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Record store resurrected in Waynesboro

January 15, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Chuck Breininger specializes in obscure, hard-to-find music, the kind one doesn't find at Wal-Mart or the kind that takes hours digging through flea markets to find.

Breininger, 45, owns R.I.P. Records in the South Potomac Street Shopping Center, a small shop aimed at music lovers with a penchant for 1960s and early 1970s psychedelic, hard and progressive rock, folk rock and more.

"The neat thing about owning a business like this is that you can handle what you want and this is the kind of music I like," he said. "I'm not a mainstream kind of person."

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Bins of old vinyl records, a dwindling number of cassette tapes and cases filled with old and new compact discs make up Breininger's inventory.

Imports do well in the shop that opened in October.

Breininger pulled out a CD put out by a German Progressive Rock band. Next he showed a CD by a little known, but extremely talented Texas guitar player named Eric Johnson and his Mariani Band.

"They only made about 100 records and they were all on white labels and blank white jackets that weren't sold commercially," Breininger said. "Those are all that exist. If you found one you'd have to pay $1,000 to $1,200 to get it. This CD company found it and reissued it," he said.

Breininger said the success of his business depends on matching his customers with the music they want.

"Maybe they want heavy guitar music or whispy folk rock. If I don't have it I try to get it for them," he said.

A quick look at in the old vinyl section finds such artists as Bob Dylan, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Pink Floyd, Velvet Underground and the Electric Prunes.

"I have to be extremely selective in what I buy," Breininger said. His customer base runs from serious collectors to curiosity seekers who browse through the store.

He finds his inventory at trade shows, other dealers and from people who come into the store with something to sell.

Breininger said he only trades up. "I'll buy one record that will sell for $50 or more rather than a box full that sells for $2 or $3 each," he said.

He doesn't take consignments and does not do lay-a-ways.

Vinyl records are making a comeback, especially among younger customers, he said. While good old records sell well, companies are turning out new records as well.

This is the second go-around for R.I.P. Records. Breininger ran a shop under the same name on center square from 1985 to 1988. The store did well, and closed for personal reasons, he said.

"I sold records and (cassette) tapes. There weren't many CDs then," he said.

He kept his hand in the business in the in-between years by selling at music and trade shows. Most of the inventory in the new store was stacked up in his basement, he said.

R.I.P. Records is a family business. His wife, Peggy, daughter Anna, and son, Dan, 16, help out.

Dan said while he prefers more modern music than what he sees in his dad's shop, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix are among his favorites.

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