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  • If you care at all about music and art? If you want to know what is happening culturally? RUN, don't walk to your local, real RECORD STORE and absorb the heart and soul and the vibe of a community. The music scene of any town will revolve around the RECORD STORE as the center of the universe. Go find some treasures!

    - Jon Berger (owner, Broadtime)
  • Growing up in Rhode Island, not really the center of the rock world, Independent record stores were like a community meeting place for kids who looked beyond the Top 40 charts and were open to hearing something other than what the big record companies told you should like. Any of the significant musicians of the past thirty years, I first heard and heard about through independent record stores from the music playing in the store, the true music fans/staff, and the independent magazines and music sold there. Independent stores are the only places where the history of music can still be found along with the next great music not just a few titles from a select few. Thanks to long missed stores like Sam's, Tom's Tracks, Moffat's, and Two Guys to "Still Doing It" Luke's and Newbury Comics. Support the little guy!!!

    - William Chalko
  • I just realized about a half hour ago, and much to my amazement, that as of this year, I've been collecting music for THIRTY YEARS. I started with the Beatles' 1967-1970, bought at a local record store in Keene, NH when I was only 7 years old, and I'm sure I've spent way too much since then. And I've gone to all kinds of record stores, big and small, chain, used and otherwise, and I always feel at home in them. It's not uncommon for me spend a few hours there, to sweep through the entire store and browse. I even worked as the sole shipper/receiver for an HMV store outside of Boston MA for four years and to this day I still consider it one of my most favorite jobs.

    I could tell you countless stories about record stores that are burned into my memory...from spending hours with high school friends listening to the new Depeche Mode and Cure albums at Main Street Records in Northampton knowing exactly where all the best used record stores in the Boston area were at one meeting (and being able to assist) one of my childhood heroes, George Harrison, at the HMV I worked at...but I don't want to use all your bandwith. All I'll say is that music has inspired and affected my world in so many ways, both good and bad, and I have record stores to thank for it. I have no idea where I'd be without them.

    - Jon Chaisson, Writer, San Francisco
  • “When I moved out of Portland to Gray, it was because I could afford a house there, not because I actually wanted to leave the only decent city in Maine. I had resigned myself to living in the middle of nowhere, a half-hour ride from civilization, and slowly losing my mind. Then I discovered Bull Moose in North Windham. And it was open until 11 p.m.! It's pathetic, I realize, but sometimes, when the sounds of mooing cows and hunting season start getting to me, I drive five minutes over to Bull Moose and just wander around the store, soaking in the atmosphere created by people who actually listen to, and enjoy, music.”

    - Sam Pfeifle, music writer, Portland Phoenix
  • I have been buying vinyl records since I was 8 years old. Every Saturday afternnoon I would ride into to town meet my friends and we would go along to the local record store and listen to all the latest releases or "new" arrivals from the States. First it was the Beatles and the Stones some Mowtown and Stax and then THE REAL THING we went back to the artists who influenced these young Wannabes- Blind Lemon, Sonny Boy Williamson, Son House and the rest. A whole new old world opened up and we were hooked. We were led by the guru of the turntables, the expert who led us into music we could only hear by going into his world. And so it has stayed a passion for 50 years. Every town or city I visit, I search out the Vinyl stores. From Almaty to New York, Stockholm to LA I have deserted my familly my wife for hours to stand over the familar racks, lifting Album covers looking at the sleeve notes, checking for surface marks, listening as the diamond drops in the groove Ah the rustle sound that first contact suddenly bursting into an intro that annouces the artist. More important, I have found a copy of some obscure deleted treasure from the past or been introduced to new, yet to be discovered sound, that I can keep secret for a short time. And what is happening. They are going losing out to the no face, no character, download and streaming connections with a computer world. Keep them alive keep that Guru there help us find the old and the new and share those golden moments of discovery that only the record store can give.

    - Basil Dutchak Nottingham
  • I simply cannot imagine my life as a kid, growing up and learning to play guitar, without record stores. They were a haven of musical experience and excitement... a world of new and unexplored music to discover. There is something sadly missing in the almost anonymous way music is experienced now... a faceless digital file with no insight into the world of the artist behind it.

    Album covers weren't just something to store the vinyl - they were an expression of the music housed within. It all went hand-in-glove to become part of a total experience for the senses - And independent record stores were always the best. You would step off the street and into another world... Music was playing, people were conversing, adverts and floor displays for the latest releases... even the smell - What a wonderful experience!


    Misty Dawn Harris (amateur singer/songwriter) - Tifton, Georgia, USA

    “Smells, scents, aromas all trigger my memories. When I smell carbon paper, I’m right back in the jr high principle’s office, holding that 3-part referral in my hand. When I smell slick, glossy, advertisements, I’m suddenly holding my brand new high school yearbook. When I walk into a coffee house and smell the brewing java, I find myself sitting at the family breakfast table.
    And when I walk into an old, indie-owned record shop, I’m transported back to a truly happy place.”
    Peace, Love, 'n Music!!

    - Howard Hart, Guitarist, San Diego, CA
  • “I managed the RecordSmith at Portsmouth’s Newington Mall when we were selling ‘top 40’ 45’s, and transitioning from 8-tracks to cassettes. Boston’s first album and Saturday Night Fever were HUGE sellers, as were colored vinyl, picture discs and EP “disco” albums. Keith Moon’s death left us bereft. We kept store inventory on 3x5 cards, and I still can’t browse a record store without straightening the bins. ”


    - Jane Eberle, Maine State Representative for South Portland/Cape Elizabeth
  • I hate to shop. I can be in & out of a shoe store or department store in well under ten minutes, purchase in hand, be highly decisive to minimize time spent shopping. But in record stores, especially independent record stores, I become Dr. Jekyll. Record shops totally fascinate me. I can dawdle and browse for hours, discover long sought after rarities and gems, feel at home, spend more than anticipated. It’s in my genes. Dad had the same habit and would always return from vacations and business trips with incredible finds, feeding his highly eclectic and discerning tastes. And then he would blast the LPs at such high volume that people talked about it at his memorial service. He loved Celia Cruz, George Crumb’s electronic music, Brecht & Weill, Bartok chamber music, Suzanne McCorkle jazz, Louis & Ella, an incredible range of music. And I’m the same way. When I travel to DC I hope there’s time to blast over to Melody Music on Connecticut Avenue to pour through their bins. In New Orleans the Louisiana Music Factory is as obligatory a stop as Café du Monde. No trip to the Bay Area is complete without a spree at Amoeba. I have vivid memories of Dad sprawled out in the doorway of Albums on the Hill in Boulder, too weak to climb down the steps; dispatching me to find the CD he had to have. When Ben brought Rock-It Man Records here to Flagstaff, it was reassuring. It gives purpose and quality to our town, our lives. Happy Record Store Day Ben!

    - John Stark ,Flagstaff, AZ
  • “As far back as I can remember, I've been haunting record stores. As a kid it was Hegewisch Records in Merrilville Indiana and the few stores that came in went in my hometown just south of there. No matter where I lived, I always managed to find an independent music store to hang out at. Having spent my life in the transient business of radio behind the mic, that's a lot of cities and towns. Still behind the mic on The BZT Weekly and on show #291 we feature the owners of one of the sponsor stores, Fox Music Company in Watertown Wisconsin and Record Store Day. Fox Music is now my weekly haunt. I'm there every Saturday afternoon. I still get a kick out of customers thinking I work there. I DO know where most everything is. Three cheers for Record Store Day!! Quite the excellent idea. Thanks! ”

    - Jeff Archer Black -
  • I’ve been collecting vinyl since I was 11 years old and still have the 1st album I ever bought, and the record store was one place that not only could you discover new artists but discuss artists to other record searching customers. Well 38 years later I’ve recently had to move to a bigger house to handle my collection…My wife understands my obsession and supports it. To this day when I enter a record store; I go immediately to the vinyl section. It may not be the convenient way to listen to music but it is still the best sounding format for music in my opinion.

    R.I.P. Sam Sniderman (Sam The Record Man)

    - Alan Whitley, Toronto
  • “If I could have back all the money I spent in record stores since age 12, I could buy a nice house. And I don't regret one penny of it! Long live the record peddlers (a reference to a dear departed store here in Toronto). ”

    - Martin Lomas, Toronto
  • In West L.A., stores like Record Surplus, Penny Lane, Rhino, Record Rover and Moby Disc became my refuge growing up, offering hours of uninterrupted bliss. The racks became my friends, suggesting new plastic etched with brilliance with albums placed randomly askew, teasing me with a corner of the sleeve, and hand-scrawled dividers shouting undiscovered names.

    Now, paying tribute to vinyl, the musicians that created and the stores that redistributed, I hope the creative culture will accept my offerings to the gods of music as I have accepted the generosity of Phoenix-area stores like Rockaway, Zia, Memory Lane, and Rockzone. Create community and connections, save humanity. It's hungry, it needs the warmth and crackle of a hot-pressed biscuit honored as it should.

    Long live the independent used record store!

    - Daniel Edlen,
  • I like to hold things before I buy them (which rules out MP3s). I like them to sound good after I buy them (which also rules out MP3s). I like a sizable and wide-ranging selection of good-sounding things to hold and then buy. I like the money to go to the artist if possible, or at least to someone with a heart. And I like being in a room full of people all looking at and holding good-sounding things to buy. I like going to see bands play in record stores - the lighting is better, the smell is better, the alcohol content is lower. And on top of it all, I grew up in the woods. If I wanted to see a show, it meant getting myself a few hours down the road to the nearest city in another state. And backwoods radio only gets you so far. It was all about word of mouth and then finding a store that actually sold what I was hearing about (and getting to it - but half an hour to a store was an easier swing than half a day to a show). And actually, one of my favorite records from 2007 was recorded IN a record store - The Bad Trips, from Grady's Record Refuge in Ventura, CA.

    my name is 5-Track. I make music, write songs, record my friends and write about them when I can.

    good luck with it!

    - 5-Track
  • "The independent record store is the ultimate shopping experience. Going in with a list and finding what you want is one thing, but browsing around, purchasing on a whim and discovering something new is a thrill that is currently dying. Support and purchase!"

    - Bryant Liggett (Program Director for KDUR Community Radio Durango CO)
  • “Thanks for doing this. Indie record stores are my cathedrals; the places where I worship.

    I've been lucky enough to travel all over the U.S. on business, and the FIRST thing I do when I get to a new town is to try to hunt down any record stores. It's getting more difficult, but what lovely memories I have of stores in Lubbock, Tampa, Spokane, Chicago, Princeton, Phoenix, Seattle, Indianapolis, Long Island NY, Lexington, Norfolk, Salt Lake City, Columbus, Baltimore, Denver...not to mention SoCal and my home here in the Bay Area.

    After all these years I couldn't tell you what project I might have been working on, but I sure remember every store, and that wonderful feeling: a combination of excitement and home-away-from-home comfort you get walking into a great record store. “

    - Dennis
  • Growing up, I never had the privilege of living anywhere remotely near an indie record store. Due to my horrid situation, I was forced to shop at Wal-Mart's, Best Buy's, and Barnes & Noble's. With my introduction to punk through bands like Sonic Youth and Nirvana plus discovering college radio stations, I found a whole new world just waiting for me to explore. Since then indie record stores have been the only way in which I purchase anything (outside of food and soap). Long live the indie record stores, because where else can you find uncensored records that say fuck, shit, and piss, as well as cool fab mod indie bands that no one else has heard of? DEATH TO WAL-MART AND I-PODS

    - Donald (Irish frontman for Monkey Abortion)
  • My record store was really my first love, or maybe I should say first loves – I was something of a polygamist. Every weekend I would make the rounds in the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood, to check the new arrivals at each and every indie store – from Bebop Records in Reseda, to all the valley locations – Blue Meanie, Moby Disc, Tower, and then off to Hollywood/Melrose and trips to Vinyl Fetish, Second Time Around, Arons, Bleeker Bobs, etc. I could spend hours going from A to Z in the vinyl sections alone, looking over each record. They probably could name an OCD after me. And like any first love, I have never really forgotten my local record store, I still make regular visits, and every road trip includes a visit to the local indie, where I can spend a couple hours alone, decompressing and really relaxing, still cheaper than any trip to the therapist!

    There is something irreplaceable about the indie stores – it’s getting that left field recommendation, seeing that stray 7” I’ve been searching for, that chance to actually talk to someone that shares your passion for music, and be immersed in the culture you love. If it wasn’t for my local record store, I would never have discovered so much great music. My record collection holds as many memories for me as a photo album, and I will never part with my thousands of CDs and LPs not matter how much of a pain in the ass they are to store and move. Viva La Indie!!

    - Adam Starr (Sr. Director of Marketing, Universal Music)
  • “Record stores will always be my place to shop for music. The independent record store is what I grew up with and all of the music we play on is available in record stores. We support all record stores and record store day keep the vinyl alive and the presence of someone who loves music to help you find that true one of a kind rare gem. ”

    - Jason Jeffries (General Manager/DJ JJ
  • Many years ago (probably around 1990), I took a trip down to visit Joe Nardone Jr. and Gallery of Sound. We visited probably four of the stores that day, and I got a great feel for their business and the level of customer service they offer. Of course, I wound up buying things, including a great import punk DVD, that I planned on giving to my then-boyfriend a few months later for Christmas. Well, Christmas came, I gave him the video, we went to watch it, and realized it was mistakenly a Loudon Wainwright video – not what we expected! I sent it back to Joe with a note, and he called and let me know he’d try to get it back in and would send it to me once it did. Fast forward to 1995, and a package arrived in the mail. It was the video! Granted, it took a few years to track it down, but Joe remembered – now THAT’S the ultimate in customer service!

    The second is more recent – while at SXSW, my husband and I probably spend large amounts of money at numerous record stores in Austin – they all have their niche and their strengths and we go a bit nuts. A couple of years ago, my husband received a call from his credit card company, just after we returned home from SXSW. They inquired about a few purchases, once specifically for a few hundred dollars at Cheapo Records in Austin. He told them the purchase was his. Then, they asked him his age. “Age?” He replied. “Can’t old people buy records?”

    - Susan Tanner (Righteous Babe)
  • Digital doesn’t give you that same feeling as being 13 -16 yrs old and finally feeling you now have something to offer when you walk into a store of professional music lovers. Maybe you do or maybe you don’t, maybe you get in there and get schooled by the elite or get introduced to something life changing by the lover. Those social experiences I hold with me to this day. I still get that same feeling of excitement that I am going to learn about some new band or give them a bit of a lesson, hahahaha.

    I worked in CD stores through high school and college and loved getting people into new music. That feeling of someone coming up and buying a Radiohead album and then being able to suggest they should check out Elliott, Mogwiai, Spiritualized if they like Radiohead and seeing them love it, its priceless So I took that excitement I got and love and started an online zine that seemed to do really well. From there it snow balled into managing a band that at the time wasn’t commercially accessible and growing them around the world. Then I started promoting shows in our home city and that expanded to across Canada. After that I started a record label so I could still work with other bands outside of management and to make sure I would do right by my bands.

    I get to the live the dream now and work with some of my hero’s and I can bring it all back to being a teenager and walking into those stores, as a music fan and a music lover. I would have never found Quicksand, Kyuss, One Last Wish, DFL, Minutemen, Bad Brains, Urban Dance Squad, Cop Shoot Cop if it wasn’t for our local CD store. Hell, I am from Canada and I am writing this from Australia because I have 3 bands playing out here. So I would like to thank Station to Station, Tantrum Records, Sam the Record Man, Sunrise Records and Dr Disc for supporting my habit in St.Catharines as a teen growing up.

    - Joel Carriere (Owner / Operator of Bedlam Music Mgt, Dine Alone Records and SCENE Music Festival)
  • “As a Young Adult librarian, I feel as strongly about the power of music as the power of literature. Art is the unifier that reaches inside all of us and makes our lives richer. I remember Leonard Bernstein saying at the Grammy Awards that there isn't high and low art, but only two kinds of music: good and bad. I am as moved by a Rancid concert and CD as by a book by Chuck Palahniuk or a painting by Hopper. When I started at this library, a number of kids would come every day who had nowhere else to go after school. I'd bring in CD's from home and play everything from the Clash to AC/DC to Rage Against the Machine. One kid said how I changed his life by playing these CD's. And although I'm way too old to keep listening and going to concerts, I can't give it up. Music reaches me in a way no other art form does--and I have to keep listening to what's new out there: Saul Williams, Battles, Girl Talk... Music changes and our ears have to keep changing and being open to what's out there.”

    - Sandy Moltz (Young Adult Librarian and Newbury Comics shopper)
  • THE TROUBLE IS . . .

    . . . we have bred a new power generation that has lost its desire for artistic possessions.

    It seems most of the air breathers who can walk fairly upright and that were born in the last 30 years, have wires in their ears. The whole of their life is on their I-pod and their phone. Photos, friends and music.

    For them there is no need to ever own a record or CD when they can download something the record companies convince them is 'essential' and that can be consumed with little effort. Sort of an audio Big Mac.

    To them 'browsing' is something to do with computers rather than a pastime.

    They will never know the joy of flicking through a rack of records. Being captivated by cover artwork and reading the sleeve notes. Of getting the record home, sliding it reverentially out of its cover and then out of its inner sleeve, marvelling at the lustre of the grooves. The sacrificial offering on to the altar of the turntable, the gentle penetration of the spindle, the lowering of the arm and the total bliss of being part of an actual performance that you have helped to complete. This baptismal immersion into sonic joy will never leave you. The day you bought the record, where you were, what you were wearing and who was in your heart will be etched into your soul, as well defined as the grooves that are pressed into your record.

    I urge you to think before you surrender totally to the digital god who merely occupies a slice of your hard-drive. There is more, much more out there than will ever reach your ears via a pair of white wires but you will have to use your hands and your desire to be different.

    - David Lashmar,Managing Director, BEANOS RECORDS,Croydon. England, March 2008
  • As a long-time disc jockey in the Boston market, the independent record store was (and continues to be) a vital part of my existence since 1970. I have found very few retail experiences where the owner and/or staff (and usually the owner - almost by definition, these are hands-on entities) have such intimate and passionate knowledge of their product and of their customer's needs.

    A case in point:

    In the 80's, a local record distribution outlet named "Peter's Records One Stop" (PROS) used to open up early on Saturday mornings for local Disc Jockeys. It was totally unadvertised, but the owner developed a solid loyal following in the mobile, nightclub, and FM communities that way. In 1987, I moved out of the area, and returned home in 1992. On a whim, I met a friend at PROS on a Saturday morning...and as soon as I walked in the door, the owner flagged me down and started waxing enthusiastically about a brand new CD which would be "perfect" for me - as if five years hadn't elapsed since my last visit! And as it turns out, he was dead-on with his recommendation.

    As the Internet has turned music buying into a singles-driven experience, independent record stores serve an important function in their ability to not only stock and sell albums, but to also be staffed by knowledgeable people who help keep the spirit of the music industry alive. That unique combination of entrepreneurial spirit fueled by genuine enthusiasm is a rarity in today's world, and for all to whom the music speaks, should be valued as the treasure that it continues to be.

    - Mark Fortunato (
  • As an independant recording artist, it is extremely important to me that the indie record store continues to thrive... I beleive that a physical cd which is tangable makes more of a connection with the listener in comparison to downloaded music... that is were i get all my music, i have discovered lots of great music just browsing through the record store and it is an experience that i would not enjoy giving up. I strongly support and will continue to support Record Store Day and the indie record stores in my neighborhood....

    - Heston Francis