Monday, June 12, 2006

The record store

In 1984 there were two record stores that I got to go to on occasion. Both were Sound Waves which was a fairly big chain around here then. One was 20 minutes away in a shopping center and the other was 30 minutes away in a mall. Then in spring of 1985 I couldn't believe it when an independent record store opened just 10 minutes from where I lived. The guy who owned was there most of the time and he was a real fan of the music. Unfortunately I think he was more a music fan than he was a businessman. Going into that store between 85 and 87 was a great time as the owner was a metal fan and he tried to cater to that audience. You could go there and buy indie metal albums, band shirts, buttons, black light posters or those big tapestries. I spent a lot of time and money there as a teenager. You would walk in and they would have incense burning, something like Grim Reaper or Accept would be playing on the stereo and the owner would tell you about what new releases were cool. You wouldn't get that at Sound Waves that's for sure. You go to Sound Waves and if you looked for too long then a snooty college age kid would come and ask if you needed help. Really I think this meant "You look too young to have a job so please don't try to steal any albums or I will call the cops".Unfortunately around the fall of 87 the owner of the indie record store moved his store into part of his father's gas station because he was having problems paying the rent. The new mall had opened in Spring of 87 and it was not far away and they had a Record World and a Tape World. The feel just wasn't the same in the new place because it was kind of crammed and they didn't play the stereo or burn incense any more. A year later the owner of the record store opened a biker clothing shop in another location. His father tried running the record store by himself for maybe another year and a half before giving up on it. It was a shame to see it go, but I got some good albums there and I remember it very well.

7 Comments:

Blogger Vicious Steve said...

I had a couple of record stores near me when I was a kid around the same time.....

Pawtucket, RI is home of Luke's Record Exchange. It's still in the same location it was 20+ years ago and still gets a variety of music. The place was a Hard Rock mecca back in the day, they had everything from vinyl and tapes, to posters and t-shirts, to buttons and magazines. Usually a one-stop shopping trip that lasted hours. If you wanted to hear an album before you bought it, they'd just open it and play it. Luke's has had the unfortunate luck of having a couple of "fires" and a "flood" over the years. Your typical Rhode Island business plan when times are tough. If you still want sealed cassettes for $5 and under, Luke's still has an awesome selection.

The other great store was in Seekonk, MA called Good Vibrations. It was a chain store (there was another 30 mins away in Foxboro, MA) but it was what all chain stores should have been. I learned more about Metal & Hard Rock by just browsing there. I would spend 2 hours every weekend at Good Vibrations while my mom went grocery shopping. I would find my purchases for the week and then I would just look around. It was like a 2nd education. I wrote a post at my blog about Good Vibes.....

8:08 AM  
Blogger Vicious Steve said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Vicious Steve said...

That Good Vibes post

In the mid-90s, there was an awesome independent store in Warwick, RI called 2 Guys Music. I dropped mucho dinero on used CDs (buy 3, get 1 free) and Metal imports. The nice thing was that no CD was more than $14.99 unless it was a multi-CD set or a Japanese import. If you went there on Saturday mornings, you could get tons of great Hard Rock/Metal CDs used because people would go there and trade their CDs in for cash so they could go clubbing. At the time, it was the only store dealing in used discs. People would trade in their discs and then come back the next day to buy them back. On a typical Saturday morning, sometimes Sunday too, I would walk out with 20+ used CDs for about $100. 2 Guys closed in 2002, I miss that place.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

We have a chain in Maryland called Record and tape traders and there is one near me. They sell new and used cd's and have a good selection and fair prices.

10:18 AM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

Was that incense or just Ron's continuous stream of cigarettes?

10:49 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Bob-Depends on which side of the store you wearing standing at.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Among many other releases this store was the place where I bought:

Metallica-Master of puppets
Iron Maiden-Somewhere in time
Megadeth-Peace sells, but who's buying?
Anthrax-Spreading the diseas
G-n-R-Appetite for destruction
Queensryche-Operation:Mindcrime

and many others.

4:41 PM  

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