Friday, April 17, 2015

The End of Record Store Day

Well, nothing good can last, I suppose. I remember the first Record Store Day. It was basically a party, and a nice, mellow one. I drove to at least a half dozen stores in Los Angeles, and got a whole lot of great stuff, and met some very cool people. I had a lot of great conversations about music that day. One record store was even giving away beer. Sure, it wasn't the best beer (it was Heineken), but it was free. And the whole day was fun. No one was camping out for it. No one was arguing. No one was pushing. No one was in a hurry. And no one talked about selling the records; they only talked about listening to them. It was for music enthusiasts, not for online dealers.

That has all changed.

There are three records that I really want to get tomorrow:
  • Miss Tess And The Talkbacks: "One Match Fire"/"Nobody Loves Me" 7"
  • Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band: "You Can't Just A Book By Looking At The Cover" 7"
  • The Buzzcocks: "The Way" 7"
So I called my favorite local store, and was sad to learn it didn't get a lot of what it had ordered. I started calling some other stores, and got the same story.  "Where did these records go?" I asked.

"Many of them are already on Ebay," was the answer.

No, that can't be. These records aren't even out yet. How could they be sold on Ebay? But I checked on the Buzzcocks record, and sure enough, there are a lot of copies for sale already. Only 1,200 were made, and only 300 of the white vinyl version, and some of those are being sold online. What gives? Are some record store owners ordering more than they plan to sell at their stores, and instead sell them online for a much higher price? Who is doing this, and how is it being allowed?

This is no longer fun. I think it's time to call an end to Record Store Day. It's no longer about saving small businesses; it's no longer about reigniting an interest in vinyl and in music. Now it's about making a lot of money. Once again, it's the rich that are able to get these items, not the fans. So I call an end to this before it gets even worse. It was a great idea, but it's gone all to hell. Rest in peace, Record Store Day.

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