Goner Records – 2152 Young Avenue, Memphis Tennessee 38104
It’s a store. It’s a label. It’s a store. It’s a venue. It’s a shrine. It’s one of Rolling Stone’s top stores in the country.
Memphis is blessed with two of the top record stores in the US, Shangri-La and Goner. One of its co-owners, Eric Friedl, started at Shangri-La, and moved to Goner to start a record label. While not Shangri La’s size, it had a nice selection covering the gamut, including a great selection of blues 78s of which I bought Little Walter’s Juke (my favorite harmonica player). Since I was in Memphis, I was looking for a Big Star record (one of the great under appreciated power pop bands that hailed from Memphis). Found Thirds (pictured below) but settled on a Norton 45 of September Gurls and the Letter live from 1978 (Big Star’s Alex Chilton was in the Box Tops when he was a teenager, and its lead singer). If you don’t know Big Star, you should give a listen – one of their songs was used as the theme song for that 70s show.
The Shrine – to Elvis – who also made his home in Memphis – is pictured below. Apparently, it plays Elvis songs if you stick a quarter in.
Here’s a video tour of the store, interviewing the store’s owners Eric Friedl and Zac Ives about the store, their record label and its history.
And here’s a 2011 article on the website Complex.com Wax Nostalgic: 7 Questions With Zac Ives Of Goner Records Memphis interviewing one of the owner’s of the store. I certainly have gotten laid to a record – my personal favorite is Santana’s Abraxas.
For fun, here’s a You Tube video of the Big Star record I bought, of the band performing September Gurls at a rehearsal in 1974.