It was announced in early January that Bleecker Bob’s Golden Oldies, the record store on West Third Street that was a staple of Seinfeld and a personal favorite of Bob Dylan’s, would be closing after 43 years of business as a result of the neighborhood’s high rental demands. With the famous Fat Beats down on Bleecker out of business for more than a year now, Bob’s joins the graveyard of record stores unable to keep up with the cyber-age of the mp3.
“The realtor wants $20,000 for this place. If you can get it, great,” said assistant manager Ski, a burly man with a backwards hat. “But do you want some mom and pop or a Sbarro’s down here?” Plans are in the work to move to an East Village location but, as of now, the ‘For Rent’ sign above the Bob’s awning speaks for itself. However, their closing is running oddly parallel to the music industry’s turnaround, epitomized in today’s Record Store Day celebration that is attracting long lines all over the City, after a recession rough patch.
In a recovering market, vinyls have oddly found their nostalgic niche: their raw tangibility is not in cyberspace and big-named bands like Mumford & Sons continue to release LPs because people like Rachel and Spencer are still buying them. CDs, on the other hand, are being buried as a middleman between the past and the future of how we listen to music.
But it might be too early to tell if this revival is permanent, as Ski warns: “They say that girls are wearing their mothers’ bell-bottoms from forty years ago. Everything just goes around.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 21, 2012