TVD Recommends:
The First Annual Asbury Park Record Show at the Stone Pony, 11/8

Hold Fast Records on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park has long been home to a staggering selection of vinyl. Owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Joe Koukos and Meghan Scott, the store also offers a variety of vintage clothing, art and jewelry, as well as offering a venue for performances by local artists.

Meghan and Joe are also the driving force behind the semi-annual Asbury Park Punk Rock Flea Market which, like their store, is heavy on records but also offers an assortment of treasures you may not have even known exist. On November 8th, it will be all about the vinyl as Hold Fast will invade the legendary Stone Pony for the first Asbury Park Record Show.

I spoke with Meghan and Scott about the event, the store, the town, and its music scene of which they are such a big part.

How did Hold Fast Records get started? Was vinyl something you guys were passionate about or was it an evolution of the business?

Before we opened up Hold Fast we both worked in the local bars and venues and basically were starting to get burned out on the long, late hours. Opening our own business became our crazy dream. We started out with just the idea of opening a store selling things we were into. In the beginning vinyl was just a part of it.

We sold clothing by independent designers, vintage, art and memorabilia—basically anything we liked. The vinyl section grew and took over becoming the main focus of the store. Joe got completely hooked on chasing down collections and got the “fever” for finding rare records. We still sell a small amount of clothing, art, and memorabilia, and have added used CDs and gear to our offerings, but records are definitely the heart and focal point of the shop.

One of the constants in Asbury Park has been the music and art scene. Having hosted a number of performances at Hold Fast, have there been noticeable changes in that scene as the town has changed over the years?

Definitely. For a long time there were only certain types of people who would hang out and go see shows in Asbury Park. Those people who have been hanging out here for many years are still here and active in the art and music scene, but now there is also a larger more diverse crowd in town. One of the benefits of there being more people willing to come to Asbury is now the city is becoming a viable tour stop for larger bands that used to pass us by.

Is there a “great white whale” record that people come in looking for? Do either of you have a record you’ve had difficulty finding?

We have lists of things people are looking for. We just sold a copy of the Judge “Chung King” record which is a “white whale” for the entire hardcore community. We have also had the luck of finding a pretty crazy amount of copies of The Minority Band record, which is a holy grail for funk/break collectors.

I personally collect reggae and specifically I am always chasing Dub Plates. We take trips to Kingston, JA on a regular basis in search of all things reggae. We have had the luck of bringing back a ton of rare vinyl. The “White Whale” seems to change every time I am on Orange St. in Kingston. A Rasta will say “have you heard of this” and then I find myself going crazy looking for it.

What can people expect from the First Annual Asbury Park Record Show? How important was it to hold it at the Stone Pony?

You can expect about 30 solid vendors from all over the tri-state area. We invited only dealers that we know are going to bring great selection and high quality. We wanted to hold it at the Stone Pony because it’s one of the venues we used to work at so it feels like home, but also because it’s one of the oldest active venues in Asbury Park, so it has a ton of music history. It is a great atmosphere to be digging for records.

What do you see as the future of the event?

We are looking to grow it and we are planning on doing a few Asbury Park Record Shows a year. We also put together The Asbury Park Punk Rock Flea Market, which is heavy on vinyl, but does have all types of vendors, which is nice for vinyl collectors because they can bring family/ significant others who might not be as into records and everyone can have a good time shopping.

We have been doing 3 of those a year, so the plan is to stagger the record shows and the punk rock flea markets. Our next Asbury Park Punk Rock Flea Market is December 27th. The next Asbury Park Record Show will be in late winter/early spring. Exact date TBA—but we will definitely let The Vinyl District know as soon as our date is set.

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