Vinyl Junkies was established in 2012 by Eric Howarth, the former owner of record label Hi-Speed Soul (Nada Surf, Swervedriver, Afghan Whigs, and Film School). After selling his first record shop of 8 years in San Diego and taking a hiatus from record retail to run his label full time, the world of vinyl pulled him back in and Vinyl Junkies was born as a mobile record shop selling at events in Southern California.
Soon after, Eric approached Tim Mays of the legendary Casbah club about putting on the Vinyl Junkies Record Swap meet. The idea was met with enthusiasm and the bi-monthly event was born. After years of success with the Swap, in mid-2017 Eric and Tim decided to partner up financially and open the brick and mortar location in South Park that we have today. We’re located in San Diego’s quaint and fiercely independent neighborhood of South Park, right across from the popular Whistle Stop Bar.
We take special pride in the personalized service for our customers and aim to be the “go to” source for serious record collectors and new vinyl listeners alike.
Although we may not be a huge record shop, we are a highly curated store that pays close attention to detail, carrying the types of records in each genre that an expert in that genre would expect to see. Due to our limited size, it requires us to be very intentional about the records that we carry, giving a quality over quantity vibe throughout the shop.
With that said, we have a back room called the Digger’s Den, with all $3 and $5 records. You’ll find less than perfect condition copies of rare records here or great condition copies of more common records. In either case, there are gems to be found and we love seeing people come up to the counter with a stack of 50 great records they’ve pulled from the Den.
We put a lot of care and attention into not only the records that we carry, but also the vibe of the store with our mid century furniture and lighting and our tiki patio out back. Music to us is a conduit to connection with others. A way to share our life experiences with friends, new and old. At Vinyl Junkies, our goal is to be a community resource and a store that supports our local music scene. We hope that when you visit, you feel at home and find some amazing music you were looking for…or better yet…your new favorite record you didn’t even know you needed yet!
Q: I was browsing your inventory and noticed that you have <insert cancelled artist's name here>’s album in stock. What gives?!
A: We've spent a lot of time talking through this at Vinyl Junkies as it’s an issue we don’t take lightly. After much consideration, we have decided that we shouldn’t be the ultimate arbiter on who has committed what offense and if it meets an undetermined standard of how an artist should conduct themselves. If we were to start doing that, we’d be removing a large portion of inventory from the store with all of the alleged misdeeds legacy artists have been a part of in the past. Given that impossible task, we're allowing you the customer to decide if you can separate the art from the artist and enjoy their music. If you can’t, we understand. But please know that just because we have an artist’s album in stock, it doesn’t mean we agree with their personal views outside of the music. That’s your decision to make.