Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Heroes Have Always Been Record Store Owners

by Joe Schwab

Ever since I bought my first record (Janis Joplin Pearl at Korvette’s in case you were wondering) I’ve been frequenting the local record.stores. As Rob, Steve Scariano and I were kicking it around this morning; we started to reminisce about our early record store ventures.

With Record Store Day coming up on Saturday, I thought I’d start a discussion on stores from days gone by. So I submit to you my 10 favorite hangouts from the 60’s and 70’s and encourage anyone reading this to chime in with their favorites.

1- Streetside Records – Now I’m talking the original Streetside on the north side of Delmar. Cramped and filled with an amazing selection, the Jazz section was sublime but the waterbed in the back still kind of throws me for a loop.

2- Music Village – What can you say about a place where the parking was on the roof. A great selection of Rock domestic and imports (this place would have been a great bar) and some fine wall to wall blue shag carpeting. Right down Forsyth from…

3- Discount Records – This was a chain, but a really great store specializing in Classical, Jazz and Folk but loads of great Rock ‘n’ Roll imports with those Jem stickers on the front. Viscount Records in Northwest Plaza was another store in the chain and was a must stop in the record store road trip.

4- Akoshic Records – Most people remember The Akoshic after it moved into the Spectrum head shop here in Webster. The Akoshic that I frequented was at 6 North Euclid and the future home of Wuxry and later Euclid Records. Cool selection from the hip owner Russ Mills, but the best part was walking through the black light room into the light show. One whole wall was colored lights with mirrors along each side wall and head phones for listening to that new Hendrix LP Russ was playing.

5- The Pseudonym - Down the street from The Akoshic at Euclid and McPherson was the Pseudonym, right next to Herb Balaban’s Gypsy Cowboy boutique. Flowers, hippie trinkets and incense were in the front of the store but in the back was a small but very cool selection of esoteric odds and ends, hippie Rock and some nice bootlegs as well.

6- Boot Heel Records – At the corner of Jefferson and Cherokee, this huge joint had isles of bargain cutouts, Country hits and a fine selection of 45’s. Two and three dollar cutouts at Bootheel now fetch a small fortune on eBay. If I knew then what I know now…

7- The Record Bar – The one in Clayton on Brentwood, not the mall store. This was the first record store that I ever went to, though by that time it was more of a children’s cloths store. They still had a small rack of records though and my Mom tells me she used to buy 78’s there when she was a teenager. Oh, a bit of trivia: the place was owned by Kevin Kline’s Dad.

8- Laclede Music – I found this place just before they closed in the mid 70’s. Too bad, from what I hear this was one of the true gems in St. Louis record store community. Amazing 45 selection too.

9- Peaches – Huge superstores with giant album cover art inside and out. When they first opened, there was nothing you couldn’t find. When they had in-stores they would have the artist put they’re feet and hands in cement out front, al la Grauman's Chinese Theater. Can somebody tell me if they’re still there, and who was represented?

10- Korvettes – A big box store before the big box store. These guys kicked the shit out of Famous Barr or Stix Baer and Fuller’s selection plus great prices. By the way, I paid $4.79 for Pearl! Below are a couple T.V. ads for Korvettes, check out the oh so red hot Julie Newmar in the second ad.


Andy Williams said...

With my limited young teen funds, I was drawn to cut-out bins, where many of my favorites ended up, anyway. Woolworths (River Roads), Grants, and even Camelot Records had decent cut-out selections worthy of my lunch money. Then there was the big 99 cent Target sale...records I still have and enjoy today. (Hackamore Brick, anyone?)

Look at how many bands or lifelong friendships were formed from meetings at a record store.

Andy - going to Grimeys this Saturday

Euclid Joe said...

Yeah, I loved those sales! That
Target sale was my instant Blues collection. I went from owning 15 to to about 125 Blues Lp's for only 100 bucks. Streetside's cutout bins in the 70's were pretty amazing too.

Wish our pals at Grimeys a Happy RSD

Euclid Joe

Darren said...

Let's see...I'm pretty sure the Runaways left their prints at the Peaches in Dellwood.

And can I get a hell yeah for good old West End Wax? Your one-stop Anglophile/glam/industrial/disco headquarters. Come for the Smiths imports; stay for the friendly rottweilers! The staff was unbelievable: Plenty of hilarity and drama as well. When I look back at the five years or so that I worked there, it feels like I was on drugs the whole time.

I wasn't.

Mandorichard said...

You left out the record store in University City where I spent WAY TOO MANY HUNDREDS of dollars on obscure records in the 70s. What was it called??