The national holiday of vinyl worship, held on one blessed day a year, has once again come and gone, but this year–this year of limited releases from big names; medium names; and smaller, perhaps hungrier names, and a special, most smile-inducing, now coveted item–was perhaps the best of them all, a day in the year that will go down as the day that the lure of vinyl became part of the way of life for even more new vinyl lovers than ever before.
The art of embracing the vinyl experience, of holding an album cover and experiencing every pixel of the art, of unfolding the included posters and examining the other included tchotchkes–stickers, cutouts and the like–is an art unlike any other. The whole vinyl experience is an all-encompassing one that can not come alive in a CD store or during an online purchase. Today, as in days gone by, the real vinyl experience occurs in a record store, independent in nature, owned by a music guy who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of the great platter. This store is staffed by similarly-schooled kids-to-adults who take the right amount of pleasure in turning a customer on to some cool, real, really real sounds.
On Record Store Day, which has been going strong and now stronger still since 2007, vinyl people–true music fans all–converge on their local, independent record stores to purchase Record Store Day releases that are noted with a sticker, announcing themselves as honest-to-goodness Record Store Day platters. Also in the mix: used records and 45’s and the usual new release suspects. This year, the stars in the bright sky converged to create the Crosley Peanuts Cruiser Record Store Day Turntable, a highly-coveted item adorned with Peanuts comic strip record-related illustrations. The turntable, as you might imagine, sold like the highly-coveted hotcake it is. From inside the box, the turntable screams “Oh Wow!” You are drawn to stare at the box for as long as you must, but really you must open the box eventually and get to spinning.
At Trax on Wax in Catonsville, Maryland, owner Gary Gebler, a deeply-knowledgeable record man with more than 40 years experience in the music industry, worked tirelessly with his manager, unpacking Record Store Day boxes bulging with Record Store Day releases as a line of vinyl hounds, long as can be, hugged the sidewalk outside of the store. The hounds pushed gently through the door when the store opened and, for the first hour of business on the Saturday, focused on the official Record Store Day releases, snapping up the Wizard of Oz soundtrack on green vinyl; a Donny Hathaway live album, recorded in 1971 at the Bitter End in New York City ; and a Devo disc, among other treasures.
Gebler spoke exclusively with Pure Pop Radio’s Alan Haber about the 2014 Record Store Day experience. Through the eyes and ears of a music industry veteran, you get the inside-out view of the day’s purchasing and hoopla. If you’ve ever wanted to know the inside story of Record Store Day, you’ll want to listen to this spirited conversation about every vinyl fan’s time spent in the platter’s favorite mecca. Oh, and by the way: Record Store Day 2015 begins spinning in 353 days and 11 hours. The next meeting of vinyl minds is just around the corner.
Click on the play button below to hear Alan and Gary relive the Record Store Day 2014 experience!