In 2010, my older son, Graham, said he had requested a local record store to reserve a record being released on this new day called Record Store Day. Record Store Day is the third Saturday of every April and was created to celebrate vinyl records and independent record stores, initially in the U.S.A., and now, throughout the world. It was the music world’s response to Free Comic Book Day held by those Comic Book stores popularized on the T.V. show The Big Bang Theory.
Now, the first year the “holiday” was celebrated was 2007, though it did not become a nationally-slash-internationally recognized event until the following year in 2008. Yet, I still had not heard of this thing called Record Store Day until Graham called me about it in 2010. Now, I am not sure if the record stores in Indianapolis had been celebrating this event before 2010, but that’s when Graham told me about it. And, the big thing was that he had been chosen by the store to be able to purchase the only copy of an unreleased Rolling Stones song from the Exile on Main Street sessions called “Plundered My Soul”. He told me that single was being held for him to go purchase, which meant that I would buy it since he was a poor college student. He then emailed a link to the other special record collector’s vinyl to be released that year. I noticed that R.E.M.’s first EP called Chronic Town was being released in a small number on blue vinyl. It turns out that both records were numbered to verify their authenticity about the “special-ness” of that release.
So, I brought my younger son, Seth, with me to pick up Graham to travel around Indy to a couple of record stores in search of the R.E.M. album, which would be difficult to find since we did not request it in the past month. First, we picked up the Stone’s record, but that store did not have R.E.M. any more. Then, it was on to the next store. Oh, cool! They had the debut album of The Band at the next store. We bought it even though it wasn’t a special release for that day. So, we jumped back in the car and resumed our quest. Believe it or not, we found the R.E.M. album at a store in downtown Indy. But, during that quest, the three of us had so much fun that we were all hooked on Record Store Day.
In the subsequent years, the three of us would frequent recordstoreday.com to find what was going to be released on that year’s RSD. Each year we plotted which records we were interested in buying since they were no longer taking requests for these records. We would leave early to get in line to wait for the 8 AM door opening and wait our turns to get in the store. By 2014, we were waiting an hour to get in. So, we started looking for stores that were flying under the radar, so to speak, in order to get in quickly and not stand for a long time. Remember, I have a bad back with constant back spasms, and Seth has permanent nerve damage in his right ankle that causes him to walk with a cane, so neither of us liked to stand in line. But, we have found those stores that would have short lines, until others found out about those stores. Then, it was on to another.
But, the best part was hanging out with my boys. We would try to find the lamest artists’ music at the store and try to sneak it in one of the others stack to be purchased. We had so much fun, and I will always treasure those days. After a little shopping, we would go grab some breakfast, then go visit some more shops, until after a couple of hours that Seth and I would be physically spent.
From 2010 to 2015, that was the Keller men’s big bonding day. There were no wives or girlfriends, just the three of us. Once, my nephew, the boys’ cousin, Michael, joined us. Michael seemed to enjoy it. Another time, the three of us talked my brother into joining us. Needless to say, he was not impressed. Oh well! Personally, I love the day more to be with the boys, as adults, than the records.
Tomorrow is Record Store Day 2016. But, I will be flying solo. My boys are growing up. Graham and his wife Kaitlyn have moved out of state. He is hoping to see how it goes in his new town. And even though Seth lives nearby, he has something else going on tomorrow, so he can’t go either. Although I am still excited by RSD, it will not be the same of three adult men flitting around Central Indiana checking out various independent record stores to see what special releases they have and what old vinyl they have. This was the moment in life that I was not looking forward to, but my boys are growing up and getting on with their lives.
At least I will ALWAYS have the memories of the three of us on Record Store Days 2010 through 2015, as well as the Black Friday celebrations we have done between the years of 2012 and 2015. I hope record stores will still be standing after I am long gone, so my boys can build similar memories that I have had with them over the years. Both of them had grown up going with me to record stores long before this faux-holiday ever started. Knowing my progeny, they will always be looking for music. I’m going to miss you two this year! I love you guys!