I was thumbing through the pages of Star Hits, when an ad for a record store changed my life forever. This was no ordinary record store, mind you. There, in the company of Bold Type and many a splashy color pic of my favorite music stars, I had found my Mecca: A paradise that sold imported UK 12″ records and Japanese posters and so, so, so much more.
When I finally found my way to the shop on Jones St. in Greenwich Village, the first thing I saw upon entering was a huge Duran Duran promo poster for Notorious…signed by JOHN TAYLOR! He had been to Record Runner! The very same store in which I was standing!
Over the next few years, I came to know the owner, John Pita (who, curiously, is one of the world’s biggest Bruce Springsteen fans); the guy who worked the register, Charlie Charas; the guy who put together international mailings in the back room, Brian Greenspan; and the hot-as-hell dude who looked after the store on the weekends — the one with the Morrissey-like quiff: Donald Kruck.
Donald eventually became my first boyfriend (and he bestowed upon me gift after gift of rare Duran items, such as a foil poster of John Taylor that he found on a record-buying excursion to Japan). Today, Brian is one of my most loyal friends (he transcribed my interview with Mags from A-ha for Mad World). Charlie, an incredible photographer who never misses a new wave-centric gig, lent us two beautiful shots for the book (that’s his shirtless Adam Ant and almost-shirtless Gary Numan).
And as for John Pita: Well, all these years later, he still owns and operates Record Runner. So many of the record shops in New York City have shut down, but John has weathered the low times, outlasting the likes of Tower Records and the Virgin Megastore, along with, sadly, so many of the other independently-run shops.
So, this Record Store Day, Mad World salutes John and Record Runner. My co-author, Jonathan Bernstein, and I are having our very first book signing at this very special shop on Jones Street, where that Notorious poster signed by Mr. Taylor still hangs, along with lots of other cool memorabilia. Over the years, Johnny Marr’s stopped by, as has Boy George and the cast of Lewlyn Davis, who filmed outside the shop. (RR is on the same street where Bob Dylan was photographed for one of his most famous album covers.) And John Taylor even had a signing there once for one of his solo records.
Come support John and Record Runner, and meet Jonathan Bernstein and me, while some new wave tunes from the book play in the background. We’ll have Mad World promo pins on hand as well!
Here are the details:
DAY: Sat. April 19
TIME: 4 to 6 p.m.
PLACE: Record Runner, Jones St., Manhattan