This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day, but its success isn’t a phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes story.
At least, Record Store Day’s co-founder Michael Kurtz, who helps organize the independent record stores’ bi-annual celebration’s special album and single releases, doesn’t remember it that way. According to him, a decade ago independent record stores were not thrown into panic as giant music retailers—Tower, Virgin Megastore, and HMV—went the way of the Dodo, and the iPod rose as the supposed future of music “consumption.”
“The problem 10 years ago was perception,” Kurtz says from his home in Harlem. “The media had tagged us as a thing of the past, but that was not what we were experiencing. We were having a lot of success with artists coming in for performances and promotions. So, we thought we’d better let people know we were O.K.”