april 19th was the record store day in the US.

the gen-x or gen-y would never really understand why us baby boomers have so much sentiments towards record stores.

back in the 70s/80s where cassettes and LPs were still the rage, we - then student - would save our last penny to go to the local record stores and have our fave songs compiled into a TDK blank cassette. of course, it was illegal now but there were not much regulations then. everyone did that. the record store would charge RM15 - a lot of money then - for just the recording fee.

me being the aspiring audiophile even at that age would buy the best TDK blank cassettes (normally chrome or metal type) in bulk and use it for recording. we would normally leave the blank cassette with the record store for one week. the day for the collection of the completed recording is normally the highlight of the week, with so much anticipation and excitement. we would normally rush to the record shop after school!

as to the song selection, the order or the sequence is important. we would normally tell the record store chap to follow the order which we wrote on the piece of paper. in the 80s, 12 inch or remixes from british bands like culture club, spandau ballet, duran duran and many others were the rave then.

in malaysia, the pirates came in full vengeance in the early 80s too. i remember buying a lot of pirated cassettes (mostly compilations) which came without the normal cassette box but just a thin plastic skeletal case. those who listened to music in the 80s would definitely know what i mean by this type of pirated cassette in malaysia. the packaging was so unique that i think one could only find it in malaysia!

in the 1998, i revived the indie record store concept with "music exchange" and it was an instant hit then. the strait times of singapore once wrote an article titled "what to do in KL if you only have 24 hours ?" and music exchange was mentioned as the must-visit place in kl. such was the coolness and hip factor of music exchange. incidentally, in a special article on kl last week in sin chew jit poh titled "50 reasons to love kl", the journalist also lamented the demise of music exchange as a hip music culture spot.

today's record stores have not much personality and quality to offer but mostly videos and bored attendants with not much knowledge and passion in music.

i still harbor a latent passion to start an ultra cool indie record store, one day.


zam said...

are you really that old..

Yeah the good old day,

live was a bed of roses then till the pirates came...........

shaq said...

Yeah,We all wera very proud of music exchange.
I did not know it was you that is behind the idea.
what A stroke of genious it was.I personally think Music exchange was solely responsible to develop the backlane of bb to what it is today[There was some fancy french restaurant that I used to frequent after spending ti me at Music Exchange....

What happen to the Dude with Goatee,I always thought that he awas the one that started it....And the Magazine section was not bad either,I remember buying some british GQ,Q magizines there....good old days.....

jamil said...

record store ,music express and like minded music lovers are things I really missed.

Often time whenever i drive through the backlane of BB plaza ,I would still glance at the directions of where M|E used to be ,hoping tit would resurface..

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi shaq and jamil,

i am the original founder and financier. i recruited surin and hon chong.the goatee guy joined us 2 month later after the shop was first started. we could never get along!

there is still a place in my heart which i reserve for my own baby that is music exchange. we had so much good times at jalan walter grenier.

looking at the global trend, it is unlikely i will ever open a cd shop again :-(