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Fans jam at new Saugus record store

Community: Grand opening of music retailer attracts a couple hundred people

Posted: September 23, 2010 6:18 p.m.
Updated: September 24, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Local band Fentruck, right, performs for a couple hundred music fans at the grand opening of Rock Candy Music and More in Saugus on Saturday. The McGrath Project also performed.

 

New music store Rock Candy Music and More owners Billy and Melissa Yergensen threw a grand opening bash Saturday from noon to 10 p.m., and around 200 local music fans checked out the retailer’s racks of new and used CDs, vinyl LP’s and singles, plus posters, T-shirts, rock memorabilia, retro candy, handmade jewelry and other pop-culture accoutrements.

The storefront at the corner of Bouquet Canyon and Plum Canyon roads in Saugus was especially crowded from 8-10 p.m. for the live in-store acoustic performances by local rock bands Fentruck and The McGrath Project.

“The day’s been fantastic,” Billy Yergensen said about 7 p.m., crediting local media coverage including The Signal’s for the strong turnout.

It’s been more than a decade since the Santa Clarita Valley’s last mom-and-pop record store, Rave Up Records in Canyon Country, went belly-up, victim of the ’80s CD revolution but years before vinyl’s recent resurgence in popularity. Until now, SCV music buyers either shopped at local chain or box stores, or, increasingly, made their purchases online.

Fans who want to buy, sell or trade vinyl, CDs and DVDs now have a nearby alternative to those stores and to Amoeba Music in Hollywood or Rockaway Records in Silver Lake.

Yergensen pays between 50 cents to $3 for a used album, depending on condition, popularity and collectibility.

“I’ve had people bring stuff in but they didn’t know what they had, so I’d pull them up to the computer and we’d look it up together,” he said.

Yergensen visits Amazon, eBay and Goldmine online, and consults a thick hard-cover pricing guide for collectibles. “I want to be fair, so I try to use at least three reference points,” he said. “The way I price it is 20-25 percent of what I think I can sell it for. So if I think I can sell something for 10 bucks, I’ll buy it for $2 or $2.50.”

“We always go to Amoeba, and Rock Candy is right down the street, so we came to check them out,” said Kenneth Gentry, 26, of Newhall, after he and companion Jordan Smith, 19, traded in a batch of used vinyl for about $75 cash. “It’s our first time here.”

Gentry and Smith are pros, or “pickers,” as depicted on the History Channel series “American Pickers.”

“We’ve done this for a living the last two years,” said Gentry, a self-described online marketer. “We rush to L.A. Saturday morning, hit Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, buy records, and then re-sell them to places like this. When you can’t find a job, this is the next best thing. So we always have this going.”

Smith said she has a “normal job” in child care, but picks for fun and uses the extra cash or credit to buy other items. This time, the couple went for the cash to help pay the rent.

“I’m just very glad to see something like this in the neighborhood, finally,” Gentry said. “We’ll definitely be regulars here.”

Rock Candy Music and More is open seven days a week. The street address is 28124 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus 91350. The phone number is (661) 263-9800, and the Web address is rockcandymusicandmore.com.

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