Chicago area record stores past and present (with photos)

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by larry333, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. noyoucmon

    noyoucmon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    The fellow told me he was packing up and moving out west--the Dakotas, I think?--and taking the store with him. This was on the day I discovered it! I was sad to learn I'd worked within ten minutes of it for a decade and never knew it existed.
     
  2. noyoucmon

    noyoucmon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    The one at Lincoln/Paulina was Emporium. It went belly up in 2005.
     
  3. noyoucmon

    noyoucmon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    They moved to Mt. Prospect and last I heard they moved yet again and still survive. Last time I was there was about 2005.
     
    Shawn likes this.
  4. music4life

    music4life Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Elgin, IL
    I had learned of it from a fellow forum member but it turned out to be only a few months before it shut it's doors.. I think I made 4 or 5 trips there (I live in South Elgin, so it wasnt that long of a drive) I came away each time with something I had been searching for. I even turned a friend onto it, he was disappointed as well that it had closed.
     
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  5. saturdayboy

    saturdayboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    great thread!!!
    lot's of great memories hunting for tunes. thanks to all the posters.
    i know you can hear anything on youtube, and buy it on amazon or ebay, it's just not the same.
     
  6. Cactus Bob,
    great pic!
    I'm coming to see the King next month at the Vic.
    Flying in from down south...
    Looking for some Chicago hot tip record stores while I'm there...
    BRUCE
     
  7. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
  8. Cactus Bob

    Cactus Bob << Desert Rat >>

    Location:
    Arizona
    Cool, I went to the Vic many times in the 90's. I was thinking of going to the LA show, but it's not going to work out.
     
  9. Jeff Evans

    Jeff Evans New Member

    Rock Records was the first record store I visited in Chicago on August 5, 1982 - the day after I moved to Oswego IL from Detroit MI. We parked in the lot underneath the Metra tracks because we had no idea where we were going. We did a little record shopping as we waited for Iron Maiden to play Chicagofest (w/Bohemia as the opener, I believe) and let me tell you, that show was INSANE. Upon checking out we asked the girl at the register if she knew where Navy Pier was. She knew right then we were idiots. Years later I worked at that same store on 125 W. Washington, around 1992-93.

    The owner's name was Ernie D'Amico, and he was a fantastic and generous guy, as were most of the people I worked with. Tony and Jackie were awesome - others as well even though I've forgotten their names. Ernie seemed to have an amazing knack for predicting what would sell and what wouldn't. I only saw him get stuck with a bunch of unnecessary inventory was Roger Waters Amused To Death.

    Rock Records was indeed affiliated with Rolling Stone records. As I understand it Ernie and his five partners formed a corporation called Six G's, licensed the name Rolling Stone Records from the band, and eventually opened 3 stores. One on Rush St. (which I've never been to), one on Irving Park Rd. in Norridge IL and the store I worked at on Washington just west of Clark. It turned out that the license of Rolling Stone Records was for only one location, so Six G's was forced to rename all but one of the stores (I don't know if the Rush St. store closed for this reason or some other). Over time, Ernie bought his partners out and became the sole owner of the Washington store which had changed it's name to Rock Records somewhere along the line. When I was there, the big box stores like Best Buy were just becoming a challenge because they bought so many units that RR couldn't compete on price for really hot new releases. I tagged everything that came in, and I can tell you that BB was selling some CDs for dollars less than RR paid.

    After I moved on, Ernie sold the store to the folks that used to own Crow's Nest (pretty confident that it was Crow's Nest, but not 100%). The name of the store stayed Rock Records, but a lot of the inventory had Crow's Nest price tags. Not many (none?) of the RR employees stayed, but I have no idea if that was by choice or not. I believe Crow's Nest had already closed up shop in Crest Hill, and if memory serves they had a location around Lake and maybe Wells for a little while and that had closed up as well. When they took over, the place slowly trickled out of inventory. Near the end there would be a few new releases available and all that was otherwise left was the stuff they could get rid of during the going out of business sales from their other locations. It was totally sad. When the CN crew were there was just after my office relocated to Lake and Clinton, so I went there now and again, but it was completely different. The last time I passed the location (several years ago) it was a weird pop-up women's clothing store. Not pop-up in the trendy way that's currently happening - pop up as in a Halloween store or a temporary book store. On Google Maps it looks like it's empty at present.
     
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  10. Planbee

    Planbee Negative Nellie

    Location:
    Chicago
    Rock Records selling to Crow's Nest turned out to be a huge letdown to me. I hit the State & Jackson Crow's Nest at least twice a week for several years during my lunch hour, and that will probably turn out to be the best music store I'll ever set foot in. When they closed up shop for reasons still mysterious to me (supposedly, DePaul wanted the space for extra classrooms, but as we know it turned into a bland, cookie-cutter, yawn-inducing Barnes & Noble), I had high hopes for their takeover of Rock Records. Not that RR was a bad store, but CN was awesome. I knew the space limitations meant things couldn't be the same, but I figured some of the old magic would make the trip up and over a few blocks.

    Boy, was I WRONG! Even in the early days after the takeover, I got the sense that they didn't really care anymore. A few of the faces were the same, but that was it. I remember being surprised at how many years they lasted after their inventory-clearing 40%-off sale, after which they never re-stocked any decent stuff, leaving the store full of totally obscure junk that didn't sell from the Crow's Nest days. Given that the rent couldn't be cheap at LaSalle and Washington, I figured they dealt drugs inside the store to stay afloat. :laugh:

    I still wonder what the point was of CN's takeover. Just a smaller place than State & Jackson from which to unload the leftover stuff from their store closings?
     
  11. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    The last I saw, they had moved to Wilmette. I haven't been to that location.
     
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  12. This Heat

    This Heat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    It's in Wilmette actually. Small selection but sometimes some good used stuff comes in for a good price. Bought a 1st pressing of Tonight's The Night for 15 bucks.
     
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  13. noyoucmon

    noyoucmon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    I'll have to go by there one of these days and see what it's like now.
     
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  14. This Heat

    This Heat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Just don't ask about Pink Floyd otherwise he'll be desperate to sell you bootlegs.
     
  15. noyoucmon

    noyoucmon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    Oh, I remember that angle from their Mt. Prospect location...
     
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  16. Grew up in Chicago. Northwest side. Went to Lane Tech. When I was younger, my mom had me walk down to Foster near Kedzie to pick up 45's at Flipside. It wasn't til I got my drivers license I discovered Rolling Stones that my world changed. All those picture disks hanging from the ceiling. One year there was a nasty snowstorm. Lenny Kravitz was supposed to show up to support his sophomore effort. What was normally a 20 minute ride took me over 2 hours. The snow kept almost everyone away. Not me though. Got his autograph. And got to chat with him for a while. Even after I moved to the suburbs I continued to drive to Rolling Stones for my records. Damn shame it's thing of the past.
     
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  17. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Those pics are mine. They were taken in 1972. The blond gal in front is my wife.
     
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  18. Werewolf

    Werewolf New Member

    Does anyone remember The Record Barrel in Lombard or even when it was in Norridge before moving to Lombard?
     
  19. br6388

    br6388 Active Member

    Location:
    Homewood, Illinois
  20. MGChicago

    MGChicago Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I live around the corner and have tried to go at least a couple hundred times since April. FINALLY MADE IT IN YESTERDAY AFTERNOON! I was really impressed with the selection - found some long sought after records and was so thrilled to see things I never expected to find. Really enjoyed talking to him probably bought too much. Will definitely be back when he's open again.
     
  21. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    I might try Groovin' High again if I lived around the corner. As it is it's not easy to find parking near it and since he seems to never be there I can't convince myself it's worth the trouble. Too bad since I had a nice time talking with him and buying a few things there a few years back as I think I mentioned earlier in the thread.
     
  22. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block


    Why is it a thing of the past Chris ? It's still there.
     
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  23. Rolling Stone or Flipside? Either way I guess I'm surprised.

    But you have a valid question. I moved out to the burbs. And it's been 25 years since I've been to either. So I assumed like so many other neighborhood landmarks, it was no longer there. So...maybe that means I am a thing of the past.

    Thanks Glenn
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
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  24. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    Rolling Stones is the one I'm mentioning is still around .

    P.S. I went to Schurz. :D
     
  25. HarvG

    HarvG Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago Suburbs
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