California Chronicle | Mr. Vinyl keeps passion alive for vintage music in Sedalia

By Aaron R. Walther, The Sedalia Democrat, Sedalia, Mo.

Feb. 22–Mark Micloskey credits Jimi Hendrix for sparking his interest in music.

Micloskey, owner of Mr. Vinyl’s Record Exchange in downtown Sedalia, recalls walking into a club in the New York City neighborhood of Greenwich Village one day and seeing something amazing.

Micloskey, now 60, said he was just 16 years old when he went into Club Wha? to see a band called Jimmy James and the Blue Flames.

“I saw this guitarist and I was shocked to see what he was doing with that guitar,” he said.

That guitarist turned out to be Hendrix and the sounds he created that day ignited in Micloskey a long-lasting passion for music.

“That could be the culprit,” Micloskey said.

Micloskey has been running his record exchange business for nearly 19 years and is now in his fifth location, on East Third Street between Ohio and Lamine avenues.

He said he got into the business not only because of his interest in music, but because it’s the kind of place where he enjoyed searching for that hidden jewel.

“I loved going to these types of places. When you find something you’ve been looking for, it’s like finding a lost treasure,” Micloskey said.

Although the popularity of vinyl has waned considerably over the years, Micloskey believes there are still people interested in old vinyl records.

“It’s fallen off since I started in 1991. Vinyl was beginning to be obsolete even before I opened the store. Collectors have the most interest now,” he said.

But with music readily available over the Internet these days, Micloskey said other formats of recorded music are taking a hit as well.

“People aren’t even buying CDs that much anymore. They’re not buying it, they’re just downloading it.”

Micloskey said he doesn’t necessarily prefer vinyl over other formats because what’s really important to him is the music, no matter what form it comes in.

“I don’t care. I’ll listen to any of it as long as I like the song. It’s the message to me. I collect 78s, cassettes, CDs and records … as long as I like the song.”

He doesn’t admit to having a favorite band, but Micloskey said he prefers good blues with a good lead guitarist.

He said he enjoys artists such as Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Robin Trower, Joe Bonamassa and Walter Trout.

But Micloskey believes today’s music is missing something. He said young people are playing video games and they aren’t playing music as much, and music has suffered because of it. He said modern music doesn’t feature virtuoso guitar leads, and harmony has been lost, too.

“Music today is geared toward youth who may not remember what’s missing from the music,” he said.

His customers’ tastes, Micloskey said, vary depending on their age.

“Older people like older music, younger people are buying new music. But there’s also a crossover of young high schoolers who are into the Doors, Led Zeppelin and Kiss,” he said. “What is sought after most is radical music.

Music like rockabilly, and R&B music like Little Richard and Chuck Berry. Today, it’s heavy metal.”

Micloskey doesn’t claim to know everything about music because there’s just so much of it, and he said no one can have all that covered. Even in his own store, Micloskey said he’s not really sure if there’s a treasure hidden somewhere in the bins or not.

“There could be one jewel in the rack,” he said.

Besides running his record exchange, Micloskey writes songs, plays the guitar and is a budding author. He completed a non-fiction book titled “Miranda Shadow” and has been shopping it around for about four months, but as of yet, he’s had no offers.

“No one has really read it. Agents aren’t interested in reading it,” he said.

Micloskey said the purpose of his book is to raise awareness of child abuse and is based on the life of a woman who was abused as a child; he met the woman through a social networking Web site.

He conducted a series of interviews with her over a period of 14 months and wrote the book while working at the record exchange, he said.

Micloskey said the songs he writes are based on real events and real tragedies. He’s written songs about a man killed by a train, and his own personal losses such as the deaths of his father from cancer, and his brother, who was killed in Vietnam.

With the book, he said, he wanted to tell the woman’s specific story.

“It was bigger than a song,” he said.

Until the time comes when his book sells and he goes off on a book tour, Micloskey said he will continue to run Mr. Vinyl’s Record Exchange and hopes to make it to 20 years of being in business.

And even though he knows he won’t get rich from it, it’s the love of the music that keeps him in it.

“You have to have the passion to bring the music to the people,” he said.

—–

To see more of The Sedalia Democrat or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.sedaliademocrat.com.

Copyright (c) 2010, The Sedalia Democrat, Sedalia, Mo.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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Posted via web from The LP Revival Blog

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~ by lprevival on February 23, 2010.

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