Every Nerd You Meet on Record Store Day
From the guy who complains about the day's commercialization to the guy who dutifully buys whatever Bob Dylan exclusive crap they've got, here are all the characters you can expect to encounter.
Illustrations by Jacqueline Lin and Luca Depardon
Each April, record collectors across the country flock to their local record store for the annual vinyl celebration that is Record Store Day. The day offers a chance to pick up exclusive releases, hunt for hidden finds, and avoid eye contact at all costs. Record Store Day tends to bring out the same types of people every year, so whether this is your first time RSD shopping or you are a seasoned veteran, here are all the characters you can expect to encounter.
The Older Guy Who Thinks His Record Collection Is Worth Money but Isn’t
This retiree read an article in the New York Times about how vinyl is making a comeback so he brought a box full of his old Led Zeppelin, Springsteen, and Pink Floyd LPs from the 70s to sell, conveniently, on the busiest day of the year for record store employees. None of these records are worth anything, of course, because they were all mass-produced and have been sitting in the corner of his moldy basement for four decades and for some reason he wrote his name on the cover of a bunch of them.
The Guy Who Wears White Surgical Gloves and Is Super Anal About the Condition of Records
This guy busts out an entire inspection kit and spends ten minutes examining the quality of each LP, carefully looking for scratches, nicks, and smudges that might lower the value of a Japanese import that he’ll never, ever resell.
The Aggrieved Afternooner
This guy strolls his ass into the store well after 1 PM and is downright perplexed as to why all the exclusives are gone. “It said online that you’d have copies,” he tells an employee who woke up at 5 AM for this nightmare shift. “Well, how many copies did you have?” “Are you getting more?” “Do you have a bathroom?”
The 15-Year-Old Who Only Came for the Exclusive My Chemical Romance Picture Disc
Always good to see some fresh faces at Record Store Day! Or at least shoppers who aren’t 50-year-old men with halitosis. But these young customers aren’t interested in getting into vinyl-collecting early in life. No, they came for one thing and one thing only: the exclusive My Chemical Romance picture disc and nothing else. They’ve been waiting since 5 AM so give it to them and get out of their way. They’d like two copies—one hang on their wall and one to put with the rest of their MCR collection. Neither will be played as they do not own a turntable.
The Guy Who’s Just in It for the Grams
This guy probably won’t end up buying anything. He’ll just take a bunch of photos of some of his more rare finds, post them on Instagram, then go home and listen to Spotify. #vinylporn #vinyloftheday #instavinyl #vinyljunkie #cratedigging #recordstoreday #rsd2018
The Minor Celebrity
Wait, that guy looking through the world music 45s... is that the actor from that Ben Stiller movie with Cameron Diaz? Uhh... Me, Myself, and Irene? No, that’s not it. What’s that movie called? Oh! Something About Mary. Yeah. Is that him? What’s his name, Matt Damon? No, not Matt Damon. Matt Dillon, that’s it. Is that Matt Dillon? Why would Matt Dillon be at a record store? ...Huh, yeah, says here on Google that he’s got a huge collection of Latin music. Well, that’s pretty cool. Seems like a nice guy. I’m gonna go talk to him. Yeah, I’m gonna go up to Matt Dillon and tell him I liked him in Me, Myself, and Irene and then casually ask him if he’s found anything good and we’ll hit it off. I wouldn’t be surprised if we became friends and started hanging out and going to record stores together. Maybe he’ll even bring Cameron Diaz once in a while. I wonder if he still keeps in touch with her and if she’s single.
The Guy Who Goes to Record Store Day to Complain About Record Store Day
This is the "actually, EVERY day is Record Store Day to me" guy. The "it sounds warmer on vinyl” guy. The "I remember when this day was about benefiting independent stores and not about hoarding limited releases for eBay” guy. (OK, fine, he has a point there but his tone is still way off.) The "doesn't realize High Fidelity was not meant to be a guidebook for life" guy.
The Freebie Devourer
This guy wants all the label promo items he’s got coming to him. Stickers, keychains, koozies, posters. He’ll take all the swag you’ve got and will tell you all about how the free stuff was better last year.
The Guy Who Didn’t Realize It Was Record Store Day
This poor bastard showed up to his local record store just trying to get that album that got Best New Music and wait… why are there so many people here? What’s going on? Ah fuck, what’s today’s date? It’s Record Store Day today, isn’t it?
The Basic-Ass Record Collector
This guy has recently jumped on the vinyl trend along with Lomography cameras, podcasting, and vape culture. He shows up on Record Store Day and realizes he’s in way over his head since most of his collection is from the Off the Record section at Urban Outfitters and includes The Killers’ Hot Fuss and the Baby Driver soundtrack.
The Guy Who Doesn’t Understand the Flow of Record Browsing
There are some unspoken rules to record shopping etiquette and this guy understands fuckin’ zero of ‘em. He moves against the current of crate browsers, leaves his stack of potential purchases on top of two crates so no one can get near them, and pulls every. single. record. up to examine it INSTEAD OF JUST FLIPPING THROUGH LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN.
The Guy Who Says “Vinyls”
“Supposably,” “irregardless,” “vinyls.” Stop.
The Guy Who Dutifully Shows Up Every Year to Buy Whatever Bob Dylan Reissue Is Available and Is Just, Like, Really Tired
This guy started collected Dylan records when he was a younger man and now feels an odd sense of responsibility to keep doing so. He comes every year to pick up whatever Basement Tapes throw-away material they’re offering and seems more defeated by the whole experience than anything. You can find him standing on line waiting to pay for this year’s exclusive “Must Be Santa” seven-inch and wishing he’d spent more time with his kids.
This guy is famous musician Jack White. He takes vinyl very seriously. He opened a vinyl pressing plant in Detroit because that’s how seriously he takes vinyl. He has pictures of his vinyl plant on his phone and shows them to people the way parents show off photos of their kids. He’s so tired of the disposability with which people treat music and their addiction to their gadgets. (He calls them “gadgets.”) He just hopes that the more vinyl people vinyl, the vinyl it will vinyl in the future of vinyl vinyl.
The Guy Who Shows Up for the Exclusive Disturbed LP
Honestly, man, who are you?
The Guy Who Is the Reason More Women Don’t Come to Record Store Day
Hey are you here with your boyfriend I like your Joy Division t-shirt do you like them that’s so cool most women don’t like Joy Division do you have that Record Store Day exclusive 12-inch they put out oh I guess not that was back in 2014 though and you probably just got into them so anyway are you here with anyone oh damn The National’s Boxer yeah that's a good one are you getting it for your boyfriend you know that's a pretty basic entry into their collection if you really wanted to impress him you should probably start with Alligator which is underrated in my opinion.
Dan Ozzi will see you in the crates. Follow him on Twitter.