This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
/// MUSIC ISSUE DODD’S NOT GIVING UP


simple building and sign fool you. Dodd’s Record Shop is a music lover’s paradise; one that’s been holding its own for 60 years. Inside, the walls are lined with wooden shelves. Each shelf


O 44 | REVUEWM.COM | JULY 2011


bursts at the seams with vinyl records. There’s even a smaller corner filled with cassettes and CDs. Behind a messy counter covered with 45s, random papers and an old cash register sits Gerry Dodd, who owns the business. He’s seen a lot of variety and changes in the music


business throughout the years, including the birth of rock n’ roll, pop and the rise of folk music into the mainstream. Dodd has also witnessed the evolution of the music mediums themselves. Along with vinyl, he has sold reel-to-reel, cassettes and compact discs. He’s even dealt with 8 tracks which, as he reveals, were invented in Grand Rapids by resident Bill Lear. But for the most part, the bread-and-butter of Dodd’s Record Shop has been vinyl records. Kelly Weed, a Grand Rapids resident, is a record collector


who has also worked at records stores and has been a DJ for events around the state. Dodd’s has always been one of her favorite places to find music that she cannot find elsewhere. “Sometimes I’ll go in there and tell him what I’m looking


for and he’ll always come back with a stack of exactly what I need. Even the stuff that’s rare or just strange ... he knows it all.” Up until the late ‘80s, Dodd sold exclusively new prod- ucts. This changed with compact discs.


N 20 DIVISION AVENUE, JUST beside the intersection of Division and Fulton, sits a gray and white building. Outside the front door is a sign shaped like a vinyl record. It reads, “Dodd’s Record Shop: New & Used Vinyl.” But don’t let this


“For a while, you could get about anything you wanted


on vinyl,” Dodd says. “Then the record companies started dropping this one and dropping that one from vinyl. They were just gonna focus on CDs.” This, of course, worried him. Then one night, he had


a dream. “In this dream, there was a TV set, and there were just


flickers of light on it but nobody on the screen,” Dodd says. “But there was this whole thought that came over the screen. And this thought said, ‘You need to become a new and used records shop to survive.’” The next morning, he went to


the shop and began changing it into a new and used vinyl store, instead of selling only new ones. “Most of the record shops


that survived, that’s what they did,” Dodd says. This renewed interest was


another major factor in Dodd’s decision to keep vinyl records his shop’s central product, as well as the younger generation. “Younger people are the only


and Ryan Cappelletti Photo by Ryan Pavlovich


By Justin Stover


Man, the stores are closing just as fast as you can close them. You can hardly stand outside without hearing the sound of a door closing.” As the years pass and changes come, Dodd is also facing


the changes that accompany growing older. His arthritis makes it difficult for him to move around as much. “Life doesn’t give you any rewards as you get older,” he


“Life doesn’t give you any rewards as you get older … The older you get, the less they want you around … you can’t produce anything.


ones that are keeping the record shops in business. Older people, most of them have quit buying records altogether … Plus, younger people have better ears. They want to hear vinyl records because the fidelity on an LP is better than on a CD.” With this younger clientele and their renewed interest in


vinyl, Dodd has been able to keep his business strong, even amidst the boom of Internet-based music sales. “It’s so easy to steal electronically, it isn’t even funny,” Dodd says. “Just look at what’s happened to the DVD market.


says. “It’s getting to be a very big problem all over the world. The older you get, the less they want you around … you can’t produce anything. You’re just a consumer.” Though Dodd may at times


feel unappreciated because of his age and profession, his personality and work have certainly not gone unnoticed. “I have gone to his store


You’re just a consumer.” —GERRY DODD


since I was in high school. Gerry is a living institution,” said Steve Williamson, owner and manager of Corner Record Shop. “He’s also a well of musical knowledge ... you won’t find a more knowledgeable person.” And Dodd’s not giving up.


Even with the passing years and the challenges they present, he still


has a passion for his work and for the music that has made him who he is. “I still enjoy doing it, but it gets harder and harder to


function every day. As long as I can keep going, it will be great. But I’d sure hate to see the day when I couldn’t come in and work.” n


SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92