Sunday, April 8, 2012

Rx for the Blues?- for me, a visit to the record store..

Was feeling depressed yesterday, as I am prone to depression (hooray!). Decided to go downtown to Soundgarden, one of the only record/cd stores left in town. Hadn't been there in at least ten years (?). It's hard to park in Fells Point especially on a Saturday evening. Thankfully Soundgarden has their own small parking lot.

It was just what I needed. To get lost in flipping through the cd racks. They had some cool shirts (had my eye on a Neil Young Harvest shirt) I want to get when they come back in stock. A good DVD selection. I didn't see much that I can't order online, but I still enjoy the experience. 
I picked up two used cd's for $5 each , James Gang "Yer Album" and Simple Minds "New Gold Dream" (from before they got real big) in a mini-album sleeve. Also got a nice Soundgarden T-shirt for $6.99 on clearance.
my finds from Soundgarden 4/7/12
Check em out sometime:

Rolling Stone named them the #2 record store in the country?

The experience made me think of how I've been going to the record store since I was just a kid and the positive feelings and rush I get from going.

I have memories or looking through record department at Hutzlers in Towson. I can never forget trying to save some money to go to Korvettes who seemed to have the best prices on albums!

Korvettes would always have some new albums for $3.99!

Perring Plaza near it's end in the mid 80's
There was also a Woolworth's in Perring Plaza (see above). That was always a good place to browse through the album and cassette cut-out bins. Got quite a bit of stuff for a dollar or two there.

The local Kmart is where I would purchase 45's and Beatles albums one at a time.

Musicland at the Golden Ring Mall was a fun store to get lost in . I don't remember buying much there except the occasional 45. I think their album prices were kind of high. I do remember they had a "video jukebox" type display that played music videos. This was around  '78/'79 a couple of years before "Mtv". It was a thrill to watch. I remember seeing Dire Straits "Sultans of Swing" on there.

In the dark days of 1980-81, my parents separated and my Mom moved us 30 miles away to another town, away from all family and friends.... A very depressing time....
 Trips to the University of Md. student Union record store (great prices, I remember buying Springsteen's "The River" there the week it came out)and the "Harmony Hut" at the local mall provided much needed escape...

Moving back to the Baltimore area in late 1981, a new mall opened, North Plaza Mall. The Music Liberated store in there was a fun place to look. I don't remember buying much there other than a 45 once in a while. I think their album prices list price or close to it. ($8.98)

In High School, Record and Tape Traders in Towson was a haven for me and my friends. We loved going there and they let you "rent" albums! If you could come up with $8 to put down, they would give you back $7 if you returned it the next day! You could take it home and tape it. When you are in high school and broke this was the best way to hear new albums!

In the 1981-82 era, my Mom had a part-time job selling furniture (in addition to her full time job of being a teacher!). Sometimes my brother and I would go to work with her at the new White Marsh Mall and hang out at the arcade and go to the record stores there. Listening Booth would have new albums often for $4.99. I was in heaven! I remember one night in 1981 buying Genesis "Abacab" and KIX 1st album (hey, I had diverse taste, still do!)

In 1984, after graduating high school I actually got a job at Listening Booth, a dream come true for a boy who loved to be in the record store! lol
There I met other like-minded people who got the same enjoyment from music. We didn't make any money but we had a good time and I'm happy to say I'm still in touch with and/or back in touch with some of those great people. :)

We were such geeks that even on Sundays (the mall used to be closed back then on Sundays) we would drive to the local independent stores ( Music Machine (?) and RecordWorks (?),they had used stuff and more imports than our store had!) Those were very enjoyable trips with friends.

Dave holds up one of his purchases from a Sunday record store trip

So, here I am at 45 still enjoying a good trip to the record store.
There aren't many left folks. "Record Store Day" is coming up, maybe think about supporting your local independent record store! You may even have a good time!


  1. Hi ! Im more than sure we used to work together at Listening Booth in '84/'85. bob was our manager. I remember some other names and faces, and i remember you, too. Those were good times. :-)

    1. Cool. Glad u stumbled on this. What's your first name? I probably remember you.