In rotation: 3/13/18

30 years for this ever-popular Newcastle city centre music store: Newcastle city centre music store that started up in 1988 is celebrating 30 years in the business. It’s Newcastle’s foremost independent music shop and this year it celebrates its 30th anniversary. The store is RPM Music – the long-time popular outlet that sits in Old George Yard in the city centre. Owner, Marek Norvid, remembers the chance meeting in 1988 between himself and Newcastle University Students’ Union that led to the opening of the first RPM Music shop in the Union Building. He says: “They had decided running a record and tape lending library had become too onerous and expensive. They were converting one of floors in the building to shops and wondered whether I would be interested in selling off the collection.”

I had the coolest job on the planet … at Tower Records: I was just 16 when I walked into Tower Records in San Diego in 1986 and showed them I could count. I was a musician in those days, training on clarinet and sax to possibly go professional (newspapers later intervened.) I was making all the mixtapes that tortured teenagers made in the 1980s before CDs and the Internet, and Tower Records was the coolest place to work on the planet. Who cared if their pay was dismal? I had no resume besides babysitting the neighborhood kids, but Tower’s manager invited anyone who wanted a job to come into the store on inventory days and count. Apparently, I did well.

A fitting tribute for Tower Records’ Russ Solomon? This artist has the perfect idea: It was back in September that Russ Solomon made his way over to 18th and L streets to claim his spot on Sacramento’s Walk of Stars. He got a personal plaque of glittery black, purple and gold, and unveiled a matching one already set in the sidewalk. It was a nice gesture, for sure. But given that this isn’t Hollywood, it has always seemed an ill-fitting honor. A knockoff of the real-deal Walk of Fame that wasn’t quite authentic enough for the defiantly original Sacramentan, who, before his death on Sunday night, turned a tiny business selling jukebox records into the celebrity-backed behemoth that was Tower Records. No, what Solomon deserves is something big, something personal, something distinctly Sacramento. He deserves a mural – and, apparently, he’s about to get one.

As Tower Records grew, so did employees’ love for founder Russ Solomon: After 92 years of working overtime, Tower Records founder Russ Solomon’s heart finally gave out March 4. Solomon and his stores inspired the kind of employee loyalty that retailers fantasize about. People who worked for him as teenagers made their careers at Tower Records, and many who moved on looked back at the store as a highlight of their youth. Former employees recalled Solomon as a “philosopher” with an immense capacity for forgiveness who they “loved for 100 years.” His visionary streak built a billion-dollar company out of a Sacramento drugstore before it ultimately ran out as the world entered the digital age.

Irvington’s Bookmamas and record store to close: Kathleen Angelone says health issues are the reason she’s closing Bookmamas independent bookstore after more than 10 years of business in Irvington. Bookmamas and Irvington Vinyl — the record shop that opened inside the bookstore at 9 Johnson Ave. in 2014 — will launch liquidation sales at 11 a.m. Friday. Angelone said Bookmamas has been a successful venture, and Irvington Vinyl owner Rick Wilkerson described his business as “great, stable and predictable.” “I am not quitting because of the business,” Angelone said of her shop south of Washington Street. “I am quitting because it’s time for me to make a change.”

‘Mr. Records’ Keeps Kenya’s Last Vinyl Music Shop Alive: NAIROBI, Kenya — Tucked into a busy market in Kenya’s capital is arguably the country’s last record store. Real Vinyl Guru has been open for 28 years and now enjoys the growing interest of music lovers who want to look beyond sleek digital offerings and return to the pleasure of browsing for a classic African vinyl find. Former disc jockey James “Jimmy” Rugami is at his shop every morning as early as 6, sorting through his latest discoveries. While many record shops closed in music’s shift to digital and with the rise of piracy, he patiently held on and collected the stock of closing stores. His love of vinyl has seen his collection grow into the thousands and earned him the nickname “Mr. Records.”

What vinyl will you grab on Record Store Day? As an update from our previous Record Store Day story – read it here – we are highlighting just some of the forthcoming special releases that you might be lucky enough to grab on Saturday 21st April. But before we go into the list of options, it is advisable to contact your friendly local record shops that are taking place beforehand and place an order for the items that you are after. This is really essential to you as basically it’s a free for all out there and people from everywhere will be chasing down that same limited edition release that you are after. So what happens? Well in a nutshell, go through this list and pick the ones that take your fancy, then contact your local Record Store Day participants

How vinyl is helping revive the high street: Tony Boothroyd was selling records on the internet two years – but now he’s back on the high street and is reaping the rewards. …Tony Boothroyd was selling records and cds on the internet two years before Google was even invented. He was a genuine pioneer of online selling, but now he’s back on the high street. He believes his Vinyl Tap store acts as a shop window to his online portal, and a series of special promotions helps generate recognition through social media. Vinyl Tap has brought in over 150 bands for free gigs, hosts record launches, and has teamed up with local breweries and eateries to put on other promotional events. “If you do have a shop you have to be open minded and try different things,” he says.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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