The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

24 February 2006

Life could be a dream

If your immediate response was "Sh-boom, sh-boom," this is for you.

It's Right Around Now, and you've turned the key in the lock and pushed the door open, and there it is: a real live record store from 1971, all the stock still in the racks, all the picture sleeves on display, Billboard and Cash Box on the counter, Pink Floyd on Tower fercryingoutloud, and except for a thin layer of dust, nothing has changed in thirty-five years.

Austin Record Convention mentor Doug Hanners wrote about it in the March Discoveries (not yet on their Web site, alas), and it's some story. The store was in Miamisburg, Ohio, and had been passed down to a second generation of the Kondoff family, who opened it in the late 1940s. Son Chris closed the store finally in 1971.

Enter a Scotsman by the name of John Anderson, who happened to be in the Dayton area in 1972. He saw the store, went up to the door, got no response, asked around, and eventually met up with Chris Kondoff. Anderson, like any proper vinyl fiend, asked if any of the stock was for sale. Kondoff said it wasn't. Repeat every year until 1980 or so.

Then in 2005, he made one last trip to Dayton, and got hold of another Kondoff brother. George said that Chris had retired, and the store and its inventory would be sold, and would you like to be notified when it happens?

And that's how John Anderson and Doug Hanners wound up turning the key in that very lock and finding themselves back at the very beginning of the Seventies. (They cleaned out the place and dealt the LPs to Craig Moerer's Records by Mail; they kept the mags and the posters and the 45s.) I know some people for whom this would be the third-sweetest thing this side of heaven.

Posted at 6:19 AM to Tongue and Groove