There’s a stack of shellac and vinyl / Which is yours now and which is mine? / 45

Since we’re cel­e­brat­ing record stores and all things vinyl, I thought I’d repost this, orig­i­nal­ly from August April last year — post­ed again for record store day (late) and NZ Music month (1 day early).

I’ve had a cou­ple of con­ver­sa­tions of recent with peo­ple about record stores in Auck­land — the lost sort — where was Record Ware­house? When did Taste close?

That sort of thing.

I guess its part of being some sort of aging vinyl buff, but the thought of all those places, many of which I spend end­less hours in as a kid, or old­er, still gives me some sort of huge nos­tal­gic buzz. I used to spend days trekking around the sec­ond hand stores and the junk joints, most long gone, look­ing for the hun­dreds of 45s that I still have in box­es in my storeroom.

Rhythm Method outside Rock'n'Roll Records, Queen Street, 1980
Rhythm Method out­side Rock­’n’Roll 1980

There have been count­less record shops in Auck­land over the years, we New Zealan­ders con­sume vast qual­i­ties of music, but I’ve only list­ed ones here in cen­tral-ish Auck­land (New­mar­ket, the CBD, K Rd and Pon­son­by) and shops that have closed down. The stores that are still open can tell their own sto­ries. And I’ve only men­tioned the stores I actu­al­ly per­son­al­ly remem­ber, and, yes, despite my best efforts I’ve clear­ly made some mis­takes (and missed a few stores).

These shops were often filed with pas­sion­ate peo­ple, both in front of and behind the counter (and more than a few snot­ty know noth­ing kids who looked down on almost all their cus­tomers and helped kill the stores) but despite that record retail­ing is an extra­or­di­nar­i­ly risky busi­ness and more than a few of these stores, most in fact, includ­ing some big oper­a­tors, went bust and dis­ap­peared from the streets of the city forever.

How­ev­er many of the most colour­ful and cre­ative peo­ple I’ve known over the years came out of record retail or sup­port­ed their cre­ative enter­pris­es on the rarely good wages paid in record shops.

I worked in sev­er­al of these shops over the years myself and have huge mem­o­ries of scar­ing the fuck out of qui­et Par­nell with the New York Dolls, or the joy of turn­ing some­one who’d nev­er bought jazz (and actu­al­ly asked for Ken­ny G) onto Miles and then watch­ing him grow into Coltrane, Bird, Gille­spie and beyond over the next few years.

Now where is that copy of Neat, Neat, Neat I bought at Direc­tion Records in 1977.…

Lost Record Stores In Auckland

Record Warehouse

One of the major play­ers in cen­tral Auck­land retail from about 1977 to 1987 when it went under. It was orig­i­nal­ly owned by Mike Dow and Guy Mor­ris, and, lat­er, Roger King amongst oth­ers and grew out of the col­lapse of the Direc­tion chain. It’s major branch was in Durham Lane West, with the best 7” selec­tion in Auck­land, thanks to the won­der­ful Ker­ry O’Con­nor, and at oth­er times had branch­es in oth­er loca­tions in the city, includ­ing The Cor­ner (the old Peach­es store) and in Lorne Street (which they called Rio for some odd reason).

Record Ware­house went the way of most record retail­ers and ceased trad­ing after the stock­mar­ket crash. It’s staff includ­ed Trevor Reekie, who worked there when he was play­ing his huge part in invent­ing the indie label in NZ. Roger King also man­aged Dave Dob­byn for many years, and lat­er man­aged Don McGlashan. In the inter­im he spent time in Welling­ton work­ing for the Alliance Par­ty. Mike Dow was instru­men­tal in bring FM radio to NZ, and lat­er sold real estate in Oma­ha. He died in June, 2009. Guy Mor­ris passed away on 3 Jan, 2011. He was one of the true pio­neers and vision­ar­ies of the NZ music indus­try. Respect.

Sounds Unlimited

Sounds Unlim­it­ed began life in New­mar­ket in a small shop in Remuera Rd in the ear­ly 1970s, owned by Hen­ry King. He opened a sec­ond store with his broth­er Jim run­ning it in Pan­mure about the same time. He quick­ly expand­ed to 101 Queen Street, Papaku­ra and into much big­ger premis­es still in Remuera Rd. They also opened a sec­ond store in Broad­way (see Broad­way Records). In 1982 Hen­ry sold the chain to Gary Nut­tall (the New­mar­ket stores), Ter­ry Ander­son (Queen Street) and Jim Lum (Pan­mure). Nut­tall and Ander­son kept the names and trad­ed as a unit for a brief time but fell out, with Ander­son keep­ing the name and Nut­tall rebrand­ing as Tru Tone. King moved to Syd­ney where he opened Chelsea Records, pass­ing away a few years back.

Sounds Unlim­it­ed even­tu­al­ly expand­ed across Auck­land but went under in the ear­ly 1990s. Out of its col­lapse came the Sounds chain, which also went under a decade and half lat­er, cost­ing the record com­pa­nies mil­lions. It had, at oth­er times, stores on the cor­ner of the Strand Arcade and Queen Street, 256 Records (see below), and a store in K Rd, infa­mous for it’s big coke bust in the ear­ly 1990s. Robin Lam­bert, the group’s sales man­ag­er was per­haps the best sales­man I’ve ever seen in a record store. His famous refusal to sell a cus­tomer the third Iron Maid­en album, because he didn’t own the first two and would not under­stand it, was typ­i­cal (the guy left the store with all three, very happy).

Under Hen­ry King, Sounds Unlim­it­ed rev­o­lu­tionised music retail in NZ and paved the way for a new gen­er­a­tion of aggres­sive­ly front­ed, with loss lead­ing items, and dis­count­ing, record stores. For bet­ter or worse, it paved the way for the cur­rent dom­i­nance of The Ware­house, whose music retail, appro­pri­ate­ly, is head­ed by Ter­ry Ander­son. Hen­ry’s name sur­vives with King Exports, an inde­pen­dent dis­trib­u­tor. Sounds Unlim­it­ed’s buy­er, Steve Morice, also man­aged Push Push, which can’t have hurt their chart returns.

Tru tone

Gary Nut­tall, with his wife Alli­son, rebrand­ed his stores as Tru Tone (with the excep­tion of Broad­way Records, which kept it’s name) after the fall­out with Ter­ry Ander­son, and expand­ed into the malls and ‘burbs. Of note was the St. Lukes store, staffed by Phil Bell, Jason How­son, and Andrew, the drum­mer from Garage­land. Under their man­age­ment it became a cen­tre for import­ed dance music, both house and hip-hop. Tru Tone went under in 1999, and many of the stores were tak­en over by either Sounds, with some irony, or ECM.

Direction Records

Direction Records

The first of the alter­na­tive stores of the post hip­pie era, dat­ing from about 1971, and owned by Guy Mor­ris, Direc­tion was quite an empire for a while. It had stores in Dar­by St, Swan­son St, Queens Arcade, and out­side Auck­land, and sold hip records in recy­cled brown paper bags. Direc­tion ran a record label, which not only released local bands but licensed over­seas labels like Casablan­ca, and they were also tied to Hot Licks, the alter­na­tive music

mag­a­zine edit­ed by the late Roger Jar­rett, which is the blue­print and grand­dad­dy of all NZ music press since. The shelves were often full of import­ed press­ings of hard to get under­ground records from the US, but, like all NZ indie chains, it inevitably went bust, in the late 1970s. From it arose The Record Warehouse.


Peach­es was owned by indus­try vet­er­ans Bri­an Pitt and John McCready, and was essen­tial­ly the retail arm of the RTC oper­a­tion, which had NZ rights to Vir­gin Records and a few oth­er labels. It oper­at­ed from the mid 1970s in The Cor­ner (for­mer­ly John Courts, and now Whit­coulls, Queen Street), and for me is remem­bered for all those well priced Vir­gin reg­gae imports, and, espe­cial­ly, as the place where I man­aged to pick up my EMI press­ing of Anar­chy In the UK. Record Ware­house took it over around 1980 and it closed short­ly thereafter.

They also had a branch in the old Direc­tion store in Queens Arcade.

Taste Records

Taste was, with Direc­tion, the oth­er post hip­pie retail­er, mov­ing into the punk era. Taste was owned by David Perkins and, for a while, Rhys Walk­er. Rhys had worked for Pye Records and David had worked, in the 60s whilst at uni­ver­si­ty, at a store upstairs in Vul­can Lane, called The Loft. Taste opened first in Lorne Street in the shop under what is now The Lorne Street Lofts, and had a spe­cial lis­ten­ing booth with extrac­tion fans to allow the lis­ten­er to get him or her­self in the right state of mind to lis­ten to that new Yes album. It was extra­or­di­nar­i­ly hip and moved ear­ly 1975 into the South­ern Cross build­ing in High Street (leav­ing the booth behind sad­ly), where along with the rock, it import­ed jazz and under­ground music. I was there one day in 1975 wait­ing for that first Split Enz album to arrive, and I bought one of only two copies of the first Ramones album in NZ there in 1976 (John­ny Vol­ume bought the oth­er). In 1979 it took over Pro­fes­sor Longhair’s in Par­nell (acquir­ing me in the process). I man­aged the shop briefly in 1980 and ran my first label out of it, but Dave Perkins had lost inter­est and shut it in Sep­tem­ber that year. He lat­er ran Snake Screen-print­ing stu­dios which dom­i­nat­ed NZ music mer­chan­dis­ing for years, and died in 2004. His funer­al was like a who’s who of the NZ record indus­try of the last three decades. RIP Dave.

Professor Longhairs

Pro­fes­sor Longhair’s was an off­shoot of Rich­mond Records in Mel­bourne and owned by Nadine Huru, an Aus­tralian who had come to NZ with her hus­band in the mid 1970s and opened the store in small space just up from the Alexan­dra Hotel (now Iguacu). The shop was, from late 1977, the only shop which real­ly stocked and played the punk and new wave sounds in Auck­land, thus became one of the epi­cen­tres of that scene, which was helped by the fact that not only was it the only record store open on Sat­ur­days in Auck­land City, but was 150 meters up the road from The Wind­sor Cas­tle, which was home to many of the Auck­land punk bands on Sat­ur­day after­noons from late 1978 onwards. I ran it for Nadine from ear­ly 1978, with the leg­endary graph­ic artist Ter­ry Hogan (the man who signed Toy Love to WEA, and did the AK79 sleeve) as my week­end staff. It was tak­en over by Taste Records in 1979 and I went as part of the pack­age, before mov­ing to Syd­ney for six months.

Basement Records

A sec­ond hand shop in the base­ment of The Cor­ner in the late 1980s. They were, as I recall, briefly in the old Record Ware­house space in Lorne Street too for a while.

Rock’n’Roll Records

Jan, the own­er, opened Rock’n’Roll Records in Symonds St, on the cor­ner of City Rd, in the ear­ly 1970s, as the first ded­i­cat­ed sec­ond hand store in the city. It moved to Queen Street, just down from where Real Groovy is now, in the mid­dle of that decade, where it’s staff includ­ed Simon Mark-Brown and Ker­ry Buchanan. It was a mec­ca for the vinyl obsessed (yes, guilty) and the shop’s rare records auc­tions were huge draw­cards. I remem­ber out­bid­ding Gra­ham Bra­zier on a Stooges album about 1979. I loved the huge box­es of 7″ EPs and 45s behind he counter. In 1983 I sold much of my record col­lec­tion to Jan & Ker­ry before mov­ing to Lon­don (their prices were nev­er less than fair but damn, not a day goes by when I don’t regret sell­ing what I sold). It moved to Fort Street, in a space next to the small Fort Lane, in the 1980s, and added Kirk Gee to the staff. Jan sold out to Real Groovy in the late 1980s and they closed the site, mov­ing the staff up to the Queen Street store. Phat Wax took the site briefly and it’s a laun­dro­mat now.

Record Exchange

Along with Rock’n’Roll Records, Record Exchange dom­i­nat­ed the sec­ond had mar­ket for years. At one stage it took up much of the end of St Kevin’s Arcade in K Rd. Neville Lynch and Chris Hart opened it in 1976 and it soon became a sec­ond hand mec­ca with thou­sands of copies of every­thing imag­in­able and tons of rar­i­ties. Neville bought Chris out lat­er in the decade (he then opened Real Groovy) and even­tu­al­ly bought in his son, Liam, and moved in the 1990s to K Rd itself, near the Queen Street inter­sec­tion. There was anoth­er shop too, briefly, fur­ther along K Rd. The retail shop has gone now but Neville and Liam con­tin­ue to trade suc­cess­ful­ly via TradeMe and Ebay and claim to have 200,000 records in their cat­a­logue. I don’t doubt it…

Quaff Records

Owned by Phil Clarke and UK DJ, Roy the Roach, Quaff ini­tial­ly took over Bassline’s shop before mov­ing down the road to a space in O’Connell Street next to Zambe­si. It last­ed some 2 years from about 1994.

The Big Orange

This was not just a record shop but the best exam­ple of that long for­got­ten arte­fact, a head shop. It sold music, incense, clothes, posters, and acces­sories of all sorts (includ­ing bongs and the like). It was around from about 1970 for a year or two in the Can­ter­bury Arcade.

Criminal Records

A well regard­ed dance spe­cial­ist in Symonds Street owned by Nick Collings, it trad­ed for 8 years and spe­cialised in hard dance and trance.  It opened on April 14 1998 and ceased trad­ing of Decem­ber 2008. [Thanks for the update, Nick — see the com­ment below for some pret­ty cool links]

Revival Records

This shop began life in the late 1980s as a sec­ond hand shop in Vic­to­ria St, about where the Sky Tow­er is now, mov­ing in the 1990s up to K Rd, before clos­ing down lat­er that decade. The stores, in which I spent many hours trawl­ing, were owned by Col­in Cleave.

256 Records

At 256 Queen Street, this store was owned at var­i­ous times by a cou­ple of guys, God­frey Woods and Kit Kingston, and also by Sounds Unlim­it­ed. I’ll always be grate­ful for the gross under­pric­ing of the 18 vol­ume Philade­phia Inter­na­tion­al boxed set, which I picked up for $50 one day. 256 was the first shop to import dance music as a spe­cial­i­ty and amongst its staff were Grant Kear­ney and Sam Hill who went on to found Bassline Records (see below). It’s staff also includ­ed Ker­ry George and Mike Haru.

Broadway Records

A Sounds Unlim­it­ed / Tru Tone owned shop in Broad­way, New­mar­ket, that spe­cialised in Clas­si­cal and Jazz. I worked there for about three years part time to sup­port my record label work, in the ear­ly 1980s. It was man­aged by Mel Morat­ti, a record industy leg­end who knew lit­er­al­ly every­thing about clas­si­cal music and the world’s clas­si­cal releas­es, and is still employ­ing that knowl­edge at Mar­becks at the time of writ­ing. It was the first shop in Auck­land to have a CD play­er and stock CDs, when the local record com­pa­nies were still rather ner­vous about this new tech.

246 Records

On the first floor of the 246 Shop­ping Cen­tre in Queen Street (where, inci­den­tal­ly, the mez­za­nine café had the best Iced Choco­late in the city). It was par­tial­ly owned by Den­ni­son Smith’s in Rotorua and was renown in the 1970s for hav­ing the best annu­al sales in the city. I’m unsure exact­ly when it opened but it closed some time in the ear­ly 1980s. Derek Fletch­er, who ran it at the end, assist­ed by Joanne Mid­dle­miss, lat­er opened a health food shop on the site of the old Direc­tion Records in Dar­by Street.

HMV Records

In about 1994 the HMV chain re-entered the NZ mar­ket­place and rent­ed the space on the cor­ner of Vul­can Lane and Queen Street. They opened with a huge band, putting some $10,000 on the bar at Cause Cele­bre. How­ev­er they closed about two years lat­er and the space is now occu­pied by the Nation­al Bank.

The EMI Shop

EMI was owned, of course, by EMI Records, (orig­i­nal­ly trad­ing as HMV) and at one time sold all sorts of things like Fridges and Wash­ing Machines as well as vinyl and cas­settes, dat­ing back to the 1940s when they dom­i­nat­ed the NZ music indus­try. In the 1960s and 1970s they had a large store in Queen Street about where Burg­er King is now, near Vic­to­ria Street. They car­ried a huge stock and lat­er moved up to where 256 Records was. In the late 1970s EMI upgrad­ed the stores and opened one in the Down­town Mall. This was staffed ini­tial­ly by Peter Hewitt (who was lat­er man­ag­er of 256), and then by Chris Cad­dick, who was lat­er to become MD of EMI NZ, and Adam Holt, who is now MD of Uni­ver­sal NZ. EMI closed these in the late 1980s and a Sounds store was in the Down­town site for a while. EMI briefly re-entered the retail world with HMV in the 1990s.

Bassline Records

Owned by Sam Hill and Grant Kear­ney, both ex-256, Bassline was Auckland’s first ded­i­cat­ed dance and DJ store, and was DJ cen­tral for some years. Sit­u­at­ed in what is now the Karen Walk­er shop in O’Connell Street, it was famous for Grant killing the records being played reg­u­lar­ly so he could lis­ten to the horse races through the PA. And the mad rush as the imports arrived. It opened in 1989 and closed about 1993 when Quaff took over the site. Grant Mar­shall pro­vid­ed the staff and the shop was often filled with friend­ly record com­pa­ny staff on Fri­days fill­ing out the chart return to pad NZ’s eter­nal­ly and com­plete­ly inac­cu­rate charts.

George Courts

In K Rd, had, for years, a record bar just inside the door, with a small­ish selec­tion, but great sales bins. Closed well before the store closed in the 1980s.

Lewis Eady’s

In Queen Street, next to Whit­combs and Tombs (now Whit­coulls) near Durham Lane East, Lewis Eady had a mul­ti-floor store with sheet music, instru­ments and a mas­sive but almost impen­e­tra­ble record selec­tion, which nobody in the staff seemed to know or care about. Although it had been there for­ev­er, and in Queen Street sell­ing music since 1918, it closed in 1980 and moved to the ‘burbs, where it remains now, albeit with­out the records. They also pressed vinyl and had their own label at one stage in the dis­tant past.


Heath Bur­goyne ran Cyber­cul­ture and sold alter­na­tive and elec­tron­ic music from K Rd for most of the 1990s. The shop was a heav­en for the eclec­tic and the leftfield.

Arthur Eady

One of the seem­ing­ly end­less num­ber of retail off­shoots of Lewis Eady, Arthur oper­at­ed until the late 1960s at 112 Queen Street, on the low­er side of Vul­can Lane, sell­ing instru­ments, sheet music and records.

Crucial Records

Cru­cial was owned by Miles Kuen and Matt Drake, upstairs in Can­ter­bury Arcade from the late 1990s until about 2003, sell­ing a huge range of tech­no and house vinyl and CDs.

Beautiful Music

In K Rd, near the New­ton Post Office, from the mid 1990s, Gary Steel’s Beau­ti­ful Music offered his per­son­al selec­tion of inter­est­ing, the eclec­tic and the plain desir­able. Amongst his clients, famous­ly, was the late John Peel.

Phat Wax

Tony Young, an Aus­tralian DJ, opened a record store in a house in Jer­vois Rd, mov­ing it to the old Rock’n’Roll Records space in Fort Street when Real Groovy bought them out. He lat­er moved to a space in Vic­to­ria Street East just up from Lorne St. The shop had a range of Ital­ian house to begin with, which rather con­fused NZers, as the style had nev­er real­ly crossed the Tas­man, but lat­er expand­ed to cov­er oth­er styles, although it nev­er real­ly worked.


The Lam­p­house was an appli­ance, and light­ing store, with a mez­za­nine floor that stocked records. It was a great place to pick up long delet­ed obscu­ri­ties that had sat in the racks for years. Closed in the 1980s after being in the same spot for sev­er­al decades, on the cor­ner of K Rd and Queen St.

Bond & Bond

I have vague mem­o­ries of a Bond & Bond with a fair­ly healthy vinyl depart­ment in the Dil­worth Build­ing in Cus­toms Street in the 1960s

John Court

Where Whit­coulls is now, John Court once had their depart­ment store with a small­ish record depart­ment. Closed in the ear­ly 1970s.


Anoth­er depart­ment store that had a record depart­ment, just inside the door and to the right as I recall. They shut the record dept in the 1980s.

Farmers Trading Company

And anoth­er. The record dept in the Hob­son Street store was at one stage quite large but most­ly full buck­ets of Zodi­ac and Viking Peter Posa or Pacif­ic albums with half naked girls on the cov­er. I guess that was their market.

Milne & Choice

And anoth­er. They had records for sale in both Queen Street and Remuera Rd, until they closed Queen Street in the 1970s, and Remuera a few years lat­er. I remem­ber buy­ing David Bowie’s Pin Ups there in 1974 (and, yes, I still have it).

Second Hand shops Q St

For years there was a row of bric-a-brac stores on the east­ern side of Queen Street, about where May­oral Dri­ve cuts through now, full of ever chang­ing box­es full of dusty vinyl, with loads of 7” sin­gles and six­ties soul and pop.


Sounds, the last of the mega chains, with it’s roots in the Sounds Unlim­it­ed chain, had, amongst it’s dozens of stores in NZ, the huge one in the old Whit­coulls shop on the cor­ner of Queen and Durham, one in the old 256 store (now a games shop), one in the Rial­to mall in New­mar­ket and one in the old EMI shop in Down­town. Prob­a­bly lots more but they were large­ly faceless…

Record store in Little High Street

There was for a year or two in the 1990s a record store in the mall called Lit­tle High Street, a shop packed full of import­ed US cut out and new release hip-hop and r’n’b vinyl. It didn’t last but was a gold­mine, but per­haps bet­ter suit­ed to South Auck­land. The name escapes me.

The Vulcan Lane stores (updated!)

The names of both of these escape me too, although they were quite dif­fer­ent. The first was upstairs between the two pubs, and I think was sim­ply just called Upstairs Records, and closed about 1970. It’s staff mem­ber, Dave Perkins, lat­er opened Taste Records. The sec­ond was owned by RCA / Pye at one time (it was tied into the RCA Record Club) and man­aged by Lor­raine Ten­nant (lat­er of Peach­es). It was down­stairs in part of the space now occu­pied by the CD Store, next to the city branch of the Pan­cake Par­lour (the choco­late and banana pan­cakes were delicious..this becom­ing a theme I think). Update: It was Music City..thanks to Jock Lawrie who bought his first album there (Bea­t­les Hard Days Night in ’74…not a bad way to start…).

Update: Nige Hor­rocks says the one upstairs in Vul­can was Gor­don’s, and that rings a bell, but the one I meant, Chris Bourke right­ly recalls as The Loft. And Nige remind­ed me about anoth­er one:

Beggs Wiseman

The nation­al chain had a store in Queen Street, between Durham Lane East and The Can­ter­bury Arcade, although I’m unsure when it stopped sell­ing vinyl

Woolworths & McKenzies

There was a McKen­zies, which was kin­da like a NZ owned K‑Mart, in Queen Street, which ran between what is now the ANZ Bank and Vul­can Lane, it sold vinyl near the Vul­can Lane door. I used to like the grand por­trait of the founder, Sir Some­thing McKen­zie, on the stair­case. Wool­worths, before they became just a super­mar­ket, bought them up around 1980, and closed the Vul­can / Queen Store short­ly after­wards. The Wool­worths store near Queens Arcade con­tin­ued for a decade and a half, rebrand­ed as DEKA, and it too sold music but very mainstream

Current retail outfits old locations…

Real Groovy was intial­ly at the top of Rich­mond Rd, then the top of Mt Eden Rd and then on the cor­ner of Queen Street and City Road before it moved to where it is now. Conch was in the Can­ter­bury Arcade for sev­er­al years before it moved to Ponsonby.


In the Lagon­da Arcade in the 1990s, had it’s own record label

Play Records

Anoth­er K Rd store, in the Lagon­da Arcade, spe­cial­is­ing in dance, in the first years of the 2000s. It was lat­er Lopass Records and is now Uptown, spe­cial­is­ing in dub­step and grime.

Central Station

An Aus­tralian dance store that opened in Durham Lane East in the late 1990s. Like Phat Wax it missed the mark because NZers real­ly had a more devel­oped musi­cal taste than the cheese that sold so well in Aus­tralia. It moved briefly to the top end of Vul­can Lane before closing.

Bizarre Beats

Anoth­er on K Rd, which start­ed in St.Kevins Arcade in the ear­ly 1990s, then moved down to O’Con­nell Street in the mid 1990s to share with Quaff, before head­ing back up to K Rd where it shared a space with Virus Cloth­ing. They stocked alter­na­tive and indus­tri­al and still can be found via the Club Bizarre web­site, run by own­er Mark Wallbank.

BPM Records

yes I’ll get to that…

And an update…a word from the legendary Terry Hogan :

Hi Simon .. nice work. There was anoth­er Eady store (was it Syd­ney Eady?) on the cor­ner of Queen and, I think, Swan­son, where I got a brand new copy of Love’s “For­ev­er Changes” for a dol­lar from a bar­gain bin one day in the late 60s. True, a buck was still worth some­thing then, but still..! And I bought it on the cov­er alone but some­times that works out fine.

Your men­tion of the sec­ond-hand places up the top end of Queen Street calls to mind a real trea­sure trove that used to sit just below City Rd where I picked up a lot of US stuff that I still have, Stooges, MC5, and a per­son­al fave, the Sir Dou­glas Quin­tet’s “Men­do­ci­no”. Can’t remem­ber the shop’s name but the LPs were $2 and $3 (I nev­er fig­ured out how that dis­tinc­tion was made) and the guy was friend­ly and I dips me lid to him.

And yep, fond mem­o­ries of work­ing Prof Long­hairs .. but go easy on the “leg­endary”.




Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

August 25, 2009 at 2:48 am

Bril­liant. This is mak­ing me nos­tal­gic for place I’ve nev­er even been to.

What about Crawl­space records? They were in var­i­ous loca­tions before set­tling (sort of) in a K Road arcade just down from St Kevins.

Also, the geek in me wants to see all this info pre­sent­ed on a Google map!

August 25, 2009 at 2:58 am

arrgh, yes, I for­got Crawl­space, and Cen­tral Sta­tion, and that place in Beres­ford St (which grew out of Cen­tral Sta­tion) and that oth­er dance shop in Symonds St that Andy Vann ran briefly. Oh and Play Records…

August 25, 2009 at 3:01 am

I’ll wait a day or two to see what oth­ers I remem­ber then give the map a go too

Mark Wall­bank
August 25, 2009 at 3:27 am

.…and BIZARRE BEATS on K ‘Rd.

August 25, 2009 at 4:24 am

I remem­ber the Record Ware­house well, hav­ing hatched a cun­ning plan to steal a whole bunch of records. The heist involved going to the sec­ond floor with a ton of records and escap­ing through the fire exit which they reg­u­lar­ly kept open (and unsu­per­vised) as a defac­to air con­di­tion­er. I wrote it up as a film script, but when my school chums realised it was­n’t real­ly a movie we were going to do … they bailed.

August 25, 2009 at 4:26 am

fun­ny too that the Record Ware­house should have gone bel­ly up in the Share­mar­ket Crash, since it was the new (then, but there no longer) Stock Exchange that replaced them when the Durham Lane West build­ing was demolished.

August 25, 2009 at 5:08 am

Hi Simon, great piece of local his­to­ry. A cou­ple you’ve missed (per­haps on pur­pose). Jim’s Record Spot (Pan­mure), Revenge Records (Hunter’s Cor­ner) — used to get some good­ies here, and Check­er Records (Remuera). The guy who ran Base­ment records was Dave from Dead Flow­ers… Cheers, Jubt

August 25, 2009 at 10:24 pm

This is so nos­tal­gic it makes me want to puke with joy! Base­ment Records — in the cor­ner of the base­ment of The Cor­ner, where I’d go hunt­ing for the strangest things… and “256 Records And Cas­settes” — whose ear­ly 80s ad on bFM got me into the ad game in the first place. Ah, sigh…! THANKS SIMON!

August 26, 2009 at 3:57 am

AFIK uptown records is a dif­fer­ent enti­ty to low­pass records, although it occu­pies the same, now ren­o­vat­ed pre­me­sis in La Gon­da arcade.

You are also miss­ing Beat Mer­chants on Vic­to­ria street, which spe­cialis­es in hip hop, dubstep/grime and drum and bass.

and DMC on High Street

I can’t remem­ber what it was called but there was also a store in Beres­ford Square behind K Road for a while… its now a Kore­an Takeaways…

I’ve got all of Nick­’s remain­ing crim­i­nal records stock sit­ting in my lounge 😛

August 26, 2009 at 4:24 am

Thanks Mike, I’d made the deci­sion not to include cur­rent­ly open shops, hence Beat Mer­chants and DMC are missing

August 31, 2009 at 8:05 am

I remem­ber Manu at Rock n Roll Records. He was a real cool dude. Ker­ry Buchanan was and still is the ulti­mate vinyl guru.

St Lukes Tru Tone was cool but Sounds Manukau with Sir­vere, Kirk Hard­ing, Mike Mor­gan, Bri­an, Icepick, and many oth­er hang­er ons was where the par­ty was at. The mad­ness that went on there on Thurs­day late nights is prob­a­bly best left in the past!

August 31, 2009 at 8:35 am

The say­ing in the 1990s was that the sin­gles chart was decid­ed on Thurs­day evening at Sounds in Manukau.

August 31, 2009 at 9:58 pm

LOL at the chart in Sounds, Manukau. Used to fill that one in a bit…

Yeah this blog is amaz­ing Simon, so many mem­o­ries. I can vivid­ly remem­ber buy­ing the No Tag EP from there like it was yes­ter­day, the image is burned into my brain.

Good call by Hei­di about Manu too, he was a real­ly awe­some guy and between him and Ker­ry had an exten­sive knowl­edge. Unfor­tu­nate­ly he passed away some years ago.

September 2, 2009 at 3:28 am

Great list Simon — hope some­one has pho­tos and record bags to com­plete the nos­tal­gia. Vul­can Lane? Music City was Lorayne’s store and there was a verye arly upstairs one called Gor­dons record shop which had ear­ly import­ed jazz. Beg­gs and Wise­mans were also ear­ly chains in Q St.

September 2, 2009 at 9:17 am

Or was that Vul­can Lane one orig­i­nal­ly called the Loft? I have a feel­ing Gor­dons, a very ear­ly import shop of jazz was in Durham St.

September 2, 2009 at 9:29 am

see, now you are just con­fus­ing things Nige. Bloody vinyl junkies…

September 2, 2009 at 7:32 pm

haha­ha. Lorayne reminds me she ran The Maple Fur­nish­ing Co Record Bar first in K Rd, then John Courts & then Music City & Peach­es. Vul­can was called the Loft and was run by a lady called Shirley who is now Shirley Waugh. Beg­gs was run by the won­der­ful Kevin Hall who lat­er went to Sydney.

September 2, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Simon, thats the prob­lem — we are addicts and good record shop peo­ple are extreme­ly dan­ger­ous. I used to run away from pri­ma­ry school and hang out at record shops. As a 7 year old Lorayne sold me Flick the fire engine and then reached under the counter where the hard stuff was and gave me a Sarah Vaugh­an record and forced me to go off course and life has nev­er been the same.

September 23, 2009 at 8:26 am

Used to real­ly piss me off when they start­ed putting stick­ers that tore the cov­er of the album when you tried to remove them.
Dave Perkins had the right idea at Taste — he put them just on the inside of the cov­er where it did­n’t real­ly mat­ter. I still have some of those LP’s to this day almost 40 years on.

April 18, 2010 at 9:14 am

awe­some mem­o­ries, great read

what about Gem­i­ni Records in Otahuhu.…dude had Plan­et Rock & all that real old school stuff

swear Sam Hill bought his 1st copy of that from there

Rock­n­Roll records on fort st was my fav

April 18, 2010 at 11:13 am

I used to head out to gem­i­ni a bit in the 1980s..lots of Hip Hop that no-one else had. They’re out­side the scope of this though as I was ruth­less in lim­it­ing it to the Cen­tral city areas.

Oth­er­wise it would go on and on and on…

April 21, 2010 at 1:42 am

Hey, Simon, could you help me with a bit of archaeology? 

I need a release date (just the *month*, real­ly — late ’82 or ear­ly ’83, I think) for a Todd Rund­gren sin­gle, “Bang The Drum All Day / Chant”. I’ve looked every­where for the info. Thanks if you can help.

April 21, 2010 at 4:19 am

it’s on

which, look­ing at the Fes­ti­val num­ber for the release, was right at the end of 1982 (because the num­ber is short­ly before ‘s in the Fes­ti­val sequence and that was glob­al­ly released on the same day). But when the sin­gle was lift­ed off it, I dun­no. Best guess would be Dec ’82. Email Todd. I did about 6 years back and he replied.

April 21, 2010 at 4:28 am

ok, album was jan 83 (with, I guess a ?1982 copy­right date hence the con­fu­sion) so I reck­on the sin­gle was the same month

April 21, 2010 at 6:34 am

That’s great. Thanks for tak­ing the time. I appre­ci­ate it.

Rob Hosk­ing
May 5, 2010 at 7:01 pm

God this was a trip down mem­o­ry lane. The first 2nd Hand record place I went to was the Record Exchange’s two stores in St Kevins Arcade.

School teach­ers’ stop work meet­ing, ear­ly 1979, day off school. Only 15, so we were super­vised — Mum came up on the train from Papaku­ra with me and a cou­ple of mates.

Mum was con­vinced there were drugs in the place. I could­n’t have cared less about the drugs, one way or the oth­er. (still can’t, actually).

But I picked up the Kinks’ Vil­lage Green Preser­va­tion Soci­ety — the NZ release, which had few­er tracks than the ‘offi­cial’ one, and an old pho­to of the band on the front hold­ing horses.

Cost me $4. I gath­er its quite rare now.

August 1, 2010 at 11:34 am

What was the store down the stairs just past the cor­ner on Queen St? Sold all the con­cert photo’s.….many a day wagged off school spent there and the lit­tle cafe across the arcade.…

August 2, 2010 at 4:34 am
– In reply to: Sarah

was­n’t that just Cor­ner Records?

Andrew Boak
August 21, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Excel­lent arti­cle, brings back mem­o­ries of hang­ing out at The Record Ware­house when Bryan Staff walked in with a box of AK79 fresh off the press, I bought one then and there.…

I also remem­ber Sounds Unlim­it­ed being like an import vinyl push­er­man. It was like hang­ing out wait­ing for drugs when we found out a new ship­ment was arriving…

Thanks Simon

January 4, 2011 at 11:45 am

there was a 2nd hand place on near cnr of k rd and queen street too that was great to rum­mage in… i dont remem­ber what it was called

also there was a shop briefly on jer­vois rd — from mem­o­ry it might have been the front room of a house actually

Nick Collings
January 4, 2011 at 11:48 am

I only dis­cov­ered this now. Absolute­ly fan­tas­tic slice of his­to­ry on record stores. I can hon­est­ly say I have meet some of the best and most pas­sion­ate music freaks EVER. Some­thing I have nev­er been able to do out­side of the cul­ture of a shop.

Does any­one have any pic­tures lurk­ing of these old stores?

Here are my col­lec­tions from Criminal:

Hope some­one finds those of interest.

January 4, 2011 at 11:52 am
– In reply to: Nick Collings

Yeah, I’d strong­ly rec­om­mend Nick­’s links to any­one who ever got a buzz from just touch­ing or look­ing at a 12″ piece of vinyl or the sleeve it was in.

Andrew Miller
January 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Around 5 years back Guy Mor­ris ran a sec­ond hand store in White Swan Road, it was a gen­er­al 2nd hand place but with records…of course.Orig Real Groovy in the West Lynn shops, a great browse with a good fish n chip store next door. Fri­day nights after school in the ear­ly 70s used to bus in from One­hun­ga and do a cir­cuit of all the stores see­ing who had what. Rhys Walk­er used to be in Direc­tion’s Swan­son St store…Marbecks were in Swan­son St for a time when Queen’s Arcade was being spruced up. Revival on Vic­to­ria were a fav, actu­al­ly most of them were.Lamphouse were actu­al­ly Welli-owned. Agree that Record Ware­house had Akl’s best sin­gles section…Chelsea Records Man­ners Mall had the best in the ear­ly 80s in the coun­try. Always remem­ber a sign in the Record Ware­house­’s Lorne St store…it had a rather nasty leak­ing roof at some at stage “Don’t blame us, it’s a Chase building”.
Could go on, but will stop…

garth cartwright
January 4, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Great post, Simon. I recall first encoun­ter­ing you when you were run­ning Taste. Brought pret­ty much all my Kiwi punk/­post-punk sin­gles from Record Ware­house — the love­ly Ker­ry was always a delight to speak with. Auck­land seemed to have a lot of good record shops in the late 70s with a few sec­ond hand ones in the west­ern sub­urbs. When Real Groovy first opened it was around the dawn of the CD and peo­ple were dump­ing their vinyl col­lec­tions — I picked up mono press­ings of Blonde On Blonde and all kinds of oth­er fine stuff there. The 2nd hand shop on Vic­to­ria St — run by Col­in — used to have good bar­gains in: Sly’s Riot for $3 etc. And there was a lit­tle 2nd hand record stall on K Rd close to the bus sta­tion where I picked up 96 Tears 45 on Cameo. Before the age of the CD reis­sue crate dig­ging was the only way to find those gems!

Tweets that men­tion There’s a stack of shel­lac and vinyl / Which is yours now and which is mine? / 45 :The Opin­ion­at­ed Din­er —
January 5, 2011 at 11:54 am

[…] This post was men­tioned on Twit­ter by Simon Grigg. Simon Grigg said: In mem­o­ry of Guy Mor­ris I’m gonna post this again (scroll down to Direc­tion and Record W/house for Guy) […]

Paul from The Nos­tal­gia Blackhole
April 30, 2011 at 4:14 am

Hey great and fit­ting article.

I’ve com­plet­ed the same exer­cise on the demise of the tra­di­tion­al record shop in Christchurch.

It’s avail­able to read and com­pare notes at:



PS; There’s also some Christchurch gig posters from the 70’s and 80’s to perv at as well.

May 1, 2011 at 10:53 am
– In reply to: Paul from The Nostalgia Blackhole

That’s bril­liant stuff, Paul. I’ve just post­ed it on Face­book and tweet­ed it too

June 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Had a great read , most(that I remem­ber) bring back great mem­o­ries, espe­cial­ly the friend­ly ser­vice from the girls at Rock n Roll records.I remem­ber a dingy 2nd hand shop in Domin­ion Rd sold main­ly ear­ly 70s Eng­lish stuff Uri­ah Heep ‚Suzie Q etc, and I think there was a 2nd shop that worked from the old Cook St Mar­kets ? Nice mem­o­ries trawl­ing through count­less Lps , 45’s etc , by the way I have many old orig­i­nal copies of “Rip it up” which you can have , let me know as the his­to­ry would be a great read.
Thanks for the mem­o­ries Simon

Nigel Rus­sell
August 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Nice post Simon…I was read­ing this today and remind­ed of a store at the back of an arcade almost oppo­site Vul­can Lane long flat­tened by the Faye Rich­white build­ing (may have even linked thru to Milnes) which had a pile of Rock Scene mags. May­fair records ?

August 21, 2011 at 6:09 pm
– In reply to: Nigel Russell

Very vague mem­o­ries of that one. There were so many nooks and cran­nies that sold records in AK in the 70s and 80s.

October 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I’m over here in USA and recent­ly picked up a Record Ware­house bag at an estate auc­tion. He was in the Navy must have picked it up then. Cool it made it here to Michi­gan. 30 years later.

April 12, 2012 at 6:23 am

there was also ‘nee­dle on the record’ up on symonds street for a while there a few years back. loved it when went through a tech house stage, but lets not go there.. cool arti­cle cheers

April 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Oh yesss…i was the young trainee man­ag­er in McKen­zies Krd in 1976
We put in the new record store..i still remem­ber these 2 young island dudes
ask­ing me to put KC n the sun­shine band on.….. i was 17 n far to skin­ny to say no… but sound­ed good all the same 😀

Tony Chan­dler
July 17, 2012 at 5:21 am

Excel­lent Simon. I well remem­ber a lot of those stores from my teenage years in the 80’s
We used to hang out at Rock­n­Roll Records, The Record Ware­house and Sounds Unlim­it­ed a lot.
I will nev­er for­get find­ing a mint copy of Kick Out the Jams and pay­ing, what I thought, was a heap for it, only to dis­cov­er our drum­mer had sold it to them that very morning!
Still got that record.
Thanks for the trip — awesome

George D
March 18, 2013 at 7:38 am

I was lis­ten­ing to some old and obscure reg­gae in the Asian sun yes­ter­day, and con­tem­plat­ing a small island’s pro­lif­ic record indus­try. And at that point I realised you’ve missed a few impor­tant stores; the Pacif­ic music stores in the Man­gere Town Cen­tre, Otara Town Cen­tre, and on Great South Road in Otahuhu. Add to this the reg­u­lar ven­dors who pop­u­late the mar­kets at those cen­tres — they’re there every week adding a sound­track. There are prob­a­bly a cou­ple in Manure­wa and Papaku­ra, but I don’t spend enough time in the deep south to tell you if that’s true.

Not what the rest of us usu­al­ly think of ‘music’, but it cer­tain­ly is. There’s a pro­lif­ic cot­tage indus­try pro­duc­ing these records, and a fair num­ber of them get import­ed from Samoa and Ton­ga. Back in the 1980s South Auck­land had inde­pen­dent record stores sell­ing to main­stream tastes, but these had most­ly died by the mid 1990s.

Cyber­cul­ture was still open in 2002, I remem­ber shop­ping there in my first year of uni­ver­si­ty. I think it closed a year or two lat­er (some time in the ear­ly 2000s, in oth­er words).

March 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm

You could always write it up George and we’ll tag it on an update 🙂

Jason Kemp
April 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Bet­ter late than nev­er. I just stum­bled on this today after writ­ing about some music store mem­o­ries over at and added this as a link. What a small world it is.

April 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Ha, yes. Thanks for the link Jason.

Kim Sin­clair
May 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Show­ing my extreme age — I reck­on the upstairs in Vul­can Lane rekid shop was called ‘The Lis­ten­ers Inn’.

Richard Stock­well
December 16, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Hap­pened to type in for a search on google for the pos­si­bil­i­ty of find­ing any old pho­tographs of Taste Records in Lorne Street back in the ear­ly 70’s. Did­n’t find any­thing but did find this here site. I used to work at the Pye/RCA Record Club before being “pro­mot­ed” to Music City in Vul­can Lane. Can’t remem­ber now how long I worked there, but I next was offered my “dream job”, work­ing at Taste Records. I already knew Rhys Walk­er from my time work­ing at Pye/RCA so I guess he passed on my name to Dave Perkins and I was asked if I would like to work in the shop in Lorne Street.
I can not recall now how long my time there was but it was some­where between one & two years. In 1971 I left to work in a “import” music store in Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia where Rhys Walk­er was work­ing but look­ing at return­ing to New Zealand.
While liv­ing in Mel­bourne for two years I man­aged an Inde­pen­dent music shop called “Moth­ers Records” which was sit­u­at­ed in the Cathe­dral Arcade up from Flinders Street station.
On my return to New Zealand I worked again at Taste Records in the branch at High Street but after 6 months to 1 year I felt “burned out” from too much music (it was more like­ly the drugs) and left to pur­sue oth­er roads.

James Rad­ford
January 16, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Inter­est­ing, just found this while explain­ing where Taste used to be to my wife.
Remem­ber Rhys well, a great guy.
Also remem­ber when Real Groovy first opened on Queen St, and the first ever copy of Rip It Up magazine.
No men­tion here of the sec­ond hand record store that used to be in the old Cook Street Mar­ket (unless I missed it). Not very big but a good place to find the unusu­al. Run by Max Cur­ry, who bought it off, I think, Ter­ry Clark, of Mr. Asia infamy. I still see Max, he’s a great mate!

Antho­ny B
April 22, 2017 at 5:34 pm

Fan­tas­tic post. Bought my first ever LP at a Sounds Unlim­it­ed on Grt Sth Rd in Manure­wa in about 1980. Seem to recall a store in down­town Auck­land called the Music Stu­dio — can still recall the catchy radio jin­gle for it. Any­one remem­ber that one?

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