Record store day is coming up tomorrow, April 16th. Record stores are very nostalgic for me. They changed my life! I remember buying my first album, yes an actual record, with my mom at Gopher Sounds (R.I.P.) in Flagstaff, AZ when I was maybe 5 years old. It was a single of Pebbles "Mercedes Boy" but that's beside the point. (We also bought The Beatles Love Songs compilation so I could hear "Michelle" which I also vividly remember hearing for the first time.) Every birthday, holiday, and occasion where I was given any money to spend was all saved up so I could buy music. I'd unwrap it in the car on the way home, and read every little detail on the cover. I treated albums with complete reverence. As I got older, I'd take random babysitting and pet sitting jobs to help save up to buy a long laundry list of albums. When I had finally saved enough I would spend hours in the record store browsing, scouring and listening at those little private stations where you could preview records. Record stores were always filled with "my people", music people. Even the employees you could tell only took the job because they were obsessed with music. You'd walk around and give each other that knowing glance. I remember going to San Francisco one summer and seeing the Virgin Mega Store for the first time, sorta loving it and hating it all at the same time. I bought a black t-shirt that said Virgin on it. When I wore it to school in the fall I was told to change my shirt to an ugly lost and found replacement or be kicked out of school. I remember playing acoustic at the Sam Goody in Phoenix when my first independent album was released and the feeling of seeing my album on a shelf for the first time next to all my heros. Once I was on tour, forget about it. My favorite pastime was finding every mom and pop record store near the venue and my band and I would spend all day there. I truly believe: Save Record Stores. Save The World.
What are your top 5 favorite albums? What are some of your favorite local record stores that are still in business? Share your comments below for a chance to win. MORE DETAILS HERE.