For the Record

recordsThis comic somebody posted on Facebook really caught my attention.

I’ve told my kids about the days before iTunes, when you’d have to go to a store to buy music. Yes, there were even stores that sold nothing but vinyl records! Really, it’s true!
Making a special trip made music buying a ritual. From my house you could walk to Korvettes or to Record World at Roosevelt Field Mall.

Korvettes, while it had a smaller selection, always had the best price. Record World was more for connoisseurs — plus, going to the mall meant the compulsory visit to World Imports to see the groovy dayglo posters in the back and gawk at the bongs in the head shop.

Then you’d walk back home. Unseal the package, take out the inner sleeve — it always felt like a bonus when it was a printed inner sleeve — and put your new treasure on the turntable. Was there anything as good as that first perfectly pristine play of a new record?

Don’t get me wrong, I love that anything I want to hear is a click away. Everything is so easy now. Back then nothing was a click away.

8 thoughts on “For the Record

    1. I remember reclining in my room and studying the album art, liner notes and photos — something we really lost with CDs.

  1. Oh, man . . . MEMORIES!!! I can positively SMELL World Imports just from you typing that name, and most of my Jethro Tull, ELP, Focus, Good Rats and other classic ’76-’78 era albums came from Record World. On REALLY GOOD weekend days . . . you could also add in the Roosevelt Raceway Flea Market, for all sorts of other cool oddities, many of them also bongs.

    1. Yes, the smell was a potent blend of candles and incense sticks…

      Ah, the flea market. Me and my friend worked there on Sundays in ’78 and ’79 selling hot dogs and soda for Harry M. Stevens. I recall spending my break time trying on used jeans that one of the vendors was selling.

  2. God, that was such a great area to be a teenager at that time . . . Eisenhower Park, Roosevelt Mall, Roosevelt Raceway and Nassau Coliseum all within easy bike distance of Mitchel Field, where I lived. Saw MANY great shows at the Coliseum, not to mention many Islanders games . . .

  3. That whole Garden City / East Meadow / Roosevelt Mall area is still a great place to visit. I stay at the Marriott when working at LIJ, NUMC or Winthrop Hospitals. I bring my lacrosse gear with me and can always find a pick-up game at the park or play wall-ball. I took a lot of crap for my lacrosse ‘skills’ 30 years ago, and it’s refreshing to hear the same crap from a new generation.

  4. My oldest son (11) inherited the music bug from his old man, and he actually listens when I describe the record-shopping experience of my youth. “Tell me again about Tuesdays growing up, Dad…what was record release day REALLY like?”

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