by Olivia Bayer
Once upon a time in 1948, the vinyl record was created by Hungarian engineer, Peter Carl Goldmark. Sixty-nine years later and we’re still jamming out to these classic records.
The Hartford Record Riot event took place at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Club in Hartford on Sunday. Over 40 vendors from the East Coast set up tables with crates full of records for vinyl lovers to browse through.
Many attendees at this event were local collectors and store owners from as far as Long Island. Each vendor brought a unique variety of records. From Led Zeppelin to The Yardbirds, progressive rock to heavy metal; each stand offered records for enthusiasts of any and every genre of music. Passersbies flipped through records and conversed with vendors on their search for new collectables.
Paul Wallen is a record vendor who has been listening and collecting records for 50 years and brought what he liked to call a bin of “oddballs and weird finds” which included a variety of unique and rare music.
“I get a lot of repeating customers coming back and looking for those,” Wallen said. “Those and people are buying the very common stuff like Fleetwood Mac and all the classic rock, that’ll always be a popular seller.”
Other vendors at the show agreed when it comes to a popular genre, that it’s classic rock. They also shared similar answers on the experience of listening to vinyl versus listening on your electronic device.
Vasyl Kochura, from Music Research Library in Providence, Rhode Island grew up buying CDs, and like vinyl enjoys the physical aspect that the two give off.
“I just really like holding the record and looking at all the artwork and having an actual collection to look through,” Kochura said.
“For records, it’s an artifact you are looking through like when you go to an old antique show and you find something that just
looks cool and it really resonates with you, it’s kind of like that with records,” Kochura continued.
Hobbyist and collector, Rick Dolan, agrees that “people want something in their hands.” He feels that listeners will always be collectors as well.
“You can’t get the same kind of art on a CD that comes on a vinyl,” Dolan said.
Giovanny Zuniga from Spin That Record in Springfield, Massachusetts, mentions how famous artists often times appear on the cover of vinyl records.
“A lot of times the covers are made by artists like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, a lot of these artists did records so it’s really artwork plus music which a lot of people I think enjoy,” Zuniga said.
Record collector at Bad Kitty Music, John Gorlewski, takes a more technical standpoint.
“Frequency on a vinyl LP is wider than digital music. You can get lower lows and higher highs,” Gorlewski said.
“On a listening level especially if you’re going through the music of an era where vinyl is the dominant format, I think that it informed the creative process when the artist was making the music. Some thought was put into ‘what’s going to be the last song on side one’ and ‘what’s going to be the first song on side two’ and that’s the kind of stuff that gets lost on a CD or especially streaming,” Gorlewski continued.
It was evident by the Hartford Record Riot event that the vinyl record business is still alive and thriving. If you missed this event, no need to worry because the Danbury Record & CD Expo is being held on Sunday, Oct. 22. Or if you’re simply looking to just stop into a record shop, visit the Music Research Library over in Providence, Rhode Island, or for a shorter commute, Integrity’n Music in Wethersfield.