Bonus Tracks

May 8, 2013

We’re Turning Five…And Boy Are My Arms Tired

THE Show Newport Beach


This issue marks our 5th anniversary publishing RCN. During that time our circulation has grown from 6,500 papers and 24 pages to 12,500 papers and 56 pages. Our distribution has grown from Southern California to over 300 independent record stores saturating the West Coast. The fact that Record Collector News is still around and going strong after the last five years is a testament to the passion of our readers, the wonder of recorded music, the amazing family of independent record stores that advertise with us and a loving and understanding wife and kids. And to the members of LARD, of whom I do not even know who you are…

Quick story some of you might have heard some of you might not have heard. I’m a lifelong record collector. Nothing special. Lots of Zappa and the rest pretty much classic rock and jazz. I’ve had as many as 4,000 records and have currently cut it down to about 2,000 tasty morsels.

I never disconnected my turntable. So I spend a lot of time in record stores. Record stores to me are like bars to some people. I go there for the camaraderie as much as for what is in the bins. So five years ago, when I found myself suddenly and rather dramatically out of work, I headed to my neighborhood record store to dig through the bins and forget my troubles for an hour. I mean, I really needed that hour of peace because things seemed really intense at the time.

Unfortunately, the owner of said record store, one Bob Say of FreakBeat Records, had intimate knowledge of my financial mess and knowing me from all the time I’ve spent in his store and sensing my vulnerability, asked me as soon as I walked into his store, “So what are you going to do with your life now, Kaplan?”

The dude messed up my groove. But I didn’t want to show it, so I quickly tossed off the stupidest thing I could think of, something that would be sure to just shut him up out of its pure ridiculousness.

“I’m going to start a record collector newspaper, Bob.” Bad idea, right?

It didn’t shut him up and six weeks later the first issue of Record Collector News hit the streets in May 2008. Five years later, the bad idea just keeps growing and getting better.

As a treat, check out the amazing photo sent to us by John Bakasetas (below). The shot is of Mark Arevalo of Southland CD trying to see the condition of a piece of vinyl as the sun comes up over the parking lot at the Greater Orange County Record Show in Buena Park at about 5am. “There will be plenty of light in a half hour Mark”…No way, he’s into it NOW.

Mark Arevalo

Collectors never sleep: Dawn breaks as Mark Arevalo checks out some vinyl at the Greater Orange County Record Show.



Friday May 31, Saturday June 1 and Sunday June 2, I’ll be at the party of the year down at the Hilton and Atrium Hotels for the 3rd The Home Entertainment Show. There’s going to be over 400 vendors of high-end audio, all of it amazing and some of it quite affordable. The real breakthroughs in audio lately have been in the less expensive end. Especially turntables for under $500. Yes, I will be there listening to and looking at the $200,000 speakers and $10,000 power amps. I love audio porn. But there’s going to be a ton of vinyl for sale there too. Lots of used collectable stuff. And if anyone is wondering, I can tell you for sure that there will be records and vendors you have never seen before. Get it? Nuff said. (Get there Friday for the good stuff) (This is just between you and me. Don’t mention it to too many people) (Just saying…)

On Saturday June 1st at 2pm at THE Show Newport, I will be moderating a panel discussion on vinyl records with panelists that include Michael Fremer, the Zen rabbi of all things analog, Abey Fonn, owner of Impex Records, one of the premier audiophile vinyl re-issue labels, Chris from Port of Sound Record Store in Costa Mesa and Scott from Brooks Berdan Ltd. It should be lively and entertaining and you’re all invited.


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