A concerned reader wrote in recently to say that Strider Records, the small Village store devoted to vinyl, could close any day now. The man got the word from owner Bob Noguera himself, whom the reader described as "being at peace" with the reality.
If so, he may be the only one who will be at peace with it. Records maniacs—who lost Vinylmania, another Village destination for old-music lovers, in 2007—will likely be beside themselves. Me? I'm not a slavish devotee to vinyl, but I appreciate and understand those infected with the obsession, and think a neighborhood like the West Village, of all places, should have a plethora of stores that cater to such collectors.
Bob Noguera, who grew up in The Bronx, opened shop in 1979—first on Cornelia, then on Bleecker, then on Jones, all a stone's throw from each other (His block of Jones is the same one seen on the cover of Bob Dylan's album "Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan." He has devoted his life to the store, which gets calls from all over the world. He does not carry CDs, only collectible vinyl, mainly from the 1950s to the 1970s. His stores is stuffed to the gills with product and difficult to navigate; there's one narrow aisle. It's meant for serious browsing. Noguera stays close to the musical world by taking part in doo-wop groups.
I tell you, between Tin Pan Alley and Manny's and now this, music lovers in this City are suffering. Suffering.