Past weekend was a Record Store Day and I got to experience it in sunny Amsterdam, Holland. It was great, and not even because of the music releases and live performances connected to it. Oh no, it was great because it reminded someone who (kinda) doesn’t need reminding how unique of a concept a record store is.
So what is record store for someone like me?
… can you hear the sound of the harp? Oh yea we’re going down a memory line.
I remember going down to a local record store in mid 80’s (that’s time before Internet, but trust me it did exist) and spending my time some 3 times a week, staring at some of the amazing record covers (A Momentary Lapse of Reason, Live After Death, Flaunt It, Constrictor – to name few) . The ironic thing was that people working in the shop didn’t have any form of connection to what I was into. For them I was just this irritating kid who came over all the time and just looked at record slews.
Fast-forwarding almost three decades forward and not going into details about leaving home with a bag that was ¼ clothes and ¾ music, hundreds of concerts, endless line of cassette tapes and CD’s, here I’m in Amsterdam about to be reminded what Record Store Day is, what music is, what business is and none the less what the human factor in art is… any given day.
So I walked into this record store in Amsterdam with a fellow music enthusiast, the joy of browsing through extremely well equipped shop and talking to whomever was close by resulted in us buying number of CD’s (oh yea did I forget that despite my respect for vinyl, I never got into it). At the counter, my partner-in-crime was advised not the buy the new live recording from one of his favourite bands … if he indeed was a fan of the band.
Now I know that advising a costumer not to buy a product is not that clever, and sure it can be a part of the bigger marketing strategy, but think about it. Think about that sunny day in Amsterdam; think about the experience and the fact that the owner advised a fan not to buy his product.
The experience made me think of the whole thing … music, marketing, physical music, digital music, streaming, short time commitment, lack of putting in some miles for getting stuff … In many ways the experience was simple and the way it should be, but there was also something (re-)refreshing about it.
Sometimes the smallest things are life-reaffirming.
I knew it all along and I know it now and you are a fairly slow if you couldn’t see that it SO did …make me smile.