For over 100 years, people have been getting bitten with the record collector's bug. It's always been pervasive, and back in the early '70s and '80s, independent record stores popped up all over the country to feed this addiction. Gary Calamar and Phil Gallo's Record Store Days documents the opening and ultimate closing of many of these record stores and talks about their importance, their growth and their final demise.
Record stores - before you could download - were places
to congregate with like-minded individuals to pore over bins of used and new records, searching for that one nugget amid the normal. You had to have the new Zeppelin album the moment it went on sale, and the furious dash to your local record shop was part of the ritual that made buying vinyl so special.
Record Store Days details several of the more important independent stores, including Rhino Records and Amoeba. What the book doesn't really tell you - though it hints at it with lines like "occasional sweetness of the employees" describing the temperament of record store personnel - is that many of the people who worked at these outlets weren't tremendously customer-friendly. Amoeba Records in Hollywood, California, is probably the biggest record store in the known world, and it is populated with employees who seem to have a real distaste for their customers. Bring in stuff to trade, and they won't greet you with hello or make eye contact (this from firsthand experience). And, back in the day, Rhino Records was like a club that you weren't invited to join. The owners of the store were pompous and had egos like elephants. Not fun people.
Still, this book will bring back memories to those of you who still own turntables. The music lives on forever, even if the places where you bought them do not.