I recently had a lovely reunion with my dear friend and her husband in Decatur. As I left their house, I asked if they knew of a good place to pick up used CDs.
“Wax ‘N’ Facts or Wuxtry,” Rhonda said. “But try Wuxtry first for their CD collection,” Richard added.
I had heard of Wax ‘N’ Facts, but (and I’m ashamed to admit it) Wuxtry was a new name for me.
Wuxtry Records was founded in Athens in 1976 and the Decatur site opened two years later. They are listed as one of Rolling Stone’s Top 25 Record Store Picks.
As I walked into the crowded little store, I immediately understood why Wuxtry is such a landmark for music retail. It had a cool and immediate fuck vibe.
I felt a shameless garage sale feel as I searched through crates and boxes filled with albums in alphabetical order. Unpretentious – Wuxtry knows they’re home to the most amazing selection of hard-to-get music products, and there’s an unspoken “you’re welcome here”.
The walls are covered with a mess of posters, many of which appear to be collectibles themselves.
Perhaps MORE importantly, I could tell that the employees, as well as the customers, were clearly present when these legends on the walls were at their peak.
These rock aficionados had salt and pepper hair pulled back in ponies, wore faded t-shirts with tour dates from the 60s, 70s and 80s, and were immersed in ‘behind the scenes’ conversations as they held up vinyl records and recounted the times they had seen them in concert. Their enthusiasm was intoxicating.
I had gone into my own version of “Almost Famous” and was in a room with some of the guys who had been on tour with the bands.
Led Zeppelin, Queen, Black Sabbath, The Who, Talking Heads, Pink Floyd, The Cars, The Clash, The Cure, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more – they were all there and well represented.
Wuxtry should charge a blanket for the ambience alone.
Carried away by a state of nostalgic happiness, I felt honored and delighted to attend a beautiful exchange that took place between these lovers of legends, these keepers of the flame, these spectators on horseback or to die who had followed ( and still follow) their groups across countries and through decades just to see them live “once again”.
I was among the grown-ups who had been among THE grown-ups.
I heard a particularly passionate enthusiast, who had a stack of Phish vinyls balanced on a crate in front of him, say, “Shit, I was looking for this one.
“Find one you don’t have?” I asked, noticing his Phish T-shirt.
“I have the special edition CD but not the vinyl. I was there in 95. I saw them live when it was recorded, ”he replied without breaking eye contact with the black holy grail and wrapped in plastic (for him anyway) albums. by Phish.
“Were you there? It’s amazing,” I replied, delighted for him.
“Have you heard of these guys? “
He held up a vinyl with the name of a band I had never seen. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, an Australian punk rock band.
“No, I’m not cool enough,” I said, admitting my lack of knowledge with regret.
“If you want to improve your game, check them out.”
“Most of the def. Thank you, I replied.
I checked them out, and he was right – Thu. High.
As I approached the counter with my stack of CDs, I was only too delighted (and surprised) to be complimented on any of my choices.
“Great selection,” the Phish fan said. “Madonna. Vogue. Great stuff.
He was referring to the Immaculate Collection album that I had found.
“Yeah,” I said, “True Blue will always be my favorite album, but you can’t beat Vogue. “
When checking out, I replaced my Zeppelin CDs with REM and Tori Amos.
“I just feel the need to let you know, sir, that I realized I already have these albums. That’s why I’m replacing them, ”I said in a neutral tone.
Reader, if you’ve ever replaced a Zeppelin recording at a checkout, you understand my moral obligation to explain why. The salesperson, who I thought was the manager and who may have met Zeppelin at some point, smiled and asked me to come back soon.
My first mini road trip, after the vaccination, could not have been better.
If you can’t make it to one of the Wuxtry locations, find a local second-hand record store to visit. Watch, engage, and buy music.
You will be glad you did.
Born in Rome, Olivia Gunn returned to her roots after a brief period of study at a university in Scotland. She is currently working on a book of essays and poetry as well as a dissertation.