April 22, 2012

Music lovers in vinyl (and CD) heaven on Record Store Day

Cheap releases, live acts and freebies draw thousands of audiophiles during the annual event.

By Beth Quimby bquimby@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

SCARBOROUGH — Pete Maestre grinned as he flipped through the racks of vinyl records at the Bull Moose Music warehouse store Saturday.

click image to enlarge

Preston and Heather Bellows of Westbrook comb through vinyl records at Bull Moose Music in Scarborough during Record Store Day events Saturday. Record Store Day, the brainchild of Bull Moose’s Chris Brown, is meant to promote independent stores that still offer physical retail locations.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Pete Maestre of Sanford looks through the vinyl selection Saturday at Bull Moose, where he found a 1971 Ugly Custard, The Hollies’ second album and a silver vinyl Metallica release.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

The Sanford resident, whose basement is filled with a set of electric drums and the thousands of records he has amassed since his teenage years, said he never knows what he will find but he always finds something.

"It is all about the hunt," said Maestre.

He and thousands of audiophiles in Maine celebrated Record Store Day by stocking up on cheap records, CDs and the freebies on offer at independent record stores.

Record Store Day was the brainchild of Chris Brown, head of marketing at the Maine-based Bull Moose Music store chain. Brown saw it as a way to promote independent record stores that still offer a physical retail location at a time when many customers were turning to the Internet to buy their music.

In its fifth year, Record Store Day has grown into a national event with more than 1,000 participating independent music stores across the country. Record labels released more than 300 exclusive recordings during Saturday's event. In Maine, the day included live acts by local artists. It attracts music lovers of all ages.

Scarborough store manager Jay Kelley said 50 people were lined up outside before the store opened, and customers quickly depleted the special Miles Davis, Grateful Dead and Phish releases.

"It's going great," Kelley said.

Clutching a limited-edition Suicide Silence record, Preston Bellows rushed over to his wife, Heather Bellows.

"There are only 1,000 copies," he said.

The Westbrook couple collect picture discs and records, combing flea markets and independent record stores on weekends.

"We have had really good luck," said Preston Bellows.

Audrey Pictou of Presque Isle shopped with her friends, Courtney Capecea of Presque Isle and Sarah Campbell of South Portland.

Pictou said she is a regular Record Store Day customer. She managed to scoop up four books and three CDs for under $15.

"You can't do that in Presque Isle," she said.

Back at the vinyl racks, Maestre continued to flip feverishly through the albums. He managed to find a 1971 Ugly Custard, The Hollies' second album and a silver vinyl Metallica.

"I love vinyl. There is nothing like the sound," said Maestre.

Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at: bquimby@pressherald.com


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