Photos by Kaitlin Layher and Ryan Stark
Words by Spenser Russell-Snyder
At 8am on Saturday, April 16th, crowds began to line up in front of the Berkeley store. They came to get their hands on the hundreds of new and exclusive records released on this year's 4th Annual Record Store Day.
In the first hour of being open, the "Broadway" aisle of the store was jam packed with people picking up 7-inches, LPs and even select 10-inches from the likes of 13th Floor Elevators, Big Star, The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Grinderman, Phish, Wild Flag, The Beach Boys, as well as countless more from the hottest names in music, past and present.
But Rock 'N' Roll wasn't the only thing Amoeba Berkeley brought to Record Store Day this year. We also debuted a GIGANTIC used Jazz collection, filled with near mint original pressings from Horace Silver, Hank Mobley, Jackie McLean and literally thousands more! No matter what kind of music you were into on Saturday, we had what you wanted!
Amoeba was THE destination for Record Store Day events as well! At noon we had the legendary Al Jardine from the Beach Boys play a few songs and tell a few stories about the old days recording Smile and Pet Sounds. Al brought with him an exclusive 7-inch record to benefit the Red Cross' Japan relief effort. He ended up raising over $1,000 for the organization and thrilled long time fans by signing copies!
After Al finished up, we had a couple of the Bay Area's finest DJs come in to spin an eclectic mix of tunes. Paul Costuros of the band Death Sentence: Panda! came in and played loads of old soul, international garage, and rocksteady tunes, while Jen Chochinov from the band Schande played indie rock, soul, and riot grrl jams.
Once 7pm rolled around, it was time to switch gears. We shut the store down early to have a special appearance from Saturday Night Live's The Lonely Island. The comedy hip-hop group, who are responsible for such gems as "Jizz in My Pants," "Dick In A Box," and "Lazy Sunday," came back to their hometown of Berkeley for an intimate Question and Answer session, moderated by Jorma Taccone's own father, Berkeley Rep's Artistic Director, Tony Taccone.
The group took questions from their fans, both by calling on audience members, and reading questions submitted online prior to the event. They hilariously answered questions ranging from Saturday Night Live specific questions ("Who was your favorite host/sketch?"), to their time growing up in Berkeley ("What was it like going to Berkeley High?")
After the guys finished up the 45 minute long Q&A session, they signed exclusive silk screened and numbered lithographs for every single fan that pre-ordered their new album, Turtleneck & Chain. Both the guys and the staff were exceptional at being sweet to all of the fans who stuck around to meet the band. Each audience member was ecstatic and really appreciated the opportunity to meet their favorite celebrities. Even some of the staff members were star struck.
By 11pm the last of the customers were out of the store and a truly incredible 2011 Record Store Day came to a close. Super huge thanks go out to our incredible employees, who were enthusiastic, helpful, and hard working all day long!