By Dr. Disc
Goldmine’s secret shopper — who will be known to you only as Dr. Disc — travels extensively and loves to visit record shops during those trips. An avid collector and music lover, the good Doc scopes out shops near and far and grades them on a scale of 1 to 10 in each of five different categories: Stock, Staff, Store, Selection and anything deserving of Special Mention.
This time around, he's taking us inside Amoeba Music in Hollywood, California.
Address: 6400 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028 (plus locations in Berkeley and San Francisco)
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday
Web Site: www.amoeba.com
STOCK: If it has anything to do with music, Amoeba Music has it at this store: new and used CDs, LPs, 45s, 78s, cassettes, books, magazines, toys, shirts, posters, coffee mugs, bags, toys and much more. This location has new releases the day they come out, and there is always have a great supply on hand. Amoeba also gets autographed releases, but they don’t jack up the prices for them.
STAFF: I found the staff to be very helpful. Due to the size of the store, you will never have a hard time finding someone in a department. The store publishes a magazine several times a year that includes each employee’s top picks. Additionally, I was there on the day of an in-store concert. The employees were very polite, making sure that no one was pushing and that everyone who waited in line after the show was able to get something signed.
STORE: This store is clean and organized. Each area in the store is clearly marked so you have no problem finding what you are seeking. Amoeba has it all — jazz, blues, rock, country, classical, punk, soundtracks and even a foreign section. The 45s have their own section, and the boxes are clearly marked. There is always music playing in the store. Amoeba has a parking lot below the store. Use it. Parking right around the store can be a pain.
SELECTION: Amoeba has everything … and many copies of almost everything. There’s a good selection of used items and when something first comes out, there are plenty of copies in stock. The store also has a great mail-order program, so if you are not in the area, you can call in your order. I have found items at this store that I could not find anywhere else.
SPECIAL MENTION: This spot is a “must” visit, a destination location, the cherry on top of a fabulous dessert. Not only is this largest record store I have ever visited, but the Amoeba team treats you right. On most weeks, you can attend an in-store concert for free. The Hollywood store is the only one of the three I have been to, but I hope to change that in the near future.