As the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic begins to slow in California, according to Gov. Newsom’s coronavirus report card, people across the state are looking forward to a return to normalcy.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state would be transitioning to phase two of its “California Resilience Roadmap Stages” plan starting on Friday, May 8. This allows certain retail businesses with lower risk of transmission to open up for curbside services.
Newsom took to Twitter to explain which businesses qualified for reopening and which did not.
Music store Voodoo Vinyl in Newhall is among the stores able to open as early as Friday –– that is, if Los Angeles County health officials decide to follow the state’s lead.
It’s been a struggle for Greg Pinker, the shop’s co-owner.
“When we first closed the store, we tried to operate by appointment only,” Pinker said. “We were trying to minimize the amount of people in the store.”
Pinker quickly realized it was unrealistic to keep operating as normal. The shop shut down just a few days before mandated by the state.
“I personally can’t wait to reopen. I love talking with people about music,” Pinker said. “The effects of the disease have been tremendous. We haven’t been able to pay our rent.”
Pinker knows that a local record store can bring music fans together.
“I just wanted a place where people could hang out and talk about and enjoy music.” said Pinker, who knows the importance of having a local record store. “I think having the ability to talk with people about music, you learn about artists you didn’t even know existed. You get turned on to new bands all the time by just having a conversation.”
Record stores like Voodoo Vinyl are a rare commodity nowadays, especially in Santa Clarita. For someone like, Jase Salter who frequently visits the shop, seeing it disappear was not an option.
Salter is a local photographer and music producer who reached out suggesting to host a gallery to help bring more business into Voodoo Vinyl.
“They’re a mom and pop shop,” Salter said. “They want to survive, just like all the other small businesses.”
“It’s almost our duty, for people who like vinyl, to try to help them sustain their business.”
Uncertainty surrounds music stores like Voodoo Vinyl –– even giants like Amoeba Records.
Amoeba announced in April it would not be reopening its doors until it moves locations in the fall.
Amoeba Planned to move from its historic Sunset Boulevard location in Hollywood. The company expressed disappointment that its customers would not be able to go visit the store one last time.
“This is heartbreaking for us. We never envisioned not being able to give the store the send-off it deserves, to give you all a chance to say goodbye,” Amoeba said in a statement from their website. “We had so many events planned to celebrate our history at 6400 Sunset! But we are facing too many mitigating circumstances that simply won’t allow for it.”
Fans shared the sadness related to the sudden news of the closure on Twitter. Their pleas prompted responses from the shop’s Twitter account.
For Pinker, seeing a goliath like Amoeba struggling will make it daunting for his small family owned shop to recover, but he’s excited to get back to work.
“Our plan is to reopen as soon as we are able to,” Pinker said. “I’ve been collecting records since I was 10. Still have the first record I ever bought, ‘Meet the Beatles’.”
“Music has always been an important thing growing up.”
Canyons News reporters Cristina Lombardo, Emily Berryhill and Sasha Strater contributed to this article.