Posted April 13, 2014 by whopperjaw in CLE

Hoping You Score Big: Record Store Day at Blue Arrow Records

Record Store Day at Blue Arrow Records
Record Store Day at Blue Arrow Records

April 19th is Record Store Day. This will be the seventh one and it gets bigger every year. Many local stores are taking part this year. We talked with Pete Gulyas, the owner of Blue Arrow Records & Boutique (16001 Waterloo Rd, Cleveland, OH 44110) about what the store has planned.

How big is Record Store Day for an independent record store? Financially, it is the greatest day of the entire year. But more important than that is that SOCIALLY it has become such a rewarding day. As someone who grew up digging through record store bins and getting off on “scoring” records, I love to see people in the shop with records in their hands. I remember how I felt and I hope that our shoppers feel the same way when they score a record they’ve been wanting.

What special events do you have planned at Blue Arrow?
We will be unveiling a new seven-by-eight-foot mural by renowned Cleveland artist Jake Kelly. We will also feature four guest DJs spinning records throughout the entire day: Jake Kelly from 11am to 1pm; Lawrence Daniel Caswell (of Cleveland’s This Moment in Black History) from 1 to 3pm; and from 3 to 7pm Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan of the international known band Yo La Tengo. We will offer refreshments while they last for our customers to enjoy. We’ll also have other giveaways as long as supplies last. Perhaps the coolest thing about shopping on Waterloo Road on RSD is the happenings going on all over the street. As always Music Saves will have the mother lode of indie rock releases, This Way Out Vintage Shoppe will have some unique items available, and the Beachland Tavern will host a free event featuring three of Cleveland’s finest acts—Filmstrip, The Commonwealth and Insurance Salesmen. There are also going to be a couple of Earth Day events taking place that day in Collinwood. It is truly a festive and unique celebration along the entire street.

What special releases will you have in stock?
We ordered around 150 special releases, but we don’t know what the distributors are allocating to us. Once we know what we are getting, we will post the list on our website and Facebook.

Are there any that you personally are looking forward to?
There is a Gram Parsons release that interests me.  Also looking forward to the Dinosaur Jr. 7-inch boxset and the Pogues with Joe Strummer record.

Speaking of Dinosaur Jr., J Mascis was a recent guest at your store and filmed a video, can you tell us about that experience?
That was organized by our friend, John Petkovic for their band SWEET APPLE. It was actually shot over a year ago. They came in early one morning before the shop was scheduled to open. John directed the shoot. They did a couple of takes for different perspective angles and wrapped up the shoot in about an hour. Then, of course they all shopped for records. I have met J before. He is actually a pretty funny guy and very passionate about music. That video is pretty clever how it is ties them all together with the paper airplane. We are proud that the shop was featured in it.

Do you remember the first record you bought?
The first “serious” record that I bought was Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.  The year was 1974, and I would’ve been 13 at the time.

How has the record store business been lately? Any interesting trends?
There seems to be a whole new generation of kids getting into buying records. Even more encouraging is the fact that a large percentage of them are young women. That is very cool to see.  

Historically, record shopping used to be a “guy-thing.” If you’ve ever been anywhere where it’s mostly guys, you know what a drag that can be.

What other upcoming events do you have planned at Blue Arrow?
We plan on doing more in-store events with local and national bands. We are also talking about doing an outside event with a national touring artist who recently played the Beachland Ballroom. If we are able to bring this together, it will be something special indeed.

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