For Westchesterites, buying a vinyl record used to require hopping a train into the City or getting ripped off on eBay. Consider Clockwork Records (6 Spring St 914-478-0241), just opened in Hastings-on-Hudson, the answer to local (analog-loving) audiophiles’ prayers.
Owner Mike Rep stocks everything from new releases to original pressings of records by artists ranging from The Beatles to the Germs. “Some collectors wouldn’t put their stuff on the walls. I’m the exact opposite,” he says. “Even if someone walks out of here with a couple of records, it’s an experience. They’ll tell their friends, ‘That guy has cool stuff.’”
For Rep, it’s a business that’s grown from a lifelong passion. “I’ve always bought and sold records, more of a hobby than for income,” he says. “When I first moved to this town five years ago, I said, ‘You know, this place is cool. The possibility of opening a record store is a reality.’”
After finding an ad on Craigslist for the shop’s current space, everything seemed to fall into place—even storage for the inventory. “I knew the guys who managed [now-closed West Village vinyl haven] Bleecker Bob’s, so I called down there and asked if they still had bins. I got them literally two days before they locked up,” says Rep.
Rep’s passion for music—and vinyl—is his compass for doing business every day. “I want this to be a cool place to hang out. For local kids, I could be the one who’s like, ‘Hey, you should check this band out,’ and turn them on to new things.”
And, unlike the holier-than-thou record-store clerks of old, Rep won’t judge your musical tastes—be it Meat Loaf or Black Flag. “Years ago, if you walked into a store and asked the wrong question, you got nothing but attitude,” he says. “I want to carry something for everybody. I don’t want to be just the punk-rock guy.”
Besides selling limited, original pressings of some of the greatest albums of the modern era, Clockwork will sell out-of-print magazines, like Mad, a shortlist of CDs, and small turntables for about $90. If you don’t have $200 dollars to lay down on that limited Misfits pressing, he’ll transfer it to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch for just $10.
The store will also continue to host in-store band signings, the first of which was with the Misfits in June.