After a period where it looked like the record store was headed for extinction, indie shops have made a comeback, largely on the back of the vinyl resurrection. In fact, people in the industry tell me that this year’s Record Store Day was the best-ever.
This got me thinking about the Olden Days–i.e. pre-Internet–when a visit to the local record shop was as important as a trip to the grocery or liquor store. Customers developed relationships with the employees, trading tips, recommendations and even arguing over what was worth buying.
I loved the ritual abuse I got at Toronto’s Record Peddler on College (d. 2001) across from Maple Leaf Gardens. The goal of any shopping excursion was to get the approval of the surly prick at the cash.
When I presented my picks at the counter, a typical exchange went like this as the clerk flipped through my stack of vinyl: “Shit. Shit. Shit. Not bad. Shit. Shit. Good choice. Shit. Still want all these?”
This brings me to this week’s weekly survey question: What was the most memorable experience you ever had in a record store? Maybe it was an encounter with a clerk that was good or bad. Perhaps you met someone in the aisles. Maybe someone warned you about one record and then steered you towards one that was brilliant. Or maybe you know of a regular who was something of a weirdo?
Share your record store experiences below.