Finding a storefront was the easy part. Transforming a building that was a photography studio in the 1960’s and then a print shop into a record store ? Not so much. The demolition took a month just to clear out all the dust and debris. One of the nastier tasks involved tearing down the old, tin ceiling. Decades of dirt and soot spilled down on everyone helping with the project, probably taking a year off their lives, and was “worse than being a garbage man for a summer” (according to CB).
CB and Kratz wanted to keep the integrity of the building’s bricks, but that involved an intensive sand-blasting process as they had accumulated fifty years or more of grime. Donnie, from Reggies, tore through the dusty drywall with an axe, tearing into the flimsy gypsum panels like a viking on a raid. Next on the project list was the stage. CB and his band mate, Goose, collected wood from a metal factory in Northbrook; the weather-beaten wood added a rustic tone to the room with its red-brick walls and dark flooring. One thing was kept from the photo studio – a vintage, baby blue counter that could easily have been found in a post-war American kitchen.
The first jams to be played in the record store were supplied by a boombox CB has had since he was a kid. Not the most hi-fi, but a sort of breaking-in of the new space. The list of people to thank for their help on the project is long : the Reggies Crew migrated from home base at 2105 South State Street to help, including Keith, Donnie, Mizzo, Ed, Brendan, Sluggo, Sean and Erynne, but we also had loads of help from other friends – Amy, Goose, Chauncey, Tom the Mason, Fred, Michelle, Ashley Ono and Lara (who painted the rad mural).
As always, thank you to Robby and thank you to Reggies for all the support. Come out and help us break in the new space on 10 September from 5 to 9 pm – there will be beer, coffee and live music !