It was exactly twenty years ago today, November 17th, 1990, when the first Amoeba Music store opened its doors in Berkeley, CA. And, as you well know, all three Amoeba stores have been celebrating the anniversary of this joyous occasion all this month, culminating in the big, all day 20th Anniversary party event at the original Telegraph Avenue Amoeba this past Sunday with cake (of course), giveways, incredible sales, plus non-stop live entertainment from such talents as Pam the Funkstress, DoseOne (both pictured left), and Lyrics Born. Check this recent Amoeblog with lots more photos and a nice run down on Sunday's wonderfully fun event.
As Amoeba's Marc Weinstein noted in the recently posted Amoeblog interview, the lead up to that November 1990 opening took many long months of hard work. That Amoeblog interview was just one of two that Amoeba Marc did on the topic of Amoeba's rich past. I also talked with him about additional Amoeba history, including what Telegraph Ave was like in the decade before Amoeba first opened and Marc's own personal record store history.
"I worked at Rasputin's in 1980/'81 and then I went traveling to buy records back East so I still worked for Rasputin's through '83 but not back in the Bay. When I came back from being back East I worked in San Francisco at Streetlight Records from '83 to '90," recalled Amoeba Marc. "I remember the Avenue [Telegraph] been completely packed with all types of people. The variety that was represented and the businesses that kind of catered to those people on Telegraph was so thick," he said. "It was so good in its heyday; great record stores, great book stores, great used clothing stores. We closed Rasputin's at 11pm so we could go next door to Universal [long gone Berkeley record store] which was open til 12 and Universal always had little shows or things going on. We could shop for records til midnight every night and go see bands and never really leave the Avenue. You can't really do that kind of thing anymore."