The Phoenix of Record Stores

sound station fire

After the fire, I stopped by and promised the owners, Bob and Liz and their friends, that I would write a post about the burning of our town’s only record store. That was two months ago and this is the first time that I have sat down to put their story in writing. Why did I wait so long? I am still waiting to see how the story ends.

The day of the fire, my teenage daughter called me in tears to tell me that the Sound Station was burning up. She was going to stay until the fire was put out. She was there all afternoon. The fire that burnt the record store was one of the largest that our town had seen in a while. My husband, son and I stopped by to join her and her friends to watch the firemen put out the fire that took at least two buildings and several business. The owners of the record store did not have insurance.

Sound Station Vigil
Sound Station

Sound Station was a meeting place for many teens and young adults. My daughter went to see bands and even did her homework in the store. Within days, a website was put up to raise money so that the owner Bob and Liz could re-establish themselves in town. The site was able to raise $10,000 within the first two days. When I went to see the damage the next day, I saw Bob and Liz there to collect some items before the building was gated off. One of the men told me that they were going to compile a CD from the bands that played at the record store to raise money for the fund. I suggested that my daughter do the artwork for the cover.sounstation

Sound Stadium Flyer

Ironically two years ago, my family had banned me from coming to the store ever since I had commented to Bob that his store looked less “cluttered” since he had added new lighting. I really upset him. He prided himself on having a neat and organized store to the point where (I was told) he might got upset when the used CDs table got out-of-order. I clearly had put my foot in my mouth that day. I think what I really meant was that the new lighting made the store look just a little more like the other well-lit “mall stores” that we have in our down town like the Gap, Coach and Williams Sonoma. I’m sorry I didn’t see the beauty then in the record store. It was a labor of love and got its life from the owners and the community and we need to have it back.

Last weekend, my daughter came home with the booty she had won from the raffle at the Sound Station fundraiser at the Knights of Columbus. She won items that had been retrieved from the burned store. They had several local fundraisers and my daughter’s rugby club even emailed us that a local microbrewer had put out a Sound Station special brew. The Fundraising CD is about to come out. My daughter has done the artwork -which was inspired from a 70s styled mural that was on the back wall of the store. She even arranged to help with High School distribution for the sale of the CD. The money raised will be given to Bob and Liz on April 21st   National Record Day. I will let you know how it turns out.

Previously posted on Open Salon March 27, 2012 as Snarkychaser

Post date 2020. The record store never reopened and all of the people who raised money to support the owners felt horrible and used.