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Monday April 22nd 2019

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Revolver Records Reveals Plans for their Mid-Move Record Store Day (Kind Of)
By Savannah Evanoff

Eric Jones doesn’t plan to skip Record Store Day.

The owner of Revolver Records is between shops this year—mid-move from his old location downtown on Gregory Street and the new one on 12th Avenue in East Hill—but will still offer a selection of exclusive 2019 Record Store Day releases from a pop-up shop on the big day—which falls on Saturday, April 13, this year.

The exact time and location is currently a tad hush-hush, but Jones will announce the details on Revolver Records’ Facebook and Instagram pages soon.

Although the Record Store Day event won’t take place in a traditional store, the supply of products will be comparable to that of previous years. The vinyl record holiday is a booster shot for record stores, Jones said, and one he knows his customers don’t want to miss out on.

“Record stores are a national treasure I think,” Jones said. “Anything that helps put them in the forefront of people’s minds and gets people in the store shopping is a good thing.”

Jones aims to open the new location in early May—knock on wood.

‘Sweets and beats’
East Hill is Jones’ home.

After all, he grew up there through 2004. Relocating his record store to the iconic Pensacola neighborhood was partially because of his emotional attachment to it.

“The first house I lived in in East hill was on Maxwell Street, a block and a half away from the new store location,” Jones said. “That was around 1966—so a long time ago. I remember The Beatles being played on the radio constantly when we lived on Maxwell Street.”

Little has changed in East Hill over the years, but why should it? That’s part of its appeal.

The community is still characterized with Victorian homes, high ceilings, wood floors and an allure for businesses and residences alike.

“My first shop was there, so I have a long, long history both emotionally and as a businessman in East Hill,” Jones said. “I was on 12th Avenue for 13 years with my first record store, which was called East Hill CD, so it was named after the neighborhood.”

It’s a vibrant neighborhood, Jones said. He hopes to add even more life and diversity to 12th Avenue with a cool record store.

Jones has had his heart set on returning to East Hill for a while, but the 12th Avenue location was bigger than he anticipated and came with a higher price tag. Brenda Mader, the owner of Dolce & Gelato, had the same concerns about the space.

“We’ve known each other since the early ’90s,” Jones said. “We vibe really well—our personalities— and we thought, ‘Well, we both want to be in there, but it’s way too much square footage for both of us individually. Why don’t we just team up?’

So they did.

A partition will separate the two businesses, but they will still be connected with entrances to each other. Jones admits others find it an unconventional pairing.

“Some of my friends looked at me, turned their head sideways like a puppy dog when he hears a funny noise, like, ‘Record stores and gelato?’” Jones said. “Why not? People like records. People like ice cream, coffee and wine, so there’s no reason you can’t find symbiosis between the two.”

“The official slogan I’ve come up with for the enterprise is ‘sweets and beats.’”

‘Surface noise’
Jones exemplifies every bit of the record store owner persona—cool, musically knowledgeable and just a touch mysterious.

It’s because Jones himself is the product of another of his kind.
Jones once had a corporate job in Tallahassee, enslaved to 100-plus hour work weeks and no overtime. He reached his breaking point and moved back to Pensacola.

It wasn’t long before he stumbled into the local record shop.

“He was the cool record store owner,” Jones said. “He was a British American gentleman. I came in and bought a lot of records from him. I heard he was looking to hire someone, and I went in and he hired me on the spot.”

That was in April of 1987. Jones fell in love with it, opening his own store in 1995.

He has sold records for 32 years this month.

“Why sell records? It’s just what I do,” Jones said.

When asked about the appeal of records, Jones pulls out exactly the meaningful explanation you expect. He paraphrases a quote from John Peel, a former English DJ and journalist.

“Someone asked him, ‘What’s the appeal of vinyl records? They’re noisy and scratchy,’” Jones said. “The audiophile term for that is surface noise. His answer for that was, ‘Life has surface noise.’”

Records elicit a sense of realness, Jones said. They are tactile, sensory and have a long history—dating back to the 1800s.

“That’s well over a century and a quarter ago that records came about,” Jones said.

“They’re older than the automobile, the wireless telegraph, the radio and the telephone. It’s tried and true technology. It’s like a cockroach. You try to kill it, and it just keeps coming back.”

Jones doesn’t dilute himself, he said.

“I know a lot of people, including my close friends, don’t listen to vinyl; they listen to Pandora or Spotify,” Jones said. “Even downloading is passé, which says a lot about vinyl. Vinyl has stood the test of time.”

REVOLVER RECORDS
DETAILS: facebook.com/revolverfl and revolver_records on Instagram