Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NEW YORK RECORD SHOP PIONEER ALAN MELTZER DEAD AT 67

The old Titus Oaks Record Exchange on Old Country Road in Hicksville, NY, is the very first independent record shop I set foot in over 25 years ago, sending me on my way for a quarter century of crate digging to which I still cite as my primary leisure of choice.

And it is with a heavy heart that I bring the news of the passing of Alan Meltzer, the man who opened up the first Titus Oaks in Brooklyn back in the late 60s before launching CD One Stop, one of the largest wholesale distributors of CDs back in the 80s and 90s before starting Wind-Up Records, a label responsible for both one of the best groups of the last 20 years in The Wrens and the absolute worst band quite possibly in American rock history in Creed. Nevertheless, the man was a pioneer of the independent record store template that is slowly growing extinct as the digital format continues to eat through the viability of tangible music goods like CDs and vinyl like MRSA. It was recently announced, however, that American Idol Season 10 finalist James Durbin, the kid responsible for introducing Judas Priest and Zakk Wylde to the Tweeting tweens the world over, signed with Wind-Up for a multi-album deal.

I had the opportunity to speak with Alan about 10 years ago when I was writing a story for SHOUT Magazine about the endangerment of indie record shops and he was as gracious as he was cantankerous and I am very sorry to hear of his passing.

For more information on the death of Alan Meltzer, please check out Matthew Perpetua's piece in Rolling Stone. -Ed.

4 comments:

Jim Eigo - Jazz Promo Services said...

RIP Alan Meltzer. I grew on Ave U and remember well his stores first on Church and Flatbush then Ave U and Ocean Ave. He wasn't the first record shop in Brooklyn, but believe he was first selling used vinyl.

Monty Bailey said...

My name is Monty better known as DJ Monty B I use to dig at the Flatbush store I remember I could not afford any of the records I wanted but he never chased me out of the store I was 16 the worst thing to happen was the blckout of 1977 I was completely lost when his store was looted all I remeber is if you could not find a recoed there you couldn't it anywhere I miss that store and Al will be missed.

Monty Bailey said...

For give my type-o's

Dennis Yates said...

A trip to this store on Church and Flatbush every Saturday for several years was something I looked forward to for years when I was a teen. I built the bulk of my record collection from Titus Oaks and spent hours hoping to find a "gem" in the used album section. I have very fond memories of this place and Alan. I know he will be missed. R.I.P Alan.