Ask Exene: What Kind of Punk Do I Stock In My Record Store So I Don't Look Like a Poseur?
Exene Cervenka is a writer, visual artist and punk rock pioneer. The OC transplant is the lead singer for X, the Knitters and Original Sinners. If you want to ask the legendary vocalist for advice, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEAR EXENE: I'm about to open a record store in my area catering mostly to buyers of new/used vinyl, and of course there's plenty of punk from the '60s and '70s that I'm stocking on the shelves. It's not my biggest area of expertise as a buyer, but I know it's an element I want in the store. I go record shopping a couple of times a week. I'm a tiny shop, so I try to focus on getting the best stuff I can, with no room for junk. I was wondering, if you had one or two punk records--aside from X, of course--that it would be a crime to not have in my store, what would it/they be and why? I know that's broad, but I figure you have a few faves you couldn't live without.
That's a hard question. I love the Dangerhouse 45s, the Dills, Weirdos, Black Randy. I think the Hollywood punk scene was so earth-shatteringly great, and I hope it will always be there for everyone. Of course, those records might be hard to find! One thing I'm always looking for in thrift stores: turntables, especially ones with 33, 45 and 78 rpm. Maybe that would be another item you could carry? It would be great if you would consider having talks and Q&A sessions with punks still around to better inform your customers about the fascinating and little-understood Southern California punk scene. It's one that has remained underground for too long, and maybe now it's time to get some of the true champions of the scene, past and present, to start a dialogue about the glory days from the past and maybe give a hint of where the scene could go in the future. What's the name of your store? I'd love to check it out! Good luck, and good work!
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