Today we’d like to introduce you to Greg Pinker.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Greg. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I love records and record stores, I really do. I have always loved going into them (still do) and finding something I didn’t even know existed. I have always wanted to work in a record store. Sadly, I never got that opportunity. But I never gave up on my dream, it just morphed over time. Years turned to decades but eventually I was able to open one with my family.
We wanted to start a business that we were all passionate about, so I suggested opening a record store. It took some time to convince some of my family but eventually we did it. Our first store opened 4 1/2 years ago in Lancaster, CA. We opened our second store in Newhall two years ago this October. We are staffed with three generations of music lovers and self-confessed vinyl junkies. It’s not just about what we sell it is also how the stores look. I wanted them to be a flashback to another time. Often, people come in and just thank us for taking them back to their youth.
I just can’t look at records as just a business. If a time came that I viewed them as just money, I don’t think I would want to do it anymore. To me, talking with customers about bands and records is the highlight of my week. Where else do you get to listen to music and talk with likeminded people? I love learning from people about different bands as much as I love turning people on to something they never heard before.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Nothing is ever smooth, but you bear through the worse times because it is something you are passionate about. Just like so many businesses these days, our toughest road we’ve had to endure has obviously been the pandemic. Our doors were shuttered for a little over three months. We eventually opened to curbside pickup for a few weeks but that wasn’t easy either. Records are something you have to touch, look at and even feel. Selecting them from a list is never ideal. We really needed our doors open and did so as soon as we were allowed. But before we could do that, we had to first make sure we were making it safe for customers as well as ourselves. We completely rearranged our stores to help with social distancing. We sanitize the stores before and after customers, and everyone is required to wear a face mask. We also provide masks and gloves if you don’t have one.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are an independent family-owned record store. We buy, sell and trade used records, cassettes, VHS, DVD / BluRay, CD’s, magazines (comics, zines, etc.), record players, instruments, buttons, stickers, memorabilia, toys, eight-track tapes, and more. We also have a growing list of new vinyl and represses. Our motto: analog is life, digital is lifeless. Record stores are more than a place to fulfill your record fix. They should be a place to teach and learn.
Music is one of the most important things in life. Without it, how sterile and fake everything would be. Collecting music is just taking that appreciation to the next level. Having a bunch of 1’s and 0’s on your computer or phone is not a collection. Tangible media, whether it be books, movies, or records is the very essence of collecting. Holding something in your hands and truly appreciating the medium, there is nothing like it.
What were you like growing up?
I was the all-American Punk Rock kid, just the kind of boy every girl wanted to bring home to mom and dad. I may have looked a little weird, but I was always honest, dedicated and altruistic. I think I still am today, just a bit older and longer in the tooth. Music, movies, books, and skateboarding were my life. I loved going to gigs and underground clubs in the early and mid-1980’s L.A. Los Angeles was awesome “back in the day” but I’m not one that thinks that the time of my youth was the best time.
There is a lot of really great things happening now, well, maybe not right now, but over the last few years. The heyday of the music scene in L.A. that everyone felt disappeared is back and as good as it ever was. When I was a kid, every night there was a club or a show to see. It felt alive and electric. Rare was there a time that you were bored, and if you were bored you were probably a boring person. While I don’t go out as much as I use to. I get to live vicariously through my son and his girlfriend. They’re both in a band’s and are going to a lot more shows than I’m able to, sometimes getting old sucks! I have lived in L.A. my entire life, I love it, and don’t think I’ll ever live anywhere else.
- Address: Newhall store: 24269 Main Street.
Old town Newhall, CA. 91321
Lancaster store: 721 W. Lancaster Blvd.
Lancaster, CA. 93534
- Website: VoodooVinylRecords.com
- Phone: Newhall: 818.383.9292 Lancaster: 661.945.6511
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: voodoo.vinyl
- Facebook: @voodoovinylrecords
Photos by GWAUGH & AEP