There’s something about a good record store that their digital replacements just can’t match.

Yes, I used the term “record store.” I stopped buying 12″ vinyl albums in the 1980s — but CDs are records, and they always have been. (Not really worth debating, at this point, since CDs generally are seen as nothing but space-wasting dust collectors.)

Record stores are disappearing; That shouldn’t be news to anyone. The bigger surprise is that, somehow, a scattered few independent places have managed to keep operating as bricks-and-mortar (and posters-and-tape) enterprises.

One of those quirky, funky, jumbled, genre-busting places — Vinyl Fever in Tampa, Florida — is closing its doors this weekend, after 30 years and several moves. The store’s lease is coming due, and another move seemed too financially risky.

The Tampa Tribune’s pop music expert, Curtis Ross, paid tribute to the store and its owner, Lee Wolfson, writing “the joy of Vinyl Fever and other stores like it is finding records I didn’t know I wanted, in having my head turned by something new or old while searching for something else. It’s being able to talk about music face to face with someone just as obsessed as I am, and that’s something the Internet can’t replace.”

Before the store was emptied of its treasures, I stopped in to look for an appropriately Fever-ish final purchase: a used Roxy Music LP, perhaps?; a Robert Johnson CD box set?; or maybe a too-tight New York Dolls T-shirt?

What I found was much, much better.

True to the spirit of independent record stores everywhere, the good people at Vinyl Fever always had organized their inventory with hand-lettered white vinyl dividers. Nothing could better convey the indelible personality of Vinyl Fever.

They went for 25 cents apiece.



  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention A FAREWELL TO VINYL FEVER « WilliamsProjects archive -- Topsy.com

  2. bt1098 says:

    Thanks for the Pics. I’ve shopped there a few times while traveling thru.
    I will post a link to this article on my Vinyl Fever (no relation) blog.

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