on the regular. Al Perry

When ordinary people hold rummage sales at their homes, it’s typically a forgettable weekend occurrence.

When John Dixon has a garage sale, it’s a can’t-miss event for local music fans, crate-diggers, and vinyl junkies.

The Arizona music historian, record collector, and DJ sells a vast selection of vintage vinyl, including plenty of rarities and gems, during the sales he stages outside of his Scottsdale home.

They feature hundreds of old 45s, jukebox discs, vintage 78s, various LPs, and assorted odds and ends in the boxes and crates Dixon arranges around the driveway, carport, and front yard of his Scottsdale home during his sales.

“It's a pretty good variety of stuff,” Dixon says. “Having something for everyone, record-wise, is my motto.”

Dixon’s latest garage sale takes place from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 9, at his home, which is located at 3024 North 81st Place in Scottsdale.

Dixon, who performs as DJ Johnny D., has been a record collector and dealer for decades. Prior to the pandemic, he hauled his treasure trove of rare vinyl to various record sales at the Arizona American Italian Club and other venues around the Valley. Such events are on hold at the moment for the foreseeable future, which is why Dixon is putting on garage sales at his home.

“I'm a dealer; this is what I do. I have all this record stock, which I normally would take to record shows and sales,” he says. “Given what’s going on right now, I’ve had to do sales at my home.”

This weekend’s event is the fourth garage sale Dixon has conducted. Turnout has been mixed, he says.

click to enlarge John Dixon (right) at a record sale with Djentrification (left). - JOHN DIXON'S FACEBOOK
John Dixon (right) at a record sale with Djentrification (left).
John Dixon's Facebook
“I did two where people have worn masks and then another one in early December,” Dixon says. “Most of the people who have come through has been fellow collectors and others. For some people, [these sales] are just an excuse to get together and yak about records and music. I was open two hours before anyone showed up the last time.”

Dixon says his garage sales are similar to the setup he takes to local record shows. “For me, it's the same kind of [sale] but it’s at my house,” he says. “I've done it before. I've had a lot of garage sales over my history here, but the last few have pretty much been the same stock I'd take to these record sales.”

And it typically includes a variety of music from local artists. Dixon is renowned for collecting and archiving music by legendary Arizona musicians like Floyd Ramsey, Duane Eddy, Loy Clingman, and Sanford Clark. You can expect to find records by similar artists on sale this weekend.

“I’ll have boxes of Arizona stuff like Jetsonz and Blue Shoes or boxes of 45s by Duane Eddy and the usual suspects,” he says.

What else can vinyl junkies find at Dixon’s garage sale this weekend? Plenty of 45s, for starters, he says.

“It going to be a lot of commercially available 45s, like many Top 30 hits from over the years that I've been whittling down over the years. Probably several hundred of those,” Dixon says. “There's a James Brown section, some picture sleeves in there, some jukebox EPs in there, some Buffalo Springfield and Cream in there, just really clean discs [with] no real clunkers in there.”

He’ll also have boxes of “goofy, oddball records for a couple of bucks,” plus nicer albums for $5 or $10, and some 78s for the “people that might show up looking for those.”

Boxes and tables will be spaced out to allow social distancing, Dixon says. You’ll also want to have a mask on, since Dixon is requiring face coverings at all times, as well as some cash or checks, since he doesn’t take plastic. (He does take PayPal, however.)

Dixon says he’s hoping to see some new people at the sale.

“I need some new eyeballs on my stuff because, as I said, it’s usually [fellow] record dealers that come by,” he says. “There’s some really great music for sale and it’s something I think everyone should enjoy.”

John Dixon's garage sale is scheduled to take place from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3024 North 81st Place in Scottsdale. Masks are required.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.