Hours before Amoeba Music San Francisco opened its doors this morning for the highly anticipated fourth annual Record Store Day, a really long line had formed outside on the sidewalk that snaked down Haight Street in the direction of Golden Gate Park, and wrapped around the back of the store through the McDonalds parking lot and across to the next street. This long line was filled with music fans and record collectors all anxious to get their hands on many of the much coveted limited edition RSD 2011 exclusive releases that are available today and while supplies last.
To be fully prepared for when they finally got inside the store, many of these Amoeba SF shoppers had gone online to Amoeba.com and downloaded and printed out the PDF file that meticulously lists every RSD 2011 release.
Outside Amoeba Music San Francisco before doors opened for RSD 2011
As you will see in the video above, shot today by Audra, the guy who wrangled the first place in line outside Amoeba had driven three hours to San Francisco from King City, CA to secure his coveted spot at 6am this morning. Despite all the folks vying to get into the store for the limited number of releases, it has been civil and "very friendly" according to one person in line on Haight Street, who added that after all the time shared by these strangers in line this morning they had become "all neighbors and friends."
At the same time across the Bay Bridge over at the original Amoeba Music store on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, a similar scenario played out and, as you can see from the photo above, taken in the packed aisles at the Berkeley Amoeba, once inside Amoeba shoppers didn't waste any time heading to the RSD releases.
The crowds were similarly large down in SoCal at the Hollywood Amoeba Music with the main difference being that the weather was a little nicer this morning.
Meanwhile, across the country in New York City, where it's three hours earlier than California and a lot colder today, music fans may have had a head start in obtaining exclusive RSD 2011 releases, but the crowds were large and willing to head to record stores as early as it might take to secure a top spot in line at such stores as Generation Records and Other Music, both in Manhattan
I swung by Other Music on East 4th Street right as it opened at 11am today and interviewed some folks (see video down below) who had been in line since early this morning but I then found out that the line had actually begun forming at 7:30pm last night, Friday. And let me say, it was cold last night and this morning too. The determination of many of these Other Music customers was bolstered by the opportunity to get one of the limited spots to check out this afternoon's live instore performance by Regina Spektor.
Right now Live 105 is broadcasting live from the Amoeba Music San Francisco stage and Henry Rollins is doing a DJ set at the Hollywood store. For a full listing of all the Amoeba RSD instores click here.
In 2008, when the first Record Store Day took place, it was limited to 300 US record stores but in the few short years since RSD has snowballed in scale to now include 1500 participating record stores in 21 countries, including Ireland, where you can find Dublin's All City record store. Located in the Temple Bar area of the Dublin's city centre, All City, which is also a vinyl only record label, is a highly respected & popular spot for hip-hop record collectors. Shortly after 7pm today Irish time, which was 11am Pacific (Amoeba) time, I talked by phone to store owner O.B., who had just locked the front doors and happily reported, "It was a great day, quite busy and a real good vibe that kind of reminded us of Christmas time here. We had lots of people of all ages coming through."
Some of those All City customers got to spin in the store today. Many record stores have celebrities or name DJs spinning for RSD but All City's O.B. said that he came up with the unique idea of inviting customers to guest DJ, "Because I noticed how a lot of the heads that come in here and buy records have really great taste in music." About 7 or 8 customers DJ'ed today. And what were the most in-demand records for RSD? "Radiohead, which was one that we didn't have," said O.B. since they only carry hip-hop, soul, funk records. [The Radiohead release was Eurpoe-only as well.] But ones they did carry and were popular included Flying Lotus' Cosmogramma Alt Takes, Floating Points (aka Sam Shepherd) 10" on Eglo, and the Rhymesayers vinyl picture disc .
Outside Other Music, NYC shortly after opening hours - RSD 2011
Check back later today here on the Amoeblog for the next RSD 2011 reports that will include updates on the Amoeba Music RSD 2011 happening and an exclusive interview with the man who created Record Store Day, Chris Brown from Bull Moose Records