Ryan Richardson.

“Wow… it’s almost like you sensed the presence of my new desk.  Only a couple of months have crawled by since a friend Brian built and installed it.  Today’s desk is a bit messier than usual because I’m working on a site update and getting ready to head outta town.  As of tomorrow morning, I’ll be heading to the NY Art Book Fair at PS1.” – November 2, 2010.

Ryan Richardson and his Ryebread Rodeo is a place for connoisseurs to dig into stacks of original punk rock fliers, posters, fanzines, badges, and records. Nearly every item comes from an original source (band member, promoter, fanzine editor). He’s a collector first and a reseller second. High on his personal priority list are early punk fliers from California (especially L.A.) and Texas (especially D/FW). Then again, there are pieces from about everywhere — Cleveland, Washington DC, Brisbane — that he’d kill for! Treating buyers and sellers right is the core of his business. The New York Times T Magazine also likes him.

11 days later…

FROM YOUR DESKS: You just returned from the New York Art Book Fair at PS. How many pounds of your collection did you haul?

RYAN RICHARDSON: The Art Book Fair was amazing and exhausting.  I was working the show by myself which means I got to see very little of the other tables because I was stuck behind my own. I shipped about 200 lbs. worth of fanzines and fliers to the show.

FYD: Where did you stay and have you ever stayed at the Chelsea Hotel?

RR: I’ve never stayed at the Chelsea Hotel, but I did book a room in someone’s house in Long Island City for the duration of the fair. What I saved in money, I lost in sleep.

FYD:  Where did you grow up?  Were you in a punk scene?

RR: I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and was part of a small punk scene that revolved around a venue called the Axis Club. My first big punk show was at the Circle Jerks gig in Dallas in 1986. It was harrowing and big fun at the same time. I was hooked.

FYD: You’ve been collecting punk records, fliers, and memorabilia for twenty years. How did you start?

RR: From an early age, I was very into bands (starting with KISS) and collecting (starting with Smurfs and Walruses). I had 17 KISS LP’s by age nine.  My parents were tolerant if not entertained by my KISS fascination. For years my dad loved to tell people about the surprising answer his five-year-old gave to the question “what’s your favorite song”: I Was Made For Lovin’ You (a song from KISS’s disco phase). I’ve just followed my passions and never quite got over the punk phase and have been lucky enough to have a hobby evolve into a job of sorts.

FYD: Do you constantly sell one band all the time.  Who has the constant staying power?

RR: I sell lots of different bands… plenty of no-hit wonders ignored at the time and adored decades later.  For the most part, I keep the best stuff for myself.

My first big punk show was at the Circle Jerks gig in Dallas in 1986.

FYD: If you had to take three records to the grave; which three would you take?

RR: Ah, the desert island / take-to-the-grave record question… it’s impossible to answer because there’s so much I haven’t heard and because the answer changes from year to year.  When friends and I start talking about this, it’s tough to even get beyond parameters… 45’s or LP’s? Do compilations count? Double LP’s?  It never ends…

FYD: What three songs are you currently cycling? 

RR: Three LP’s in heavy rotation: 1st Boys LP (1977), Black Randy & The Metrosquad “Pass The Dust I Think I’m Bowie” (1979) and the Creeps “Enjoy The Creeps” (1986).

FYD: English punk vs New York punk?

RR: As for UK vs. NY punk, the question is moot because LA punk is the best!

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