Chicago area record stores past and present (with photos)

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

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    I haven't been back to Champaign in about three years, but that store. Is the store named Exile and located on Main Street or is the store named Exile on Main Street?

    There was a store on University Ave. in Champaign when I was there the last time, but it wasn't that good. The CDs were pedestrian. I think it was an older CD shop that had moved a couple of times, but I don't recall the name. When I was there in 2005, this shop was located in downtown Urbana. I think it was on Green St. before downtown Urbana.
     
  2. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    1997. Many mentions on google such as;
    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-4407578.html
     
  3. bob338

    bob338 Active Member

    Location:
    Sausalito, CA
    Thanks for the link. I never heard about this, and had no idea what their last names were.
    What an awful ending.
     
  4. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    What a damn shame, that two amazing people can be reduced to statistics like that. No mention of their store or their passions. Just that they had big-*** pot plants and killed themselves. C'est la vie, I guess.
     
  5. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Yes it was. Bob was a friend... although I didn't subscribe to his side business. I remember coming by their store to visit and I could always smell the marijuana in the back room. They were very into it. I remember his son had just had a baby and Bob was a new grandfather and he was thrilled with that. I was very surprised and sad hearing the news back then.
     
  6. GuyDon

    GuyDon Forum Resident

    .

    At their peak, 2nd Hand Tunes also had locations in Oak Park (on Oak Park Ave) and Milwaukee (close to the UWM campus). There were some weekends I'd hit all their locations. The 2nd Hand Tunes on Clark had two locations just a block apart from each other for a short time. One became Hi Fi Records and the other Dave's Records. Sadly Hi Fi is closed but Dave's is still there. Can't forget Dr. Wax and Tower were also on Clark so at one time there were six stores all within a couple of blocks.
     
  7. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    I believe the Oak Park location became Oak Park Records which is still there. Also pretty sure Hi Fi was independent of 2nd Hand Tunes although it was very near their stores on Clark.
     
  8. LaserKen

    LaserKen Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Avon, Indiana
    Does Beverly Records still exist? That's where I spent my youth -- wow!!
     
  9. phallumontis

    phallumontis Active Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Still no mention of Shake, Rattle & Read in Uptown? Near Broadway & Lawrence, right next to the old Uptown Theater. My favorite record store in the city, also a new/used book store. The inventory is much smaller than Reckless and is almost entirely used, but on a good day you can find some incredible stuff for not much money. The owner knows what he gets, and doesn't overcharge just because it says "Beatles" on it. The condition is always at least a strong VG to VG+, but closer to NM more often than not. I don't even pull the records out of the sleeves for inspection anymore, I trust him that much. Plus there's just something about the atmosphere of the place, I could spend hours in there (and have). He always takes a few bucks off my total and eats the sales tax since I'm a regular who lives nearby, and he always has a story about whatever record I'm buying. "One time I played pool with Charles Mingus!" "We had Bill Evans for an in-store performance once, he was strung out as hell but man, he was amazing!" He even added me as a friend on Facebook. He always sincerely thanks everybody for their business no matter how small their purchase, and he has built up a very loyal customer base as a result. Sometimes I wonder how he keeps the doors open in this economy and this neighborhood, but he does it with a smile and you can tell how much he loves his job.

    The one time I went to Jazz Record Mart, I was disappointed. It was mostly CD's, and the vinyl section consisted of recent reissues and a sea of junk. Reckless is short on vibe, but they're tough to beat if you're looking for a new release and want to support local rather than order online. Some surprisingly good finds in the used section, as well. Dave's Records is the epitome of the character Barry from the novel High Fidelity, played by Jack White in the movie. In other words, the pretentious guy who doesn't think you deserve to listen to records. The guy wanted $40 for a scratched run-of-the-mill Dynaflex pressing of David Bowie's Low, and when I asked him why it was so much, he grumbled something to the effect of, "It's an original Bowie, what do you want from me?" Thanks for setting me straight, man! I'm just a lowly customer, I don't know anything. I guess with being in Lincoln Park, his average customer probably has the surplus of money and lack of sense to pay that much for something so common. Fortunately he only wanted $20 for a sealed copy of the long out-of-print, highly collectible vinyl edition of Tortoise's TNT, which I happily took off his hands. I then went next door to the Wiener's Circle and had the absolute worst hot dog and cheese fries of my life. Never going back to either place.

    I used to walk dogs for the owner of Laurie's Planet of Sound. Between that awful experience and going into that overpriced hipster den a few times while in Lincoln Square, I don't plan on being a repeat customer. He's a creepy guy and his vinyl section is a joke. Overpriced new releases and a sea of junk vinyl. I'm talking dumpster-recovered copies of Seals & Crofts bad. It reminded me of a Salvation Army. I just don't have the patience for stores like that anymore. My wrists get tired, all the dust dries my eyes out, and for what?

    If you haven't been to Shake Rattle & Read, you've gotta go. Possibly my favorite record store ever. I think I'll put on my near-mint promo copy of Echo & The Bunnymen's Ocean Rain, press release and NME interview booklet included, which I found there for $10. That's more like it!
     
    Matt Richardson likes this.
  10. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    I believe so. My most recent visit was around a year ago.
     
  11. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    I've never dealt much with Dave but in the last year or two a guy I know named Chris Ligon has been working there (he used to have his own place Record Roundup on Montrose with his wife Heather), very nice guy.
     
  12. JimC

    JimC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Illinois
    I believe the sign says Exile on Main Street, not sure. And I'm never sure if I'm in Champ. Or Urbana.:winkgrin: 'Tis all one to me.

    I found a Made in Japan EJ Greatest Hits there. And a great deal on Dave Alvin and His Women. Some other goodies once in awhile.
     
  13. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    OMG! I remember Chris! He worked at Second Hand Tunes too. His wife Heather is an underground comix artist of some renown.

    Does Dave still wear denim overalls?
     
  14. JimC

    JimC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Illinois
    I bought the 45 of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" there -- my first Joy Division record.
     
  15. nb2k

    nb2k Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    No CD shops on Green Street anymore?! I suppose I should stop holding out hope that an Original Master Recording of Magical Mystery Tour on vinyl that my girlfriend, who went to the University of Illinois, ordered for me at one of those shops in 1985 will actually show up, huh? :)
     
  16. GuyDon

    GuyDon Forum Resident

    You mean he wears something else?!?
     
  17. Ben Adams

    Ben Adams Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    LOL!!! Ok, remember earlier, when I mentioned that at my 2nd Hand Tunes store, I didn't treat vinyl like it was in a museum, like some of the other 2nd Hand Tunes stores?

    I was talking about Dave.

    Sorry if you're reading this, Dave, but it's true. $40 for a non-mint dynaflex copy of Bowie's LOW? What a joke. You would sell twice as much if your stuff was priced lower.
     
  18. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    I spent a lot of time going to Hip Cat back in the era you mention, even though it was about a half an hour from my house.

    They may still be around but I can't swear to it. They moved a couple of times since the Wheeling location and they might still be in Wilmette.
    I found their phone number online and when I called it a minute ago I got an answering machine giving me the store hours, so...

    I don't know if you had the same experience as I had but... the owner was a nice guy and very helpful but the other guy that always ssemed to be there when I was there would give me a look like I just crawled out from under a rock if I dared ask him a question. If I was the only guy in the store I always felt uncomfortable. I mentioned it to the owner on one of the rare times he was there and immediately another customer came up and agreed with me that the other clerk guy was a total zero and made HIM uncomfortable also. Interesting that the owner kept him around then.
     
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  19. GuyDon

    GuyDon Forum Resident

    Ben, I can attest you priced your items to move and there was always a constant turnover of stock.
     
  20. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    Wright St. divides Champaign and Urbana. West of Wright is Champaign, east of Wright is Urbana. :)

    Thanks for the info. on the the CD shop. I may get out there for the Penn State-Illinois football game this fall.
     
  21. Planbee

    Planbee Negative Nellie

    Location:
    Chicago
    Am I not seeing things? Four pages in, and no mention of Crow's Nest?!

    For my money, their locations downtown, near DePaul, and out in Crest Hill were without question the best record stores in Chicago. Speaking strictly about CDs--I couldn't care less about vinyl. Even Tower couldn't touch them for CD selection, though they were close.
     
  22. lpecucci

    lpecucci Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    Though I disagree with ya about Laurie's (some stuff is way overpriced but they have a lot of deals,too!) the dude from Shake Rattle & Read (Jim) is a great dude...when he worked at The Record Exchange in evanston during my teen years...he was like a rock & roll guidance counselor,when I get into the NY Dolls he sold me Johnny Thunders ROIR tape 'The NEW Too Much Junkie Business" for half price because "you NEED this,too!".....and he also sold me my biggest ticket album I ever bought - Abbie Hoffman's Wake Up America! - at Shake Rattle & Read,and threw in a copy of Creem from 1972 w/Marc Bolan on the cover...what a guy!
     
  23. GuyDon

    GuyDon Forum Resident

    You walked John's dogs? He used to work at the Record Swap in Homewood and I always liked him. He'd let me look at the new arrivals not yet on the floor and let me purchase anything I wanted. He was always fair when it came to pricing but the owner, Ted, was a different story. My wife used to refer to John as Tiny Tim (the singer) because she thought he looked like him.
     
  24. Adam9

    Adam9 Formerly jbohdan

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    :cheers: Thank you.

    Too bad about the record stores.
     
  25. Graboid

    Graboid Active Member

    Location:
    Westmont, Illinois
    I remember a great shop in LaGrange called Swollen Head Records & Tapes.
     
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