If you're looking for Overlea Hobbies where a sign outside says the store should be, you're in for quite a shock.
The former location of the Harford Road hobby shop has been Parkville's newest (and only) record store, Shock Dr., for almost a month.
The new store, which specializes in vinyl records and serves as the office of the rock magazine Shockwave, is operated by Vince Anderson and Parkville resident Rick Harper.
Anderson, 50, has been publishing a music "fanzine" since the late 1980's, when he said that he and friend-slash-current-Shockwave-magazine-managing-editor Steve Higgs decided they wanted to start a music magazine to "hang out, meet bands, go to concerts and get free CD's."
That magazine, originally called the East Coast Rock Report, grew to be Shockwave and most recently relaunched in 2007.
"It's a monthly magazine—reviews and interviews, a cover story that is about national [acts]. We cover primarily national bands, but we have a new mission to focus on local talent," Anderson said.
Harper, 44, got involved about a year ago, he said. The pair have a vision of a community record shop where customers can relax and shop for music and maybe enjoy some live performances.
Anderson explained that he was inspired to open a record shop after being involved with the music industry and a lifetime of collecting vinyl records himself.
"Both my dad and I were collectors—I’ve worked in record stores over the years, I'm a big fan of the movie Empire Records ... I just love the whole concept of what Empire Records epitomizes: rock and roll, listening to music, it’s just an extension of the rock and roll lifestyle ... I couldn’t be a rockstar so here I am in a record store."
Harper said that he and Anderson are working with an "as yet unnamed" radio station to put together a live broadcast—either over radio or the internet—from the Parkville storefront.
"Ernest Tubb, was a famous country/western guy from Nashville ... he had a small record shop and made lots of country western bands famous by doing this midnight radio show," Harper said. He said that Tubb served as an inspiration for the broadcast.
"We’ll have local bands come in here and play any time they want. It's to our benefit because it attracts new people to the store and it serves our mission to promote local music and the local music scene."
Around the store you'll find albums on the wall—a testament to the music both Anderson and Harper enjoy: heavy metal.
"Our store is a bit of a celebration of local music from the early 80’s ... the albums on the wall are local bands signed to national labels or even self releases. We’re really big on the local music scene and supporting it," Anderson said.
The shop isn't all about metal music though—in crates around the store you'll find rock music from the 1950's to the present.
And it's been drawing in the customers. Anderson and Harper said they've had a lot of people coming in to buy and sell records in the three weeks they've been open—something the duo thinks will only increase.
"We hope to see a lot more people, have a lot more in-store [performances], a lot more activity in general … vinyl is making a comeback, they're printing a lot more. Vintage vinyl is very highly collectible," Anderson said.
Some of the cooler and more valuable stuff they have?
"A [Led] Zeppelin I pink vinyl—the Nirvana stuff that they put out themselves, Sun records stuff ... Buddy Rich, Charlie Rich," he said.
Harper explained that he hopes to see the Parkville Main Street become a sort of haven for collectors and musicians.
"Having Collectors Corner across the street ... we have stuff that you collect too. It's been very beneficial, we’ve benefitted more from them than they have from us. Just Audio caters to musicians a lot of the time ... It's a real relaxed kind of come in and talk shop atmosphere," Harper said.
Talking shop is something both Anderson and Harper are eager to do—they'll gladly share behind-the-scenes tales of bands they've met and interviewed, most of which aren't printable here on Patch.
We did ask them, though, what was that first album that made them life-long music lovers.
"My dad had an enormous album collection, when I was able to play his albums with utmost care — there was no particular album that I can recall … any number of 5,000 rock and roll albums that I wanted to check out," Anderson said.
Harper's answer was more clear-cut.
"Kiss, Destroyer—I got it Christmas of 1977 and I was hooked … pretty much since high school, I’ve been in the music business one way or another," Harper said.
Are you excited to have a record shop in Parkville? What was the album that got you into the music you love today? Tell us in the comments.