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Record time

On the scene with Julie Seabaugh at the soft opening of Vegas’ second Zia store

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DJ Chaos (front) of the Rock DJ Collective in the vinyl section.
Photo: Iris Dumuk

"John Doe’s here.”

“John Doe’s here? Wow.”

“He’s playing hooky. He told his work he had to go to the doctor this morning.”

“John Doe’s here?”

“You know, I’ve never seen some of these other guys in daylight before.”

“Wow.”

“John Doe’s here?”

“Yeah.”

Though a dedicated handful waited outside this May 30 morning like pale, black-clad puppies, the calls and in-person inquiries at Eastern and Flamingo have been nonstop for weeks, says store manager Karl Hartwig. The front door finally unlocked today at 10 a.m., and now the legendarily anonymous DJ, vinyl junkies including members of Bargain DJ Collective splinter group Rock DJ Collective, a turntable-lugging collector known simply as “Kevin” and more feed their addictions.

Today’s been long in coming for the second Vegas outpost of the Phoenix-based Zia Record Exchange. Originally slated for Black Friday of 2007 (permits were too slow in coming), then February (an electrical fire torched the ceiling in late January) and even yesterday (inventory, cleaning and sign-placing ran long), today’s unofficial unveiling will be followed by a grand-opening celebration on June 13.

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  • Zia Records
  • 4225 S. Eastern Ave. Las Vegas. 735-4942
  • 4503 W Sahara Ave. Las Vegas. 233-4942

In addition to a familiar wafting of incense, the new store’s set-up is easily navigable: rock and pop in the main room; hip-hop and metal to the left; DVDs to the right and up front; and, boasts Hartwig, “as good a video-game selection as any store in town, new or used.” Like at its predecessors, doors close at midnight, and though used items are currently accepted for store credit, a permit to offer cash for trades remains pending.

Chain managers drove in from Phoenix to pitch in, and Vice President and General Manager Brian Faber flits from back counter to front, chatting with the dozen-and-growing early birds along the way. “It’s just like when we opened the Eastern location; it’s part of the fun,” he says of the interactions, flying his music-geek flag as Bono preaches overhead. “Oh, U2, my favorite band! You know, I saw them in ’81, when they opened for the J. Geils Band on the October tour …”

How can a city that saw the international Virgin conglomerate and local hubs Big B’s and Balcony Lights go the way of the 8-track support the opening of a new location—one across from the vacant Tower Wow storefront at Sahara and Arville, no less? “Our niche is really used CDs and DVDs, and out-of-print items,” explains Hartwig. “And our customers are fiercely loyal. We’re already at the point where I think this second store is going to do unbelievably well … and I’m hoping to open a third.”

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