I sighed as I pushed open the sticker-covered door for a final time and stepped out into the bright sunlight. Blinking, I turned toward the crosswalk and walked toward my car.
After tonight, Vinyl Solution will exist only in the memories of Tuscaloosa music enthusiasts. I’ve only lived in the city for a year, but the store quickly became my favorite. I stumbled upon it during the early stages of the Great CD Collection Improvement of 2003. Vinyl contributed a number of important discs to my collection.
It was there that I found 1000 Kisses (one of my favorite CDs by one of my favorite musicians) for a measly $8.99. On a hot August afternoon, I hobbled out of the store with Hootie and the Blowfish and the Indigo Girls in hand. Dave Matthews’ solo effort wormed its way into my world after Vinyl offered it for $11. This afternoon, I made Garbage’s Version 2.0 (once a victim of the Great CD Clean Out of 2000) mine again. Thanks to close-out prices, the brand-new CD was $4.50.
What does that say to you, other than that I’ve got an uncanny ability to recall which CD I purchased where and when? Well, it might be evidence of the good times I associate with that hole-in-the-wall shop on The Strip. CD buying is a loner’s sport, and most of mine has been conducted accordingly. I’ve spent hours browsing the racks at Vinyl and other local stores. During a stretch of employment last summer, I allowed myself a CD a week as a reward for hard work. My favorite Sunday afternoons included a cup of coffee, a book and eventually a walk to the CD store. I’ve even got a picture of the shop hanging on my bedroom wall.
The store’s demise is allegedly due to on-line music downloads. Need a reason to obtain your music legally? Owner George Hadjidakis is a great place to start.