For the record
Last year, Recycled Records closed its North and South Virginia Street stores and consolidated operations at its new location, 3344 Kietzke Lane, next to Swenson’s and Supercuts. Longtime owner Paul Doege has run the store for 29 years.
What prompted the move?
We were at our old location for almost 25 years, and we got new landlords in about a year or two before my lease was up, and they wanted to raise my rent by 50 percent. We wouldn’t be talking now if it was, because I’d be out of business. … By chance I talked to this [Kietzke Center] guy and I said, “Got any bigger places there?” And he goes, “Yeah, we got one 3150.” … I’d be paying $3,000 a month more there [at the old location] and I’m paying $2,000 a month less here than I was. … It was one of the things where it was a real pain in the neck to move. You know, I mean, there’s only one way to move records and CDs a 50-pound armload at a time. … But now that the dust has settled, boy, am I glad we moved.
This store is a lot lighter.The other one was kind of dank.
Because we had a western exposure and with a western exposure, the sun comes in so hot in the afternoon that we always had to have all the shades on the windows. And we had a concrete floor that had nothing on it, so we just rolled some old cheap carpet down on it and that was what it was. And with this we have a northern exposure. In the summertime we get a little tiny bit of sun crossing right there over in that little corner. We can leave our doors open, our windows open. … Our access is so much easier in regards to that parking lot. … We still have good freeway access.
I went to your home page, and it says, “We’re still here and we still don’t suck.” As an advertising slogan, it’s not exactly “Reach out and touch somebody.”
“Recycled Records/It doesn’t suck” was basically started—I call it the anti-jingle. I have a firm belief that people like something that they can sing along with, and they don’t sound any worse than the person singing it. I think that’s been the appeal of Willie Nelson or a Lou Reed or a Neil Young for a long, long time. Certainly they’re good artists, they’re wonderful writers, they write good music. They don’t have a really good voice. And I think that’s part of the appeal is that you can kind of sing along with this, and you don’t sound any—Eric [Jacobson], my manager sings it, the one on the radio. We use it at the end of all of our ads, our TV ads, our radio ads—[sings:] “Recycled Records doesn’t suck. Thanyoovurrymuch.” And we put that on the end of it, and people love it. And as with anything, you’re always going to get a certain percentage of people that like it or don’t like it, but it’s served me well, and it’s my brand now whether I want it or not. I just don’t have much say, I’m afraid.
The first time I came in to the old store, I carried my purchases away in a bag that had a wonderful R. Crumb cartoon on it.
Wow, you were …
What happened to those bags?
The store had been established in 1978. I bought it in December of 1980. … The guy who originally started it, his name was Nikolai Janiskowski, and he knew Crumb. He was kind of a barrel house piano player, and he knew Crumb from the Cheap Suit Serenades. … So he knew him and got R. Crumb to design the logo, the original logo for Recycled Records. … I didn’t use it because I didn’t have the rights to use it. He could have transferred it to me, maybe. But I didn’t want to screw over R. Crumb. I still have one old T-shirt left, just beat to death, with the Crumb thing on the front.
[The R.Crumb cartoon referenced here can be viewed at http://sirrealcomix.mrainey.com/page/_posters/RecycledRecords.htm]