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Talking Shop: Pop music with a sweet tooth

Creme Tangerine, which took its name from Beatles' ode to candy, occupies an offbeat space at the LAB Antimall.

August 29, 2013|By Rhea Mahbubani
  • Parker Macy stands outside Creme Tangerine, which is housed in an Airstream camper at the LAB in Costa Mesa.
Parker Macy stands outside Creme Tangerine, which is… (Don Leach, Daily…)

This post has been corrected, as noted below.” 

To the uneducated eye, the lustrous behemoth — simultaneously incongruous and at ease in its shady corner in the LAB — appears to be a caravan.

A circular light dangles above the vehicle's roof, next to a rustic ombre sign. The yellow fades to orange like a setting sun — "Creme Tangerine," it announces.

Close inspection reveals a 22-foot silver Airstream land yacht with orange piping — and a motley of new and used vinyl and cassettes. Owned by Parker Macy, 28, of Costa Mesa, Creme Tangerine also offers a smattering of rock 'n' roll memorabilia.

There's no deep meaning behind the moniker, Macy said. It's a snippet of the Beatles' song "Savoy Truffle," because he was charmed by its first line, "Crème tangerine and Montelimar."

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As the frontman of local band Parker Macy Blues, Macy has performed at Orange County hot spots including La Cave, Constellation Room, House of Blues and Detroit Bar.

Influenced by David "Honeyboy" Edwards and Buddy Guy, Macy took his passion for music a step further with the March 2011 debut of Creme Tangerine in the LAB Antimall. Initially, the landlord provided Macy with a 1957 Kenskill trailer, but, earlier this year, the mart upgraded to a larger vintage trailer dated 1975.

Inside, cases bearing the shop's logo brim with Jethro Tull, Ray Charles, the Eagles and others. A poster depicting E.T., from Steven Spielberg's 1982 flick "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," with his arm around Michael Jackson, overlooks Coca Cola and Pepsi crates and a record player.

A regular at local thrift stores, swap meets, boutiques and garage sales, Macy also relies on advertisements and Craigslist to forage for hidden musical treasures. He's been known to drive "door-to-door and county-to-county" and as far as Kansas to purchase entire collections.

Even vacations come with an ulterior motive, much to the bemusement of his girlfriend, he said.

Presently, Macy's nearby apartment, which he describes as "not very large," is doubling as storage space. Teeming with nearly 30,000 records — a combination of his personal stash and Creme Tangerine's inventory — it also houses nearly a dozen record players.

"It's a disease," Macy muttered, with a laugh.

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