It's seems like times are definitely changing. Not sure if it's for the good or bad or whatever. But definitely, the closing of the world famous V.I.P. record store is in my opinion, another defeat in Long Beach's small business scene.
For those who don't know (which I hope aren't many of you CIty Lifers), V.I.P. is home to many old school hip hop videos that featured Warren G, Snoop, Nate Dogg, and more. Remember this video?
To be fair, I know it's not the City of Long Beach's fault and apparently owner Kelvin Anderson would agree. In a recent Press Telegram article he's quoted, "I doubt there is anything in this store you can't download from the Internet, but to top that, there's nothing in this store you can't download for free."
I remember playing pop warner for Poly Pacers back in the days and I would always see the iconic V.I.P. sign when driving to our football games. It's always been a spot to me, that helped put Long Beach on the map. I didn't go inside too often, but the times I did go in, it felt very real and realistic to the Long Beach scene I grew up with. It wasn't on a some corporate status, but a real hometown music store.
What do you think of the closing of this place? Any memories or cool stories that you can remember? That fish market next to it smelled bomb all the time!
Whatever takes it's place, it has some big Chucks to fill.
Leave your comments below!
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Yep, businesses like V.I.P. Records are going to have issues with even keeping open nowadays, trying to compete with free internet downloads, and even Amazon.com. At the same time, look down the road to Fingerprints. I don't know their financials but I did notice a change in their business model, at least the look of it, and it's probably worth noting since they're still open. I'm scratching my head wondering why I hadn't gone inside V.I.P. seriously in about 20 - 25 years. Seriously. But I've gone inside Fingerprints all of two weeks ago. As a matter of fact, I stop in there whenever I get the chance. Why is that? What do they do that V.I.P. didn't?
Here's one thing. Fingerprints attracts people inside by hosting events, as small businesses do nowadays. For instance, Gatsby Books, Open Book Store to name a couple. While other book stores have been closing, these are still open. Likewise, while V.I.P. is closed Fingerprints is still open.
From my vague understanding, V.I.P. couldn't be turned into a hangout for several reasons: one of them being the size of the place and secondly there isn't really anything around it to where one would want to kick it. Also, let's face it. Nobody wants to go kick at night anywhere near MLK ave. On the other hand, FP has all of downtown to work with for other hangouts as well as a food place directly next door. Plus they have plenty of store space. They even added books to the mix.
I'm just sayin. V.I.P. closed for more reasons than just its content being stripped away by the internet. It's business model probably was a bit outdated and it didn't necessarily invite the public to its door. I went to Poly when that video was shot. Nobody, even then, stopped by V.I.P. unless of course Snoop Dogg was on the roof.
I agree man, with the way technology is going, you can go into any store and download any movie, music, book if you know how. I know cats that walk into Best Buy, look at movie titles and save the name in their phone, just so they can download them at home. Same w/ music...
The music industry is undergoing a lot of changes, and business models need to be adjusted. Like not many people are putting out albums, instead in my opinion, I see them putting out singles and one time hits instead of solid albums. Sell one hit song on iTunes for $.99 and get 1,000 people to buy it, is easier to make money.
I'm interested to see where it's all gona go.