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 Posted:   Sep 21, 2013 - 11:58 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

A reader just posted something about a 15% sale ending for Amoeba Music online, and I replied that that was still my nearest record store ... here's what I wrote:

Ahhhhhh ... Amoeba Music. That's the principal remaining big record store in my area -- on Sunset Blvd near Vine in Hollywood. I get lost in that big place!!! It's across the street and down a couple of blocks from the old and very famous and long gone Wallich's Music City where I bought a tremendous amount of music in the 1960s. Miss those old record stores, which were like a comfortable old pair of shoes. Miss Tower Records. Miss the Wherehouse. Miss Aron's Records. Miss Music+. Miss Rhino Records. Miss Licorice Pizza. Miss Virgin Music. It was a different world back then, and I get a sense of it whenever I explore the treasures one can find at Amoeba.

And then I go on to write that it made me want to start a discussion about our lamentably now gone record stores. I think that most of us, who were buying music until the mid 2000s, had favorite stores with maybe favorite sales people. At the huge Tower Records on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood they had an information area in the middle where staff was always willing to help you find what you were seeking, and in the separate classical store across the street (and next to their separate video store), there were some favorite people behind the counter who were very knowledgeable about music and recordings and always quick to help.

I loved it when I could find already opened CDs at Rhino and Aron's, often at considerably less than the price of the sealed copies. And since Aron's bought an outrageous number of CDs, once or twice a year they would have these spectacular parking lot sales where you could buy thousands of CDs starting at 10 cents each -- I bought many just to use for replacing cracked jewel cases!

At Tower, it wasn't unusual to bump into the famous, and I saw Rod McKuen at the regular store one evening and Whoopi Goldberg across the street at video looking at DVDs early one weekend morning, as well as several others. Really miss those stores.

Anyone else have some favorite record stores that are now gone? Let's hear it.

(I had intended to post this at the NON-soundtrack site, but it looks like I got it wrong. Sorry.)

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2013 - 3:46 PM   
 By:   samlowry   (Member)

I also used to go to Aaron Records, Tower, Virgin, Disconnection, etc.

But my personal favorite was Heavy Rotation in Studio City, since it was right in my neighborhood, and I would often stop there after work. Not that their selection was huge or anything, but Pete and Vivian, the owners were just so friendly that they always made me feel at home when I entered their store. I also bought a good deal of my dvd collection there.

I really really miss these days. I think going to these stores and going soundtrack hunting (never knowing what you may stumble upon, including Agency and Academy Promos) was really part of the fun of soundtrack (or music in general) collecting.

We may get every possible release we wished for today... but it just ain't as much fun. Something has definitely been lost with the closure of stores.

May Amoeba survive for many years as a reminder of how things used to be smile

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2013 - 4:02 PM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Ron, I see you're in Los Angeles, so you probably won't know the great British tradition throughout the '70s and '80s of going into 58 Dean Street in London. I was born and brought up in Scotland, so it was an expensive, tiring - but incredibly exciting pilgrimage down on the bus about once a year. We've had a couple of threads on that in the past here. I'm sounding like Grandpa on the porch yet again, but those visits were simply magical. So many beautiful LPs! On my first visit I made the mistake of going through all the racks, and tucking the things I wanted under one arm. I'd only got about a tenth of the way through the stock - things were already falling onto the floor - when one of the gents who owned the place (there are many stories about him) told me to put them all back, because I'd never be able to afford even a half of the stuff I was carrying. He was right. So I just had to go back more frequently. That's my most memorable store, probably the best of its kind in the UK.

On a visit to San Francisco in '86, I found Intrada's shop, the one in Vallejo Street. Had a good chat with Doug Fake there, although there was no way I could actually buy anything, as I was back-packing across the States at the time.

I certainly don't want to hijack your thread, Ron, but you've given me the perfect opportunity to pose a question that's been hovering around my own latest threads, albeit in a shrouded form... Most brick n' mortar stores are dying, if not already dead. We get our things "through the Internet" now. Do you think you'd make more purchases over a year if you could nip into the speciality soundtrack shop on the corner and see and touch all their soundtracks rather than coldly consider your finances and order a certain frugal quantity from an on-line store every three months for example?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2013 - 5:23 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

STEREO JACK'S in Cambridge, MA is the greatest ever.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2013 - 6:12 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

The BIG APPLE[NEW YORK CITY] offered many a interesting record store.To list then all will take a book, but knowing me this might be a another long thread. I actually put out a soundtrack hunting fanzine in the 90's when I was a big record vendor, which list the best places to buy soundtracks'I will have to say despite the fact they were a bit steep and offered little bargains FOOTLIGHTS RECORDS was the best place for film soundtracks, plays and pop crooner music. A very knowledgeable crew of workers. the rarest of soundtracks one were looking for and a pleasant atmosphere where one could browse for hours always made this a winner for me and I have a feeling New York natives of the past or present on this board would agree. During the holiday season there was something very cozy about the whole store coming in from the cold. Footlights closed it's store I believe in 06.

 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2013 - 8:39 PM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

I've been to Heavy Rotation. It;s soundtrack selection is small, but I've seen one or two minor gems.

I like CD Trader in Tarzana a lot. The soundtrack selection is managable to browse and the merchandise seems to turn over fairly regularly. I've acquired up some real finds there. And someone likes to pump a fair amount of BSX and LLL titles through there (at below list price).
They also have a discount card system where you get a stamp for every $7 or $10 dollars you spend and with 10 stamps, you get $7 off your next purchase. It certainly keeps me coming back.

 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2013 - 10:02 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

To Graham S. Watt:

No, I hadn't heard of that store. But when I spent a month in London in 1969 I went to the big Tower Records a few times.

In answer to your question, know for a fact that I would spend more at a well-stocked and thriving record store like Tower than on the internet, although I have my weeks when I go crazy buying things between here and Amazon and DeepDiscount and MovieMusic and a few others. But those shipping charges can pile up if you're only buying a few CDs from each place, which is something you don't have to worry about when you go to your neighborhood record store. When I used to go to Aron's in Hollywood, after they moved from Melrose, I'd routinely grab one of those hand carts you can carry so I WOULDN'T drop the discs, and then I'd do a quick tally before going to the counter, and was always surprised at how quickly the money piled up -- if it was well under $100 I would feel good about it, and if it were over that, I'd feel guilty. But oh how good it felt taking all those treasures home!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 2:19 PM   
 By:   TPC   (Member)

I certainly miss Footlight Records. I only got there once a year, and I never left without spending at least $100.

I also miss a local store here in Northern Virginia. The Record Mart was on King Street in Alexandria, up a narrow flight of stairs on the second story of an old building. They had a decent selection of soundtracks, as well as most other genres. The staff was very knowledgeable and friendly. They offered a very good search service, and they were fairly quick about it. They found me my first used soundtrack LP: Williams' "Earthquake." It seems silly, but I think what I remember most about the place is the way the floorboards would squeak every time anyone moved.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 6:51 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

DAYTON RECORDS in NEW YORK was a nice place couldn't really compete with the variety of FOORLIGHTS but still had many delights . They were moderately expensive as I remember but back in the 80's I bought many a soundtrack from them as well. However they were to close down in the 90's . I remember up until the end of the 90's a guy who worked at DAYTONS for a long time was still dealing with records even dropping a lot off at a CHINESS LAUNDRY to sell at a record a buck on fourth ave in the big apple.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 6:51 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Just as a footnote this guy I am talking about was a mysterious gentleman always seemed to walk around with a glum look on his face as though all his life he held the burdens of the world on his shoulders.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 7:17 PM   
 By:   roy phillippe   (Member)

I also used to go to Aaron Records, Tower, Virgin, Disconnection, etc.

But my personal favorite was Heavy Rotation in Studio City, since it was right in my neighborhood, and I would often stop there after work. Not that their selection was huge or anything, but Pete and Vivian, the owners were just so friendly that they always made me feel at home when I entered their store. I also bought a good deal of my dvd collection there.

I really really miss these days. I think going to these stores and going soundtrack hunting (never knowing what you may stumble upon, including Agency and Academy Promos) was really part of the fun of soundtrack (or music in general) collecting.

We may get every possible release we wished for today... but it just ain't as much fun. Something has definitely been lost with the closure of stores.

May Amoeba survive for many years as a reminder of how things used to be smile


There is still a walk in record store in the Westchester section of LA. It's called Soundsations. It's the only mom and pop store I know of. Very helpful with special orders.
Anyone know what happened to Bernie at disconnection?

 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 7:22 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

Finest Records in Fort Collins CO!
JB & H Records, Tapes, and CDs in Lakewood CO!
Bart's Music Shack in Boulder!

Alas, all gone now, except Bart's has reconstituted into a much smaller venue....

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2013 - 5:48 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

KING CARROLL a record chain in New York was a fantastic place to buy soundtracks, Their store on 42 street between 6th ave and 7th ave had tons of records. Soundtracks as well. However by the early 80' when HMV came on the scene their chain took a fall. But during there heydays it was a joy to go record hunting there.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 8:32 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

It was a very memorable day for me and many New Yorkers when the giant HMV record store opened on EAST FOURTH STREET, I BELIEVE IN 1982. Wow, what a sight seeing all those soundtrack LP's in all those isles, This place was a great place to go for both cd's and LP's in the 80's then cd's in the 90's and onward.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 6:20 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

PRINCETON RECORD EXCHANGE- PRINCETON NEW JERSEY- one of the greats. Back in the 80's up until recently they had one of the largest $1.00 lp section in the east coast. Great rare records sometimes at reasonable prices as well. Many a day trip I took to Princeton on the METRO NORTH from NEW YORK CITY for my customers and myself. Coming back on the train with loads of records in bags on the 2 hour trip gave me time to examine and look at all my purchases I bought. Yes , Passengers who were curious even a few times did actually buy some of my records. Any update on this place? Have not been there since 06.

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 7:22 PM   
 By:   edwzoomom   (Member)



Great topic Ron. I recall a place near Yale in New Haven called Cutler's. It closed last year after 64 years. It was run by the nicest family in the world!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 7:32 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Sure, fine place I was there years ago on my travels.I believe in 92.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 7:54 PM   
 By:   jskoda   (Member)

PRINCETON RECORD EXCHANGE- PRINCETON NEW JERSEY- one of the greats. Back in the 80's up until recently they had one of the largest $1.00 lp section in the east coast. Great rare records sometimes at reasonable prices as well. Many a day trip I took to Princeton on the METRO NORTH from NEW YORK CITY for my customers and myself. Coming back on the train with loads of records in bags on the 2 hour trip gave me time to examine and look at all my purchases I bought. Yes , Passengers who were curious even a few times did actually buy some of my records. Any update on this place? Have not been there since 06.

I was there in July, after not being there for years. It's still very much the same store. There are fewer vinyl bins, and a great deal more space is given now to new and used DVDs and blu-rays. The much smaller soundtrack section is underneath now, so you have to sit on the floor to go through them. Nevertheless, I still came out with a stack of albums.

The big shock to me was the parking. There was always a parking lot next door with angled spaces and parking meeters. That lot is gone, and it's been completely taken up by a new building!

 
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