I’d already waited in line for thirty minutes, thinking I would be first if I showed up an hour before the store opened. I was wrong. There were a good number of people ahead and the store was around the corner. But come on, how many could possibly be looking for The Beach Boys’ album, right? I mean, record store day is about the indie music…isn’t it?
The doors opened at ten, a full hour before their usual time, and by eleven I was finally at the door. Eleven fifteen finds me released into the crowded den full of hipsters and gross unshowered balding men with combovers, and as I approached the wall dedicated to record store day releases, I saw the royal blue cover, golden rays shining from the words, The Beach Boys in that hard-to-miss 60s font. As I closed in someone snatched it practically from under my nose, and here I am in line, waiting to purchase the runners-up on my list of top ten special releases. Peter, Bjorn a John, not a band to ignore. Of Montreal, only a thousand pressed. New Pornographers. Decemberists. But the prize, the number one on my list, The Beach Boys including the songs Good Vibrations and Heroes and Villains, an early and alternate take, respectively, my only chance to hear them on vinyl, gone. I tried to hide my dissatisfaction with the day, my disappointment, and I noticed the register girl was the one who always remembered me, knew my music tastes with such perfection that I would blindly buy a record based on her recommendation without even listening to a single song.
“Hey! You made it!” she said to me with her usual winning smile, and I tried to smile back, but the most I could muster was a half-hearted grin.
It was my turn, and she took my records and looked through. She flipped through a second time and reached under the counter.
“Looks like you’re missing one…” she said as she produced a copy of The Beach Boys album, my holy grail for the day. My half-hearted grin turned genuine in a heartbeat. “You want it?”
I nodded, speechless as she rang up my total and I handed her my card without even looking at the price. Who cares, right? It’s record store day.
As I walked toward the door I looked in my bag and once more saw the golden rays shine at me, and I smiled. A quick look at the register and she waved goodbye to me with a huge smile before she took the next person in line.
I love record store day.