Vinyl, Cassettes & Retail

Share Your Favorite Record Store Memories

image from recordstoreday.tuneportals.comRecord Store Day is this Saturday April 17th and most stores have lots of great things planned. This year there are signs that with a little help from vinyl and used goods; but mostly by selling more than just music, the downward trend for indie record shops may be finally slowing. But that doesn't mean that they don't need – and deserve – your support this Saturday and every day.

Plan 9 recently closed it's store in my newly adopted home of Roanoke, Virginia; so it's even more important that I visit the closest thing still left this Saturday – a grassroots store, gathering place, performance hall called Bazaar Consignments.

In case you need a little encouragement to support a record store in your local this Saturday, think back to your favorite moments spent in a record store. Maybe you were pawing through piles of used vinyl, arguing the finer points of Nick Drake's lyrics with a female store clerk with more piercings than you've ever seen before or watching a now famous band play a spirited show at full volume just two feet in front of you. To motivate yourself and others to support Record Store Day in the comments section below, please share…

What are your favorite record store memories?

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  1. Mine is seeing The Ramones play some little record shop on a rainy day in Boston.
    I remember wondering how would ever succeed with so little talent. And yet somehow I knew they would big time …and that made me really happy. Still does.

  2. My long departed Dad used to buy me an LP for $3.50 at long departed Korvettes on Long Island when he took my long departed Mom shopping at Roosevelt Field Shopping Center.

  3. Patiently perusing the platters at the Stone Balloon in Indianapolis in the 70’s in search of my favorite studio guitarists, my eventual profession. I bought the worst records to hear the best players. Found Jay Graydon on a Cheryl Ladd LP, and Larry Carlton on a really quite lame Terence Boylan record, among many others.
    Fortunately I didn’t pay for many of those. I had worked out an arrangement with the owner to work from 8-10pm most days. He didn’t want the hot record store clerk to be alone at night. And I didn’t want her to be without my company. She went on to marry the lead singer for Roadmaster, the big local band at the time. Ah, fond memories.

  4. Nirvana playing a free show (September ’91) in the parking lot of the now-defunct Peaches Record store in Seattle’s University District. I hitch-hiked 5 hours for the show…….The rest is musical history

  5. Used to go to Bill’s Records in Dallas. Back in the eighties I ordered Cabaret Voltaire’s Microphonies from Bill. I asked him if he wanted a deposit or something and he told me “If you don’t comeback, I will sell it to someone.” My how it all has changed.

  6. We used to spend a lot of time in Toronto shops like the Record Peddler, Star Sound, Kops, Driftwood A&A Records etc digging through the record bins. Vinyl was king for us back then!
    As CDs started gaining momentum and the shift was on from cassette/vinyl, a handful of new CD only shops started popping up.
    The first time we hit one of these stores (on Queen St. right beside the MuchMusic building) was the first time (and last time thankfully) we ever got kicked out of any music related shop. A friend of mine quite confidently and loudly proclaimed that CDs were “stupid” and only “stupid” people would buy something that was a total fad.
    Even though I didn’t necessarily share the same sentiment, the owner just went ballistic on us, shouted a bunch of obscenities and asked us to get the hell out and never to return.
    A bit sensitive… but from my friend’s point of view, he had spent a lot of time and money building his vinyl collection and having to buy a CD player ($1000+ at the time) and spend $20+ for CDs wasn’t something he planned for or wanted to do. So understandably, he was a bit pissed.
    Those were some great days of music discovery and exploration, met a lot of people and learned alot. I love the internet and the access we have today, but I do miss those long Saturday’s we spent hanging around the shops and then talking about our purchases over burgers and cokes.
    Happy Record Store Day everyone!!

  7. Car City classics on East Jefferson in Detroit. It was across the street from where I worked parking cars. My ritual every Saturday was to stop in before work and spend the $s earned the night before. Used and new vinyl. Built a collection of 400 + from that one great store. Loved the talk, the tactile environment – flipping through shelves and shelves ov vinyl (and later CDs) – I’m off with the kids to flip through and pick up some records.

  8. Bill’s Records moved into the shopping center near where I lived in north Dallas. I am not sure that I ever actually purchased anything from Bill’s. I browsed a lot and went away often frustrated, because although he had tons and tons, I rarely found something I wanted. I always felt he had what I wanted, but I could not find it because of the disorganization. One day I thought maybe I could get some new music without letting go of any cash. I went to Bill’s and took some vinyl I thought I would never listen to again. He traded me one record for every four I gave him.
    Some years later I was looking through my record collection and wanted to listen to some Soft Machine albums. When I did not find any (I had at least two), I realized the ones I had were among the records I had traded at Bill’s. I went there expecting to find them, willing to pay whatever he asked. We couldn’t find any Soft Machine. (I previously posted this remembrance at

  9. I remember being a junior in HS (1996) and going to Wind Records in Oak Lawn, IL (just outside of Chicago) for a midnight release of Pearl Jam’s No Code. My friends and I had school the next day, as it was a Tuesday release, but we stayed up late and waited in line to get a copy. We listened to that record for a few hours before going to sleep and being dead tired in the morning.
    Kids today really don’t get it at all. I miss the 90s, but I’m glad I actually got to experience them. All forms of music were popular. Everything from Grunge, to Folk (Blues Traveler), to Jamiroquai, to Green Day, to the Big Band/Swing Dancing craze. Everyone cared about music and every act was larger than life…there was a magic there. Saturday Night Live was great, and Super Nintendo and Genesis had some great games. I’m sure my parents say the same thing about the 60s. Hell, The Beatles are my favorite band of all time.
    Hopefully when I have children, they’ll get to experience something like that again.

  10. I remember this unique used record store “Record Bar” in my hometown Kankakee, IL where this guy had all his used tapes, records, CDs behind chicken wire and you’d have to ask him to unlock sections to handle the items.
    For Record Store Day we visited 11 stores yesterday for coverage on my site ! Reviews coming soon …

  11. Thanks everybody for sharing your great record store stories. Please keep ’em coming. I’d also love to hear any stories about record store day itself. And Wax FM, please share a link after you publish!

  12. Blur released a very limited 7 inch in the UK for Record Store Day this year. The song in question was called “Fool’s Day”.
    The clue’s in the title.
    It would appear most of the copies of said record only got as far as Rough Trade in London. It would also appear that most of them are now on eBay; selling for upwards of £100.
    Why limit the sale of these records to one day?
    Release them on Record Store Day, but don’t limit the amount.
    We might as well call it eBay Sellers Day.

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