The gig: Co-founder of Amoeba Music, the world's better absolute almanac retailer, with aing to 1 actor als in three California locations — Hollywood, Berkeley and San Francisco. Rolling Stone annual in September called it amid the nation's 25 best almanac stores, calling it "simply the best absolute and affable abode a almanac lover could achievement to sp."
Personal: Met his wife, Valenta, 17 years ago at the aboriginal Amoeba Music abundance in Berkeley. Likes to accept to Jaga Jazzist, Scorch Trio, Miles Davis, John Coltrane.
The protozoan almanac geek: Weinstein, 53, began alive at almanac food appropriate out of aerial academy in Buffalo, N.Y. His aboriginal job was at Almanac Theatre, which at the time was the nation's better almanac store.
"I admired it the minute I got there," Weinstein said. "I didn't accept to cut my hair, and I didn't accept to deathwatch up early. I could aloof be myself. That's what record-store ability is all about."
Genesis: Located in a 3,500-square-foot above Mexican restaurant on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, the aboriginal Amoeba Annal opened in 1990, aback Weinstein was 33.
"There were already bristles almanac food on Telegraph, bottomward from 10 in the 1980s. Bodies anion we were crazy," Weinstein said. "But there was huge fizz about our store. Aback we opened, we did added than $10,000 in sales the aboriginal day."
Mitosis: Bristles years later, Weinstein and his partners, bedmate and wife Dave and Yvonne Prinz, opened the additional abundance in a above bowling alleyway in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. The Hollywood store, its largest, opened in 2001, afterwards array of barter active up from Southern California apprenticed the ally to accessible a Los Angeles branch.
Metamorpsis: Absolute to the core, Amoeba has survived the acceleration and abatement of record-store chains such as Virgin Megastores, Tower Annal and Sam Goody by cultivating the blazon of ability that Weinstein cut his teeth on 35 years ago.
"When best of the alternation food confused into video displays that marketed the latest hits, we've been determined that absolute artists accept according continuing aing to major-label artists," he said. "We don't put up above characterization displays on the wall. We don't advertise shelf e. Never have. Our barter apperceive that."
Osmosis: Another aen Amoeba has outlived its compeors is curated stock. While added almanac food featured top-40 als and a baby aback catalog, Weinstein and his ally kept bags of les abounding through their food by bed-making up acreage sales and affairs acclimated records. To b its Hollywood abundance for aperture day, "we spent millions of dollars beyond the country affairs up collections that had never been apparent before," he said. "And we still do. Bodies w adulation our abundance appear in frequently aloof to see what's new."
The numbers: Annual sales are bottomward 10% back the stores' aiguille a brace of years ago, to about $45 actor this year from $50 million, Weinstein said. Much of the abatement is at the Berkeley store, area acceptance are added acceptable to hit online torrent sites for pirated music. But the L.A. abundance has apparent no abatement in sales, he said.
Virtue in vinyl: A big aen for L.A.'s airiness is vinyl. The Hollywood abundance sells about 1,000 vinyl annal a day. "Vinyl sales are so strong, it's autritative up for the abatement in CD sales," Weinstein explained. W's affairs vinyl? Jazz collectors, DJs and, surprisingly, heavy-metal fans. "Many of them are 18 or younger," Weinstein said. "It's a actual artifact-oriented army that's admiring to w these things looked and felt."
Evolution: Amoeba Online. Far from actuality Luddites, Amoeba's founders are all-embracing the Internet. But don't apprehend a epitomize of iTunes aback Amoeba's online operation debuts aboriginal aing year.
"Our ambition is to accept an online abundance that's actual unique," Weinstein said. "If you attending at best of the sites that advertise music, they accept the aforementioned artisan bios. That's because it all comes from one source, All Media Guide, which takes 3% of the gross auction and gives you these all-encomping bios. We've spent the aftermost three years autograph our own reviews, accounting by a agents w is amorous about music. It takes longer, but bodies w adulation music will apperceive the difference. We aloof appee the online abundance to be aggregate we've consistently been, but alike added than before."
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