Record Store Day will take place April 23rd, but the Grammy Museum celebrated its 15th anniversary a few days early as well as the release of Larry Jaffee’s book Record Store Day - The Most Improbable Comeback of the 21st Century last night. The museum hosted a Q&A with Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo, Record Store Day Co-Founder Michael Kurtz and owner of Fingerprints Music Rand Foster. Variety Chief Music Critic Chris Willman conducted the Q&A. The history of Record Store Day was discussed as well as the resurgence of vinyl and highlights over the past 15 years. Hammett and Trujillo talked about some of their favorite albums and their connection with Record Store Day.
Metallica has been involved with Record Store day since the first year performing at Rasputin Music. In 2016 Metallica were the ambassadors and also performed again at Rasputin Music. For Record Store Day 2022 one of the releases will be Hammett’s EP Portals which will be released on both vinyl and cd. This year Taylor Swift became Record Store Days first global ambassador which was part of the discussion.
Record Store Day releases several hundred titles to over 1000 independent music stores globally. These releases include re-issues, first ever vinyl releases, colored vinyl, picture discs, box sets, 45’ singles, ultra limited editions, and even cassette tapes. In its first year, there were just around 10 releases across roughly 300 stores. Record Store certainly helped bring vinyl back although it only accounts for a small percentage of the vinyl records produced annually as it was said in the Q&A. Across the country, various record stores host performances from both local and major artists. If you're in Los Angeles Amoeba is definitely the place to go.
After the Q&A was a performance by British artist Nilüfer Yanya. Record Store Day occurs twice a year both in April and Black Friday, however with the Covid-19 Pandemic that last two years were a little different. In 2020 the April Record Store Day was split up into three days and in 2021 it was split into 2 days. Even with the pandemic the stores received major attendance.
Following the event Kurtz did a signing.
Since 1990 Metallica has been nominated for 23 Grammys and have won nine total. They most recently performed at the Grammys in 2017 with Lady Gaga and three years before that with Lang Lang both taking place a block away at the Staples Center (Now Crypto.com Arena). In 2000 Metallica sued Napster over illegal downloading of their music. Four years later was the release of Some Kind of Monster which documented the band’s struggle recording St. Anger and also showed the audition process for a new bass player which ultimately led to then Ozzy Osbourne bassist Robert Trujillo joining the group. In 2009 Metallica was inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame and that same year performed at its 25th anniversary concert performing 13 songs on the second night including guests Ray David (The Kinks), Lou Reed, and Ozzy. In 2013 came Metallica’s Imax film Through the Never. Their most recent album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct was released in 2016. This past December, the group celebrated their 40th anniversary in their hometown of San Francisco, CA at the Chase Center home of the Golden State Warriors. Metallica’s most recent performance was in February at the Allegian Stadium in Las Vegas, NV the new home of the Raiders.
From Record Store Day’s website:
“Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1400 independently owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally. The first Record Store Day took place on April 19, 2008. Today there are Record Store Day participating stores on every continent except Antarctica.
This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store—the staff, the customers, and the artists—to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, DJs spinning records, and on and on. In 2008 a small list of titles was released on Record Store Day and that list has grown to include artists and labels both large and small, in every genre and price point. For several years, 60% or more of the Record Store Day Official Release List came from independent labels and distributors. The list continues to include a wide range of artists, covering the diverse taste of record stores and their customers.
On the first Record Store Day, Metallica spent hours at Rasputin Music in San Francisco meeting their fans and now each year hundreds of artists, internationally famous and from the block, flock to record stores around the world for performances, signings, meet and greets and to fill their own shopping bags with music. In 2009, Jesse "Boots Electric" Hughes (Eagles of Death Metal) declared himself the "Record Store Day Ambassador" as a way of shouting out how important the stores were to artists and since then Joshua Homme (Eagles of Death Metal, Them Crooked Vultures, Queens of the Stone Age), Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop, Jack White, Chuck D, Dave Grohl, Metallica, St. Vincent, Run The Jewels, Pearl Jam and Brandi Carlile have worn the ceremonial sash. The Record Store Day Ambassador for 2021 will be announced soon!
Throughout its 13 years, cities across the United States, including New York City, Los Angeles, Boise, Charleston, Raleigh and Las Vegas have declared Record Store Day an official holiday. In 2013, Co-Founder Michael Kurtz was made a Chevalier of the Ordre Des Arts et Des Letters in France, honoring Record Store Day's contribution to the cultural and artistic life of the French people. That same year, the organizers of Record Store Day accepted the Independent Spirit Award from NARM (now the Music Biz Association). In 2015, Record Store Day was named the Marketplace Ally of the Year by A2IM, an organization of independent music labels.
While there’s only one Record Store Day a year, the organization works with both independent and major labels throughout the year to create contests, special releases and promotions in order to spotlight the benefits of supporting these independent, locally owned stores with music purchases throughout the year. In 2010, Record Store Day coordinated its first RSD Black Friday event, which gives record stores exclusive releases as part of the attempt to redirect the focus of the biggest shopping day of the year to the desirable, special things to be found at local stores.
In 2016, Record Store Day created Summer Camp, a conference devoted to the unique business that is the independent record store. The conference provides a place for record store owners and staff to meet and interact with labels, distribution, vendors and anyone whose work places them in the orbit of a record store.
In 2017, Record Store Day was a founding partner in the Making Vinyl conference, which brings together the companies and individuals responsible for the ongoing vinyl resurgence.
In 2020, due to the global pandemic which affected record stores worldwide, Record Store Day morphed into three RSD Drops dates-- August 29, September 26 and October 24-- and split the official List of releases between them. The focus wasn't on parties, and shows but on celebrating the comfort, joy and fun that they bring their customers through what they sell. Even during a pandemic, record stores proved essential to their community.”