Mark’s World Tour of Record Stores
Its no surprise that I love going to record stores! All kinds. New ones, old ones, weird ones. Its my addiction and I've gladly come to terms with that reality. Visit one with me now, would you?! Theres pictures and everything!
Formerly known as Manchester Manchester on Elm St in...yes, Manchester, NH The Music Connection as it now stands, sits in a hidden spot across from the Mall of New Hampshire. Its in a quiet, suprisingly still open strip mall that doesn't face the street. The cool thing though when it comes to music stores, shoppers/collectors like myself, we find em and we know where they are! Thats all that matters!
I'm assuming here, sorry, that owner Richard Gesner is in his late 70's. He's owned the store for almost 27 years now. Richards a great guy. He always has music on, usually some old old school vintage poke salad country stuff or 50's doo-wop. He smokes like a son of a bitch, but I'm not sure hes worrying about that anymore. He's happy, he loves working with records and he has no plans of retiring. For a while, I though he was GG Allin's dad. He could pass for it. He has a special stock of GG stuff in the store. I thought this was like his tribute to GG or something. I mean WHY would an older man with his taste give a crap about GG Allin? Well, truth is GG was from NH and had always sold stuff at Richard's store. You'll find GG vinyl, CD, DVD, t-shirts and etc. If you're a fan this is like your dream. Years ago I finally got the courage to ask Richard if he was related, he said no. I still have my weird suspicions.
This is Richard. Lousy pic cause I kept alot of this mission spy style with the pics.
I believe Richard said he has somewhere over 60,000 records and over 30,000 45's. If you're a collector of 45's, this is your place. Richard knows those early rock n roll, soul and doo wop days as good as anyone. If you need some fresh blood in your jukebox, look Richard up! He has fantastic stock in 45's. He cleans everything too. Makes a big difference when you slide the record out and ponder on buying it. If its clean, its sexy!
Theres a couple of wonderful deals going on at The Music Connection on a daily basis. First off theres the half off deal. Each day, Richard posts a letter on the pole in the middle of the room. Whatever letter is there, the section of artists starting with that letter is half off their records. So if the letter today is "R" you can walk out with Rush, The Rascals, Linda Ronstadt or Rainbow half off! Also, if its your birthday... boy are you a lucky little trooper....
For music/record nuts like me Richard has alot of important things like inside record sleeves, blank album covers, plastic sleeves and "spiders", which are those things you put in the middle of your turn table when you want ot play 45's.
If you're looking for something, Richard wants to help. I mean theres an extra step involved as you can see below, but damnit I LOVE the hell out of that type of concern and service. He could mail it in each day folks. Just sit there, play and sell records but he still cares like its 1955 or 85, all over. As a music fan I love and respect and appreciate that very much.
For stock, you can find alot. His shelves aren't always flushed with newer music or tons of recently bought used stock, but I've found choice stuff from Gang Of Four, Iron Maiden, The Producers, Sweet, Dio, The Clash, Ray Charles, Ike & Tina Turner, The Jam, Gene Vincent, Alcatrazz and much more. He also stocks some local artists which, lets face it, is a special opportunity these days. Prices on things are ok. Some better than others, but talk to Richard and he might work with you if you're buying a few pieces.
I will say though, NO ONE, not even in Utah needs an Osmond section this big...
I love this store cause he still has a bit of the non-chain local music stores that I grew up on in the 80's. I'm nostalgic for sure and I don't want to lose that history and some of that old school-ness with my music stores. With The Music Connection, I don't have to worry. Its always open there when I head home to see family.
I just wish Richard would stop smoking so it might be able to stay open A LOT longer!