TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 52: Rockaway Records

PHOTOS: MATTHEW BELTER | As a music lover, sometimes it’s hard for us to differentiate between being fans of music vs. being collectors. What part of our listening is really about enjoying the sounds of our favorite artist and what part of it is merely fulfilling a nostalgic desire?

Since 1979, brothers Wayne and Gary Johnson have owned Rockaway Records in Los Angeles, California. Over the last 40 plus years, a mind-boggling treasure trove of music and memorabilia have passed through their hands and their shop still stands strong today. Now, bear in mind, Wayne and Gary don’t just sell your regular, run-of-the-mill items: they deal in the high end, investment-grade vinyl and collectibles market.

Wayne Johnson was kind enough to sit down with me and talk about some of the more eye-popping items that he currently has available for sale; many of which will probably be sold by the time you listen to this chat. But, Wayne and I go deeper down the collecting rabbit hole and get into some of the more philosophical and existential elements of what defines a music fan, a collector, and an investor.

The Vinyl District page associated with this episode will also feature several photographs of the goodies at Rockaway Records taken by a member of our TVD Los Angeles team, Matthew Belter. It’s great to hear Wayne and I discuss what he’s got for sale but, as is usually the case, Matthew’s pictures are worth thousands of words.

Sure, we talk about the Beatles items that are currently worth a fortune, but we also discuss items that people perceive as having value that aren’t very valuable at all. We explore some big-ticket items that might surprise you, and also look at artists who aren’t quite as collectible as they used to be.

If you love music, if you love that tactical feeling of holding an artist’s work in your hands, if you get excited seeing items that aren’t just albums, but historical artifacts, then join me on a visit to Rockaway Records. Wayne is happy to have us browse, but if you plan on buying something, don’t forget to bring your wallet! You’re gonna need it.

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector, and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Evan Toth Show and TVD Radar on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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