LYNDHURST, N.J. — If you long for the old-school ways of buying and enjoying your music, Alan Maisano’s A&M Music Center is right up your alley.
Don’t go looking for social media posts or a web site; what you need to see and do can be done at the store or working directly with Maisano. He’s happy to help you track down that hard-to-find record you’ve been seeking. And special orders are always welcome.
Most of all, Maisano enjoys providing the in-person, brick-and-mortar record shop experience to customers at the 238 Stuyvestant Ave. shop. When Maisano opened A&M Music Center last fall, he had one heck of in-store guest come by to help celebrate: guitarist Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance fame. Maisano was Iero’s history teacher back in the day at Queen of Peace High School in nearby North Arlington, N.J. The pair bonded over a love of music — both play guitar — and had started a music club together at the school.
One more modern trend Maisano has eagerly embraced is Record Store Day. His shop is participating in 2014 Record Store Day events on April 19, 2014, which also will include a 3 p.m. performance by The Captain and O’Neill.
Here’s the scoop on Alan Maisano and his A & M Music Center.
Q: What was the first record you ever bought?
A: The Byrds, “Fifth Dimension.”
Q:When did the idea of owning your own record store first occur to you?
A: A lifelong dream!
Q: What is the history of your store?
A: We opened up on Sept. 3, 2013 with Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance) making a personal appearance and performing in the store.
Q: What do you carry/specialize in?
A: Records, CDS and DVDs. Classic rock: 1960s, 1970s. Special orders are welcomed. Hard-to-find items is our specialty. Stop by monthly for in-store promotions!
Q: What changes have you noticed in the music retail market over the years? What trends have you noticed in terms of vinyl-record sales?
A: People are going back to purchasing vinyl! Sales of vinyl have increased, while sales of CDs are down.
Q: What does your store offer that few, if any, others do?
A: Special orders for hard-to-find items that even the larger chain stores are unable to get! Every month we feature new promotions and a concert by local and national recording artists.
Q: How do you feel about Record Store Day?
A: This upcoming Record Store Day, we will feature colored vinyl, picture discs and rock star autographed photos.
Q: What was the biggest day the store ever had (so far, of course!)
A: The grand opening. Over 400 people showed up because of the personal appearance and performance by Frank Iero.
Q: What do you think is the future of record stores like yours?
A: I believe that record stores will experience an upturn, because more and more people are interested in vinyl.
Q: What’s the rarest record you’ve ever had in your store?
A: The Masked Marauders, which was a hoax perpetrated by Greil Marcus of Rolling Stone magazine in which it was believed that John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger, among others, were present on the album.
Q: What’s the strangest request you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
A: Sir Lord Baltimore, and I was able to get both of the albums that the customer requested!
Q: What advice would you have for people who want to own a record store?
A: If that is your dream, DO IT!
Q: Now for a little fun: Mono or stereo?
A: Mono AND Stereo!
Q: Fat Elvis or Skinny Elvis (music only)?
A: All Elvis Stuff is Great!
Q: Vinyl or CD?
A: Vinyl rules!
Q: George Harrison or Eric Clapton?
A: Eric Clapton AND George Harrison! GM