Saturday, September 8, 2012

On The Music Box and Burger Records

Burger Records
645 S. St. College Ave.
Fullerton, CA
Open Daily 11 AM- 9 PM
Five Scoops of Bosco

By Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

When  I was a music-loving teenager growing up in Fullerton, Cali I had a favorite place to take most of my hard earned money from house sitting and working for a janitor overnight weekends.

That would be the Music Box on the corner of Orangethorpe and Brookhurst.

I would ride my ten speed over to the tiny record store in the strip mall and peruse the latest albums on vinyl, 8-Track or cassette.  I liked the vinyl LPs because they had beautiful artwork and photos as well as liner notes that I could read them from cover to cover while I was at the store.

The store manager would, at your request, put the album on the turntable and play it for you if you wanted.  A test drive, if you will.

It was a great time... hanging out, listening to new, good music, and discussing the music and the groups with your friends.

The other thing I remember distinctly about the Music Box was the aroma of the store.  It was a mix of vinyl,  Dr. Zog's surf wax, and incense.  (The store, in addition to selling music, would also sell things like Guitar Strings, incense, pipes, and surfing wax).

I tell you this story because I honestly thought those days were long gone.  I thought those stores didn't exist anymore in this age of the download.

It turns out I was dead wrong.

I walked into Burger Records in Fullerton recently and it was like I had stepped into a time warp.

The aroma of the store was similar to the Music Box. There were vinyl records with real liner notes on the shelves....many of the albums were the ones I hadn't seen since I saw them new at the Music Box.

That part didn't surprise me as much, for some reason, but what surprised me was the section for cassette tapes.  The same cassette tapes I would listen to when I got my '65 Mustang.

Turns out that there is a market for those once again. Who knew?

Mixed in with the used cassette tapes was a slew of brand new ones.

Burger Records is not only a store, but a recording label that represents over one hundred bands including local Fullerton groups like Audacity and the Salsa Chips, and it is great because cassette tapes are relatively inexpensive to produce.

But I had one question about cassettes.  How do they stand up over time?  I was always under the impression they oxidized and became worn out easily.  The answer to the question is, according to Burger Records owner Sean: A long time if stored properly.

After I got home I decided to give it a try and sure enough, my Steely Dan Katy Lied album on cassette from close to 40 years ago sounded as good as it did when I first bought it.

Another surprise is the section of VHS video tapes.  Apparently people are getting back into watching movies on the old format.

Burger Records also has a great mail order business.  I witnessed this first time when I was at the Post Office on Chapman recently and the store manager came in to ship a truck load of new releases.  Mix that service in with the live in-store concerts and some music memorabilia items like old record players and you have a real neat business.

Next time, for old time sake, I think I'll throw some cash in the pockets of my jeans, hop on my ten speed and ride over.

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