Jersey Beat Music Fanzine

by James Damion

As 2019's Record Store Day approached and the weeks turned to days, I did everything in my power to convince my loving, supportive, and determined wife that I did not want or need to partake in such shenanigans. Still, in the end, it felt as though she was not only interested, but determined to go through with a plan regardless of proper and scientific research. In the days that led up to the event, she sent me the RSD release list and even sat down to go over my picks.

Friday night came and after arriving home from dinner, we set our alarms for 6:00am. In the back of my head, I imagined either sleeping through the alarm's droning or my wife’s flat out inability to get up that early on a weekend morning. Surprisingly enough, neither occurred, and we were on the road in time to arrive just two minutes after the store's scheduled 7:00 am opening.

As we approached the store, drove past the awaiting crowd, we had noticed that the line to get in stretched around two corners. As we slowly drove past a crowd that included many unshowered, unkempt, baldy longhairs, many of whom never bothered to get out of the pajamas or sweatpants they wore the night before. As an admitted sufferer of agoraphobia due to my fear of crowds and one who lacks the needed patience to stand in line, I quickly remarked, "Fuck this, let's go get breakfast.” Without much debate, we turned the car around and headed back to our home base where we experienced a first, in that we were the first customers to enter our favorite breakfast spot. After copious plates of French toast, eggs and bacon, I was convinced to give it another try.

Upon returning to the scene of the crime, the store had opened and the line was now half the original size. As we inched closer to the corner and our opportunity to enter, we began to see customers emerge from the store with bags spilling over with records. My wife teased me about the store being empty of any stock, whatsoever, by the time we finally gained entry. Still feeling anxious about our choice to join the crowd, I couldn't help but imagine the line that awaited inside.

When we finally did make it inside, there was indeed a line wrapped around the first floor leading to the stairs that brings you to all of the gleaming, shiny records. As I tried to navigate my way to the end of the line, I not only lost my wife, but I felt myself being swallowed by the limited-pressing horde of vinyl junkies. However, after a few calls and texts, we found ourselves navigating our stairway to Nerdville. Once we got there, we quickly split up, quickly grabbing copies of things on our list. While I was quick to scoop up the last copy of the Devo Box Set, my wife did an exceptional job scooping up most of what remained on the list. From there, we headed downstairs to join the checkout line and sped off to nearby Georgetown, where we ended our record shopping day by indulging in Japanese styled hamburgers.

And while I promised to never get swept up in Record Store Day mania, I can pound my chest while proclaiming "I did that, but would never even think of doing it again." And while I promised myself to lay off buying anymore records for a while, I found myself in the same store just a couple of days later.

To quote a longtime friend and music aficionado, “Going to a record store on RSD is a little like going out drinking on St. Patrick’s Day.”

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