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.

Read the rest of this entry