Outside of live music itself, the original audio recording media that you may have thought were replaced by compact discs in the 1980s is still regarded as the truest sounding.
Turns out rumors of the record’s demise are greatly exaggerated. LPs and the turntables that play them are making a strong comeback in the digital age, at least in part due to a renewed interest in faithful recordings by a group of people that may surprise you (read on to find out who).
Absolute Vinyl’s owner Doug Gaddy talks about the new home for his shop Absolute Vinyl and his lifelong love of music and recordings.
How did you come to be in the record business and vinyl in particular?
Doug: I was born a little bit late for the real Golden Age – the Beatles and all that – but I’ve always had music in my life and records were the media that occurred in. I prefer it by default. I never liked cassettes. Now, records are objects of fascination in and of themselves. In the old days, before sound files everywhere, the only way to get something that you wanted to listen to was on a record – or from someone who had the record. Some things were just prohibitively rare. I came to buy and sell records really to finance my collecting.
What’s been the appeal of record collecting, for yourself and others, that makes record stores so intriguing?
Doug: One of the things that’s kept me going, personally, is the curiosity. And the discovery. Finding a copy of something I’d never heard about, or that I’d heard about but never seen. Then one day, boom, there it is. And I can take it home and listen to it carefully and keep it clean and really delve into it. Curiosity and the thrill of the hunt. Hearing something on vinyl that was made back in the day, not a repress or reissue. It’s like archaeology.
You deal in analog music media. What surprises you about analog music in a digital and portable era?
Doug: I get kids from Silver Creek, and Skyline, and Longmont High who come into the shop and they want to hear something like Duke Ellington pressed on vinyl and they find some resonance with that. They think Ellington is amazing. And they’re right. They just want something that is outside of that digital world. Something a little more human and less mechanized. They’re curious and they let that curiosity draw them in. It’s innocence and simplicity and they don’t pre-judge. They want to understand – really understand music. Having those conversations with kids really makes me happy.
You were originally located in Boulder. What brought you to Longmont?
Doug: After years in Boulder, the space I was occupying became unsustainable for a number of reasons. So, I unplugged the shop and turned it into an online business. But a friend of mine introduced me to someone who was occupying space on Main Street, Longmont, and he was on his way out and I figured I’d try it out.
What’s the appeal about Longmont?
Doug: I live just outside Longmont. Longmont is in transition. I shop here and have friends here. The town is progressing and becoming more interesting and more culturally diverse. It seemed like a place that could support my business with a ready-made audience from the previous location. The customers have been really supportive. It’s been quite good and I love being on Main Street.
Absolute Vinyl is located at 319 Main Street, in downtown Longmont. They are open Wednesday through Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday) from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
You can find them on Facebook, or reach them the old-fashioned way at 303-955-1519.