On Rex and the Bass, sometimes I refer to the Rose Bowl Flea Market, and it occurs to me that if you are not from Los Angeles, you might have no idea what I am talking about.
The Rose Bowl Flea Market is put on by R.G. Canning Attractions, and is held the second Sunday of each month surrounding the Rose Bowl (home of UCLA Football!) in Pasadena, California. It has over 2500 vendors and over 20,000 people visit it each month.
Most swap meets these days are endless rows of brand new crap that you can buy from Harbor Freight, or are filled with new tacky furniture, clothing and “art”. The Rose Bowl Flea Market has some sellers that bring this dreck, but mostly it is fully of really awesome antiques, collectibles, vintage clothing, and most everything you can imagine. The best part is that it is divided into sections, so you can skip the new stuff and go straight to specific areas for vintage and collectibles, antiques, or arts and crafts. Vintage and collectibles is where we always go first.
This means that there is plenty of ripe old stuff to dig through. There is everything from mid-century modern furniture to vintage porn and everything in between. And yes, there are musical instruments scattered amongst the millions of other things you will find out there. The last time I was out there I saw oodles of Spanish guitars, saxophones, clarinets, flutes, violins, trumpets, trombones, drums, amps, effect pedals, and even some Fender, Gibson and Martin guitars. It is definitely worth making the trek up there.
If you want to go, it is open from 9:00AM to 4:30PM and it costs $8 to get in. Admission is $10 if you want to get in between 8:00AM and 9:00AM, $15 from 7:00AM to 8:00AM, or $20 from 5:00Am to 7:00AM. Oh yeah, admission for kids under 12 and parking are both FREE! You can get all of the details for buying or selling at www.rgcshows.com/RoseBowl.aspx