Record Store Day 2015 was a blast and ended up being pretty relatable to a history blog (so I won’t actually have to stretch the connection too far here). We got in line at Third Man Records at noon on Friday and hung out over night with some great friends. It was especially fun this year because the weather actually cooperated and about twenty of us organized a BBQ right on site. Additionally, Third Man Records was nice enough to keep their bathrooms open to us this year and we did not have to walk up to the liquor store every time we felt the need to go.
We were let in to Third Man Records just after 10AM on Saturday morning where most people purchased some limited edition records. Ryan even won a 24-carot gold pin in a pin machine and scored a free copy of the World’s Fastest Record. The most prized record of the day however, was Elvis’s very first record ever, re-released on vinyl by Third Man Records. The original album was purchased by Jack for $300,000 in a Graceland auction. This is crazy when you think about the fact that Elvis payed four dollars for the original recording. We were able to view the record behind bullet proof glass with armed guards on duty. It was pretty cool to be that close to such an important piece of music history.
When Elvis originally walked into Sun Records and recorded, the pressing was a little haphazard. I don’t mean to say it was poor quality but the people clearly didn’t predict how amazingly influential Elvis would become. For this reason, the label of the record was actually printed on the back of a Prisonnaires label, another Sun Records artist. In this video, the label is pulled off the record to be seen.
The coolest part of the day was Third Man’s take on public history. Allowing for an interactive element, people could book an appointment to record in “The Blue Room”- Jack White’s iconic concert venue. This is the only concert venue in the world where artists can record directly to acetate. Artists like Conan O’Brien, The Kills and of course, Jack White himself, have all performed on this stage. Those who booked an appointment came and performed a song into the same type of microphone that Elvis used at Sun Records all those years ago and cut a record just as all the other Blue Room performers. I performed The Tragically Hip’s 38 Years Old with Ryan Muddiman thanks to some help from Ryan Mueller! It was loads of fun and the sound quality actually turned out really well. To up the cool factor, they also printed The Prisonnaires label on the back of my hand-typed custom label and used a rubber compound so that you can lift it up and check it out without ruining the label.
All in all, Record Store Day 2015 was really fun! We can’t wait to do it again next year (and the year after that, and the year after that).