Remember walking into music shops where new and second-hand music was sold. You know the type with hand-written signs to separate artists by alphabet, dust lining the shelves and cool people who came in to loiter, peruse and pass the time on a lunch break or weekend outing.
How music has changed
I love music and can often be found roaming and sifting through bargain buckets or flicking through dog-eared vinyl collections. Unfortunately with the internet and the instant revelation of downloads – these wonderful shops where every space is maximised are coming to an end. I have seen many shops close down with the internet absorbing the majority of the blame and I fear these musical treasure troves will head the same way.
I remember music shops where you could play records, then cassettes, and then CD’s before buying, using the headphones provided. Not only did this mean you could hear the album and have a little foot tap in the process, but it prompted conversation with people who knew music and were on hand for a recommendation. Of course we have iTunes now and as amazing as it is (and yes I download), nothing beats the smell of music shops and the tight resistance the first time you pull a CD from its case.
And of course there were the ‘lucky dip’ bargain buckets where the unwanted and unloved albums could find a new home at a fraction of the price. Typically I found only the scourge of musical delights in there but occasionally a real gem cropped up and my wallet didn’t take a battering.
I still scour charity shops for people who have chosen to abandon their CD collections in favour of a hard-drive, and whilst I have moved a few times over the years and considered selling my collection, there are 1500 friends I am unable to ‘unfriend’. They all tell a story about a different time in my life.
My three favourite music shops that I simply cannot leave empty handed are as follows:
• Real Groovy Records – Auckland, New Zealand
• Amoeba Records – San Francisco, USA
• FOPP – London, UK
So all music lovers, next time you are about to push download on iTunes, why not take a trip down to support your local music shop and help keep a slice of relevant history alive for your kids to enjoy.
You may also like to read my other blog about Travel and Music.
Let me know your thoughts on music and if you are a downloader, or avid CD/vinyl purchaser!