History of Lakeshore Record Exchange‘s AlternativeMusic.com
In 1988, the Lakeshore Record Exchange was being sold by Ron Stein the founder of the business. Andrew Chinnici bought the business in August of 1988 and has been running it ever since.
In 1995, when the Internet was still new and eCommerce had yet to become a buzzword, Andrew bought the domain name AlternativeMusic.com and designed the site himself. From those humble beginnings, AlternativeMusic.com has evolved and grown and over the years. We look at the website as an extension of our brick and mortar store. Many of our long time customers have shopped with us becuase of our ability to guide them to new music they were unaware of but we knew they would enjoy based on their musical tastes. Realizing that he didn't want AlternativeMusic.com to compete against Internet giants like Amazon and CD Now (or the many companies that would attempt to de-throne them), he decided that Alternativemusic.com would continue to focus on what it has always done make new and emreging artists it priority.
When visiting Lakeshore Record Exchange‘s store at our current location at 370 Park Avenue in Rochester, New York, USA, you can not only buy CD‘s, records and DVDs, you can sell them as well. You can listen to almost any item in the store. We have a large stock of collectable vinyl toys, alternative culture related magazines, posters, t-shirts, stickers, and more. Lakeshore Record Exchange is a small business that understands its market and who it is serving. It isn't pretentious. It doesn't have high profit margins, or a corporate attitude. It has been and continues to be about alternative music and helping people find the coolest merchandise.
Lakeshore Record Exchange was founded as a start-up new business by Ron Stein, who earlier had been Co-founder of Record Archive during its earliest days in the Jefferson Road Flea Market in 1975 and 1976, and former Managing Partner of Play It Again Sam Used Records on Monroe Ave in Rochester NY during 1977 and 1978. Ron‘s wife Jackie helped to run Lakeshore all during Ron‘s tenure. Lakeshore was first located at 4402 Lake Avenue in the Charlotte area of Rochester. It was first opened for a private sale to preferred customers on the night of Friday, October 24, 1980, then opened for business to the general public the next day on Saturday, October 25, 1980.
Initially the shop was strictly a used and collectable record shop, but it was always Ron‘s intention to specialize in whichever areas of new music were to prove popular among the shop‘s early clientele. As Lake Avenue in Rochester has always been somewhat of a ‘heavy metal’ biker and cruising area, it did not take long until some of the shop‘s early customers began asking for English and European records from the ‘New Wave Of British Heavy Metal’, which was just beginning at that time. Ron tried to order the new English and European metal records from some of the American stateside import houses, but was rebuffed and laughed at during those days of ‘New Wave’ snobbery. Undeterred and determined to satisfy his customers, Ron got up at 5AM one morning and telephoned Neon Records in England, at that time the largest UK indie metal distributor, to order the records direct from the source. When the first English shipment arrived, Lakeshore Record Exchange had a ‘New Wave Of British Metal’ product line that was unique in New York State outside New York City, and it was not long before Lakeshore had ‘metal-head’ customers from Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse. The shop had at this point outgrown its original location, and Ron moved the shop into larger quarters at 4410 Lake Avenue in April 1982.
Now having a viable product and looking for a way to promote it, Lakeshore in 1983 established and became primary underwriter of the ‘Metallic Overdrive’ radio show on WGMC, which became the foremost heavy metal radio show in the Rochester area for over ten years. With a growing reputation for being the only knowledgeable metal person in the Rochester area and the only person with the means to promote this new music, Ron began to get calls from booking agents who were trying to get shows for their new and unknown bands. Ron struck up a relationship with The Penny Arcade rock club at the end of Lake Avenue, and Lakeshore Record Exchange became the very first promoter to present underground metal shows at the Arcade - A lakeside tradition that continues to this day. Lakeshore was the first to present live shows in Rochester with some of the biggest names in underground metal - Slayer, Megadeth, Overkill, King Diamond, Metal Church, Celtic Frost, Voi Vod, Kreator, and many others which are still popular over twenty years later. Metallica also visited the shop during their 1983 stay in Rochester while they recorded their debut album ‘Kill ‘Em All’ at Rochester‘s MusicAmerica Studios. Lakeshore co-promoted Metallica‘s first Rochester appearance on August 4, 1983, with Raven at The Riverboat club on East Henrietta Road during Metallica and Raven‘s historic and groundbreaking ‘Kill ‘Em All For One’ tour.
As Lakeshore‘s reputation grew and spread throughout Western New York, Ron opened a second Lakeshore location in Buffalo, NY which operated during 1984 and 1985. The fast growing customer base also began to ask for different styles of imported music, and Ron accomodated them by using his wholesale contacts to expand the inventory into prog-rock, punk, and alternative music imports, as well as becoming a source for rare imported CDs which were difficult to get during the early days of the digital era. By 1988 Lakeshore Record Exchange had grown into a full service alternative music source and a recognized and respected name in the retail music business across all of Western New York.
19 years later Lakeshore Record Exchange maintains a loyal following in the our physical store and on the internet with alternative music collectors who are looking for those hard to find items and who are interested in being turned on to new discoveries. To us, that speaks volumes. We would like the chance to serve you also. If you have any suggestions about AlternativeMusic.com, please drop us an email and tell us. If you are ever in the neighborhood, please drop by. We would love to meet you.