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Meet Wayne Johnson of ROCKAWAY RECORDS

Today we’d like to introduce you to Wayne Johnson.

Wayne, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My brother Gary and I began selling vinyl in 1979 after attending one of the legendary record swaps meet in the Capitol Records parking lot in Hollywood. What began as a hobby 40 years ago quickly turned into a business when we were virtually forced to open a store if only to house our growing collection!

In 1982 Rockaway purchased Rainbow Records, a small well-known record store in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. We now started selling new and used records and cassettes in addition to collectibles. Rockaway grew so quickly that we had to move 3 more times, finally settling into the present Silver Lake location in 1992.

Has it been a smooth road?
There have been many struggles along the way, with musical formats changing from vinyl and eight tracks, to cassettes and CDs, and now back to vinyl. We have gone through many changes. For the first 10 years and 3 moves, we kept getting bigger, becoming the biggest record store in LA in 1992.

Then the music industry started to change drastically when big dept stores started selling CDs as a loss leader. Their retail price was lower than our wholesale cost. No way for us to compete, so we stopped selling new product and started to downsize. We now sell high quality used vinyl and CDs, with our specialty being rare vinyl, posters and memorabilia.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with ROCKAWAY RECORDS – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We have a nice selection of quality used CDs and vinyl, at very competitive prices. But our specialty is rare vinyl, posters, memorabilia and other music collectibles. We may not be the biggest record store in LA, but we definitely have the best selection of rare collectibles in LA, if not in the whole country. We have sold many of the rarest items in the world by the Beatles, Beach Boys, Madonna, Sex Pistols and many others. Collectors come from all over the world to our store for our collectibles.

What I am most proud of is our reputation. Our customers know that our collectibles are genuine and we guarantee them 100%. Also, they know that if they sell us collectibles, they will get a fair price, even if they don’t know the value.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
One of the best things about LA is the weather. Plus of course the variety of things to do, museums, concerts, beaches, mountains and deserts.

The worse thing is the traffic.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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