Long time readers will know by now that one of rock nyc’s favorite haunts is “Amoeba”, the famous So Cal record store. A little strange for a New York based website but our L.A. contributing writer Alyson Camus is based out there and is often at the famous last man standing store.
60 year old Marc Weinstein, who owns Amoeba along with Dave Prinz, Karen Pearson, and Jim Henderson, was interview about the three store chain (Berkeley and San Francisco locations as well) by On The Ground Running, a website for business start ups, about the 24 year old store.
Weinstein graduated from Goddard College (in Burlington, Vermont!) and, as you often se in successful guys, seemed to drift into recordings pretty rapidly. First as a buyer at Round-Up Records/Rasputin Records, than as a manager-buyer for Streetlight Records before starting Amoeba. So, the kind of experience only experience can buy. In the On The Ground Running interview Marc suggests just how difficult it is to run a record store in 2014, with the San Francisco store suffering a dip in sales but Amoeba’s achievement is still startling.
Over the past 20 years the record store business has died a brutal death. I remember a buddy of mine owning a store called Record World near where I live. His only employee was a Vietnam vet junkie and between the two of them there was always somebody around. Every Friday I’d pick up the new releases I wanted, two, three, four a week, maybe at least a $100 but we would sit around discussing music and politics for hours on end. I love Spotify, and I prefer Spotify, but I miss it.
We have handpicked some fave quotes though you can read it all here.
“I’m creative; I love being around people; I’m a drummer; and I have a degree in fine arts”
“Connecting to the ownership helps and makes the whole thing gel a lot more than you’d typically find in a business our size. The ownership is always around. It’s one reason we haven’t opened up out of state.”
“Record shoppers are very acutely aware of whether a store cares or not. Our L.A. store alone has a staff of 250, and they’re all musicians, writers, and interesting people. It always feels like a place to be.”
““What we’ve tried to do is imagine the ideal store in our customers’ eyes, and that’s what we shoot for,”
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