April 22nd is…National Record Store Day?

Over the years, I have used my blog-space during this time in April to extol the virtues of my spouse Meg (it’s our wedding anniversary on 4/22), Earth Day (also on 4/22), even my own birthday (yes, 4/22, although who really wants to read another “well, another year older!” post…come to think of it I don’t really want to write about getting older anyway). This year presents another option: write about the awesomeness that is National Record Store Day! With vinyl records making a serious comeback over the last decade, it seems only fitting to go back in time to the days when you took your $5 paper-route money and went down to your local record store to pick up the latest tunes. My first album purchase? It was actually TWO albums: Steve Miller’s “Book of Dreams” and The Eagles’ “Hotel California,” both of which I still have! I bought those two discs, and so many others, from Condor Records in Southern Orange County, California, where I grew up. The Record Store was owned and operated by a slight, toupee-wearing, Eastern-European gentleman we called “Manny.” Condor not only had the latest records; they sold posters, rock-band swag and they had a “used album” section where you might find discarded treasures and record-company dump jobs (like the KISS solo albums!). They also sold concert tickets there; I brought my first pair of legitimate/non-scalper tickets to see Bow-Wow-Wow at The Hollywood Palladium in 1983 from Manny at Condor. Record Stores were more than just a retail shop to buy music from: they were a central hub for music fans to get together, swap record reviews, stare at cool cover art and (in my case) dream of someday being one of the people I saw on those larger-than-life rock posters. Still waiting for that to happen…

John Young

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