Digging at Bleecker Bob’s was kind of a rite of passage for local New York City vinyl junkies. While the shop was known as a punk haven in the 80’s, it was more known for it’s owner in the 90’s and early 2000’s. To put it bluntly, the guy was a real douche.
In the next few months, the record shop will be closing it’s doors for good. While it didn’t yield the best crate digging experiences, it’s still sad to see a landmark and cultural icon of NYC’s downtown. Every vinyl junkie from my era has a store about their experience at Bob’s, so as an homage to the store, here’s mine…
In 2000 I used to take trips to the city to get the latest hip-hop vinyl and some sample material. Usual stops included Rock & Soul, Disco-rama (RIP), and Bleecker Street records. While exploring the area, I wandered into Bleecker Bob’s. I was greeted with a dirty look by Bob as I’m pretty sure he looked down at the sampling-crowd. While digging, I came across nothing but over-priced stacks of wax. The cheapest records were 15 bucks, which at the time, was a lot. I hit the dollar bins looking for some heat but came up with the usual lounge/exotica BS.
While there, Bleecker Bob was an ass to one of his employees. The guy just started 2 weeks ago and looked in his early 20’s. Bleecker Bob was ripping him for no reason. A group of teens walks in and says “hey, I heard we can get fake ID’s here“. Bleecker Bob flipped out and said “where did you hear that from? People like you is the reason you can’t get them” and essentially kicked them out. I paid my $35 for a few LP’s while an annoyed Bleecker Bob looked down and me and sent me on my way.
Despite his attitude, Bleecker Bob and his eccentric passion for vinyl will be missed in NYC.