The Record Store Book looks at some of the city of Angels’ finest digging spots.
Purporting to be, ‘the first ever fine art photography and interview book about independent record stores,’The Record Store Book‘ is a joint venture from photographer Mike Spitz and journalist Rebecca Villaneda. Featuring images of over forty record stores from the greater Los Angeles area, and interviews with store owners, the book aims to, ‘capture the culture and vibe of the record shop and how it cultivates a gathering place for human interaction, exploration and discovery’. Appropriately released 18th April for Record Store Day, you can read on to find out more about L.A’s record store culture from Villaneda, where you can also check out some of Spitz’s photos.
“During the late 1970s and early 1980s, when vinyl was prime, and before CDs gained momentum, a few L.A. stores – VIP and Penny Lane, in particular – became mini franchises with up to 10 stores scattered around the county. But then CDs became king and then the economy took multiple dumps which made owners downsize and dedicate their time to one shop.
In the early ’90s, VIP in Long Beach became world famous thanks to Snoop Dogg, who featured the store’s VIP signage in his video “Who Am I? (What’s My Name).” VIP owner Cletus Andersen is also known for having a recording studio in one of the store’s back rooms, which ultimately became a place that neighbourhood kids could go.
What makes vinyl record stores in California unique is the hodgepodge of customers created by its unique geographic location: sleepy beach cities and inner city hip-hop vigour meld to form a diverse and lively record store culture.”
Dr. Strange Records, Rancho Cucamonga
Record Surplus, L.A.
VIP Records, Long Beach
Vacation Records, L.A.
Record Parlour, L.A.
‘The Record Store Book’ will be released 18th April. You can buy a copy online – or at Rough Trade East London, Rough Trade NYC, or Urban Outfitters throughout Europe and America. Find out more about the book via its official Facebook page.