Record Man Has it All in Redwood City

Elvis sets the scene near the front door. Photo by Dave Weinstein

A small storefront on busy El Camino Real in Redwood City conceals an amazing collection of music, on vinyl, shellac, acetate, and more, including CDs. “I have boasted that I have a million copies,” the owner says. “I have at least half a million 45s alone.”

Gary Saxon, who runs The Record Man at 1322 El Camino Real with his wife Angela, has turned the shop into a virtual museum, with a giant Elvis figure, a smaller figure of James Brown, mosaics and sculpted cows, jewelry from China, antiques and more.

Looking for speakers or stereo equipment? They have those too.

The Record Man is far larger than it appears from the street, with four or five jam-packed rooms downstairs, and equal number upstairs – and then there’s the building in the back.

There’s an entire wall devoted to the Beatles and Elvis, with multiple copies of many albums. “We’re known worldwide for the depth of our inventory,” Gary says, citing sales on Amazon and eBay. “A lot of people just walk into the store.”

LPs and 78s share a corner in the Record Man. Photo by Dave Weinstein

The stock is well organized. Soundtracks, country and western and bluegrass fill one room upstairs. There is also a “weird wall.” “If it doesn’t fit anywhere else we put it there,” longtime sales associate Mike McCarthy says.

Any rarities?

“I just recently had a Robert Johnson 78, extremely rare,” Gary says. “A Bob Dylan acetate that is extremely rare.”

“Records never went away,” he says. “They morphed. It changed from a consumer item to a collectors’ item. A lot of young people are getting interested in it.”

The Record Man gives off an aura of mystery in its storefront window. Photo by Dave Weinstein.

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