Friday, September 24, 2010
GOLD MILLION RISES FROM THE ASHES OF PLASTIC FANTASTIC
Before the iPod, there was the CD player.
Before that, there was the cassette tape.
Before that... There was the phonograph.
There are those whose mission is to bring the record back.
Harold Gold and his wife, Max, used to own Fantastic Records in Ardmore. It was a full-service music shop that specialized in old LPs. This was one of the regular haunts of my teenage years, and I sometimes wonder if Harold can remember that annoyking kid with glasses coming in every week asking about a new Todd Rundgren album.
A few years back, on a trip to Philly, I stopped by Plastic Fantastic and found that it had closed. I was sad, almost as if a part of my childhood had died.
I found out a couple of years ago that Harold and Max had resurrected their business in neighboring Bryn Mawr as Gold Million Records. They no longer offer digital music, but their collection of older forms is better than ever.
"We carry no CD's, and no DVD's. But we do carry reels and 8-tracks here. And, of course, vinyl is our specialty," says Harold Gold.
With half a million albums in stock, chances are they have anything you're looking for. They sell online and ship worldwide. What most people see as digital music's improvements, they don't agree.
"Digital music takes out the warmth. It takes out and cleans up all of the imperfections, all the idiosyncrasies of the music. Unfortunately it takes out a lot of what makes the music what it is. People are losing that in the transition."
Gold Million also offers what they call Cool Stuff Made From Records...unique gift items made from actual L-P's and album covers.
"We've created tissue boxes, jewelry boxes, desk accessories, home décor and fashion accessories made from original records."
The Beatles are the shop's number-one sellers, but jazz and classical also do well. And yes, some artists still release on vinyl.
"A lot of the new releases is on a higher-quality, thicker vinyl."
They also have a limited number of high-end music souvenirs like autographed guitars. The shop is at 851 Lancaster Avenue in downtown Bryn Mawr, open Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, phone 610-525-4500, or access their online store at http://www.goldmillionrecords.com