Down & Out in Reno: Recycled Records (Part One)

recycled records frontI don’t care how poor you are. You got to have some tunes! It doesn’t matter if you are a living-paycheck-to-paycheck type of poor or the sleeping-under-a-bridge-marinated-in-your-own-urine poor. Music humanizes us. I have had some rough patches in my life, and people love to judge a person for enjoying anything when you are poor as shit.

“How dare you to listen to that Ace of Base CD when you say you can’t find a job. The only sign you should pay attention to is a “Help Wanted” sign.

Screw them. You need some new music. But money is tight. What are you going to do?

A few weeks ago, I was walking along Virginia Street along what has become mid-town Reno. I knew Recycled Records had moved there around December 2012 but had never taken the time to stop and check them out. I had been to the store when it was on Kietzke Lane to buy a ticket to see Kittie, but that was in 2007.

I had been looking for an album by Beck titled “Mutations.” Like most of the music I enjoy, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble don’t stock much by Beck. As I walked past Recycled Records, I decided to enter and take a peek.

Walking into the narrow, cramped store, I looked at a shelf that said “This just in.” And what was there? “Mutations” by Beck. Score! The price was $8 for the used CD, cheaper – and quicker – than ordering on Amazon. I continued to look at CDs, DVDs, and vinyl. The place is packed with merchandise. It even has cassette tapes.

Recycled Records was started in 1978, but its current owner, Paul Doege, purchased it in 1980. Since then it made a few moves around Kietzke Lane until it ended up in Reno’s midtown. This location, while smaller than past places, is at the heart of Reno’s small business and artisan community. It belongs in midtown.

The urge to use a bathroom grew stronger as I walked around, but its bathroom had a sign reading “for employees only.” Not wanting to advance to the later version of poor mentioned in my opening, I decided it was time to take Beck, along with a Moby album, up to Eric and pay up.

I'm easy to please. The CDs were used (of course) but in great shape. For $13, I left Recycled Records with a grin on my face (and the dire urge to use a bathroom -- read the story).

I’m easy to please. The CDs were used (of course) but in great shape. For $13, I left Recycled Records with a grin on my face (and the dire urge to use a bathroom — read the story).

“I just put this Beck CD out there a few minutes ago,” Eric said.

“This is the exact item I was looking for. Have you heard his new album?” I said.

“No, I ordered it, but it hasn’t arrived. How is it?” Eric asked.

“Great. It reminds me a lot of ‘Sea Change,’ a low-key affair,” I said.

“So it’s kind of like ‘Mutations’ then?”

“Now that I think about it, yes.”

I asked him about the stores trading and selling policy. He said an appointment is required if I want to sell some used CDs for cash, but for trades, anytime is fine. He also said trade value was higher than cash value.

I have plenty of CDs I do not like and decided a trade would be a good way to get rid of my Pistol Annies CD and get something I like.

From this first real visit and purchase, I found Recycled Records to have some great deals. If it has more than four copies of an album, Recycled Records will cut the price in half. Most CDs sell for $8 used, but Recycled Records will take $2 off the total if you buy two. In my case, thanks to our shared respect for Beck, Eric charged me $13 for the Beck and Moby albums.

Did I return with some CDs to trade? You bet I did. How well the trade went, and more about my adventures at Recycled Records will be featured in part two.

And, yes, I did find a bathroom in time.

Recycled Records
822 South Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89501
(775) 826-4119
Hours: M-Th 10am-7pm, F-Sa 10am-8pm, Su 12pm-6pm

Copyright 2014 Tony George



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