Exploring Berlin Record Shops Part One – FUNHOUSE RECORDS
By John Perye . September 18, 2015
A few years ago, back in my home state of Michigan, I watched several giants fall. No, this was not on television or at the movies, but rather giants of vinyl that had occupied neighborhoods for years. Used record stores that lined my childhood dreams slowly closed their doors one by one. Shops that myself and other such as J. Dilla, Eminem, and countless Detroit underground rockers, spent thousands of hours digging through records, cassette tapes, CD’s and other music memorabilia, were boarded up, leaving a massive void in many a heart.
Was it a sign of the times? In some cases, yes. Downloading music from the web hurt these business, that is no secret. Certain shops stayed open as long as they could before succumbing. However, some shop owners just had enough with the second-hand hustle and retired, while others chose online selling as their new platform. These beloved shops may be gone, but record fanatics still linger on. Oddly enough though, right now, not a month or two goes by without a new article surfacing about vinyl’s upswing in sales.
It wasn’t long after my arrival in Berlin that I noticed there was no shortage of record shops. Vinyl is everywhere! From flea markets to furniture shops, to proper used record stores, and even mega chain stores are cashing in on wax sales. So starting now, I will take it upon myself to document and share with you Berlin’s vinyl trade, one stop at a time.
For Part One, we head over to Prenzlauer Berg and visit Funhouse Records Berlin. It just so happens to be a special occasion for Funhouse, celebrating its second birthday in “Baby Berg.” BLY spoke to co-owner Stefan to see how things are going:
What’s been going on over the last 12 months?
What was true for our first anniversary last year is even more true this time: the Funhouse and its neighbourhood seem to go together well. We’re happy to have acquired a fine bunch of regular customers, both from people living just around the corner and visitors from out-of-town and abroad. We get a lot of nice feedback in the store or at our facebook site. So we try to keep the good spirit up and running.
When looking at pictures how the store looked like one or two years ago, it is obvious how our stock has grown, and we add not only in quantity but also in quality. We were lucky in getting our hands on a lot of really fine records over time. We just recently acquired for instance a stunning collection of Jazz albums, all in nearly unplayed condition, and these kind of records are just a pleasure to offer to our customers.
Plus we do like to decorate our walls with nice-looking album covers or stupid records (my favorite is a country 45 from the early 1960s titled “We need a whole lot more of Jesus and a lot less Rock and Roll” – hilarious, and good deco stuff, too!), so we think that the Funhouse is also a sight to see, sort of.
What’s going down on your second birthday?
Friday the 18th of September we gonna celebrate our second birthday in the store. We’ll open as usual at 13:00 and at the earliest time deemed decent we gonna pop some beer and wine bottles, let’s say 16:00. Pretty much everyone is invited to join us in the festivities. Around 19:00 the Last Pawnbrokers give us the honour of performing a fine little set of music. After that more beer and wine and music from records till the cows come home.
PLUS, our Special 2nd Birthday Discount Extravaganza: Buy 2 records (or more) and get a 20% discount!
Berlin Funhouse Records
Schallplatten An- & Verkauf
Stargarder Str. 29
Mo-Fr 13:00-19:30 Uhr
Sa 12:00-19:00 Uhr
Photos: John Perye