He’s considered a Millennial at age 29 and was not raised on vinyl records, but it happens to be his major passion in life – buying, selling and of course – spinning.
“I was raised on cassettes!” said Luis Gonzalez of Lodi, born in Stockton. “I always carried around a Walkman with either the Pokémon or Star Wars soundtrack, which unfortunately, have not survived life.”
“It wasn’t until a few bands I was listening to put out some B-sides (songs) on a Vinyl, that I started collecting, even before I had a record player,” he added.
Today he owns his own start-up called Honeysun Records where he sells his vinyls at a pop-up in downtown Stockton at Waterfront Fridays.
With nearly 1,000 records to sell, and 100 personal (not-for-sale) albums, Luis said 90% of his inventory comes locally from estate sales and thrift shops, some coming from Craigslist and eBay. He’s got 50s to 80s rock and pop, Jazz, R&B, funk, Latin, even some comedy.
“I love vinyl. It’s the debatable but undeniable quality of the sound from records,” said Luis. “With a good audio setup, it’s amazing! Vinyl records have this sound capacity to be unlocked as much as you want to or pay to – something you couldn’t do with an MP3 or streaming.”
“I listen to Spotify at work, but I just love taking time and listening to my favorite records on vinyls,” added Luis, who works for a traffic safety company full time as a supervisor.
He said his personal vinyls include his favorite bands of today, mixed with older gems.
“I really love the band ‘Low,’ I’m in the process of getting their entire discography,” said Luis. “And I just got ahold of Sade’s ‘Diamond Life’ record, that I’m super excited about. I just ordered myself a ‘Lianne La Havas’ record too.”
Prices range from a dollar (bargain bin) to $20, depending on age, newness and rarity.
“I try to keep the prices as low as I can, and use the rule of supply and demand,” he said.
Even with visions of having his own boutique record shop, Luis wants to keep things small.
“I don’t want to operate on a large scale like Rasputin Records,” he said. “On a trip to LA, I went to several record stores like Origami Vinyl, now called Permanent Records and Vacation Vinyl, and I really liked the smaller feel with more obscure record labels and bands.”
“I really want to turn somebody onto some great modern instrumental music or some band in Japan or Australia, that a bigger record store just wouldn’t stock,” said Luis.
When you spin, you’re locked in – at least until you pull up the needle – which is another reason why Luis loves vinyls.
“You’re stuck with that artist,” he said. “For better or worse, you’re committed to listening to that album and experience their creativity.”