What a wonderful concept and excuse for me to head out my favorite record store last weekend. There are a still a few good places left in New Jersey, but they are disappearing little by little. I chose Vintage Vinyl in Fords, N.J., where, as part of their promotion, they had in-store live performances most of the day — most notably Willie Nile in the late afternoon.
I took advantage of the specials, including the Springsteen 7″ single of “What Love Can Do”/“A Night With The Jersey Devil” and a red-vinyl 7″ by The Pretenders of “Break Up The Concrete”/“Love’s A Mystery” (live broadcast). A nice bonus was a numbered-edition lithograph of The Beatles’ American Flag photo which was free with the purchase of any Beatles item. I chose a Japanese import of their “Greatest” for $15, a nice addition to my collection. To top it off I grabbed the new Neil Young CD/DVD Fork In The Road and was given a nice bag of half a dozen free samplers, a Record Store Day mouse pad and some iron-ons. I drove home with a big smile on my face.
I hope this day becomes a tradition. I’m sure it was a boost for business (the store was more crowded than usual, even for a Saturday) and I had a good feeling that it was happening all over the country. A really great idea!
I went to Amoeba Records in Hollywood by bus. The trip took over an hour each way, but I thought to take one car off the road was worth it. They had plenty of one-day-only vinyl singles and guest DJ’s. The only guests I saw while I was there was Wendy & Lisa. It was great to see the store packed with people the entire time.
I did what I do most Saturdays and that was thumping thru bins at a record store, looking for great music to be enjoyed as it was intended in a physical medium, be it a CD or on vinyl. To find something to hold in your hands and be able to look at great art work, to read and learn from liner notes, to interact with and then place into a miracle machine an item that will fill a room with music is still the way it should be done.
I have lived in the LA area for 8 years now and have seen the demise of too many record stores. From A(Aarons) to R(Rhino) they have fallen but fortunately a few still remain. I started at my current favorite store Rockaway, then headed to Freakbeat and finished the day at Amoeba. Three very different but classic examples of truly independent record stores the kinds I have been going to since the ’60s. I would have not stopped at just those three stores but the day was gone, but fortunately knowing there is always next weekend!
I want to leave the Goldmine readers with this, please remind everyone you know that everyday is a Record Store Day!