There is some great news and some sad news regarding Vintage Vinyl. The great news is that after 42 years of being an undeniably vital part of the Jersey music and culture scene as well as one of the greatest record stores in the world, Rob and Donna are retiring to enjoy the rewards of their hard work. They’ll travel abroad, they’ll spend time with their family and just live enjoy life to the fullest. My happiness for them has no bounds, they are special people who have been a part of my life since the store was first located in Irvington and my father would take me there as a kid.
The sad news is that the store will not be open after July 31st. It’s closing forever as it should, as it wouldn’t be the same without them. The closing is not a casualty of the times or the remnants of Covid, or a lease renewal, or a downturn in business. It’s none of that, the store is doing as great as ever, and last weekend’s RSD drop was huge.
I have so many memories of the literal thousands of times I’ve been there, whether those early days in Irvington with my dad, picking up Springsteen UK and Japanese imports, and then of course to all of the size incarnations in Fords and even a few visits to the second location in Ocean during its brief lifespan.
And of course the in stores which all were epic, ranging from Ozzy to Jack Antonoff to Gaslight Anthem to Queens of the Stone Age and so on and so on.
And of course the great conversations with Rob about records and artists and the always well prepared and ready staff he and Donna always had there to help.
Years back I had written an article for the Aquarian about record stores for record store day and it included this paragraph:
“The beauty of record stores is that they are all different; different selection, different staff, different music playing in the store, with each experience being unique and diverse. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard something at a record store and bought it because of that, or been able to find a gem in a used bin that had been just placed.”
When record store day was in its infancy as was my show Anything Anything, I had this crazy idea of pressing a record of some local artists for Record Store Day and then renting a school bus and loading it up with the bands on the album and visit a many stores as we could and popping in and doing live performances. It was a crazy day, we visited around a dozen stores in NYC, Brooklyn and of course Jersey.
There will be a void, a store of Vintage Vinyl’s magnitude will not be replaced, but we as an arts community, a record buying community, supporters of independents, can’t go into a funk, we can’t get lazy and just turn to amazon or discogs or ebay to satisfy our needs. We need to support those stores that will still be here to serve us in Jersey.
So as we wind down the last few weeks of Vintage Vinyl and absorb the memories and aura while in there to pick up some final records etc and say hello and goodbye to Rob and Donna ,their wonderful staff and store we need to look ahead as well, so if you haven’t been or hadn’t been in awhile or always wanted to check out, please add Jack’s in Red Bank, Scotti’s in Summit, Revilla in Milltown, Groovy Graveyard in Asbury, Rock Shop in Mays Landing, Randy Now in Bordentown, Iris in Jersey City, Tunes in Hoboken, Music Merchant in Westwood, Princeton Record Exchange, Sound Exchange in Wayne, Spin Me Round across the Jersey state line in Easton PA as well as any I may have left out to your record buying pilgrimages. It’s good for the soul (and the rock, and the punk and the jazz, and the country, and the hip hop and the pop and the classical and whatever else you drop the needle on)
Thanks for everything Rob and Donna!