Music Business

Record Store Day: 8 Ways to Annoy a Record-Store Worker

Tomorrow is Record Store Day, which is a little bit like the Super Bowl of music shopping: People who have no interest in the sport the rest of the year will be front and center. Rocks Off would never, ever tell anyone not to go to a record store, but people not already planning to make a beeline for Merge Records' RSD-only M. Ward and Arcade Fire singles (for example) as soon as the deadbolt is unlocked Saturday morning might want to hang back until later in the afternoon.

Oftentimes when it comes to record stores, the old saying "The customer is always right" is completely wrong. To hear them tell it, some record-store workers have ample cause to wonder if their customers have ever even listened to music at all. Rocks Off asked our friends at a couple of Houston record stores for some things that get under their skin -- things that, if you're planning a trip to RSD, you might want to avoid.

They've seen and heard it all before. But they'll still be glad to ring you up.


"Hey, do [you] have that song? It has the word 'love' in it? I heard it on the radio."

"'Can you order it from Amazon for me?'"

"Customers who ask music questions for which they already know the answer. Just to argue."

"Customers who dress better than me." [This is two other clerks making fun of one of their co-workers -- ed.]

"People who refer to records as 'vinyls.'"

"Bent vinyl jackets due to negligent packing by distributors. Since most distributors do not accept returns on vinyl, a record store gets left holding the bag."

"People at the register about to buy an LP or CD and their buddy says, 'Save your money, I downloaded it' and walk out."

"Just about to close -- maybe one minute left of a 12-hour day, and someone comes in and says, 'I won't be long,' then proceeds to go through every item in the store. Finally brings an item up to the register and asks for it to be held...ugh."

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray