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.

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