Hipster culture is bigger than ever — quite the contrary of what the trend-setters originally intended to do. With the word “hipster” added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, there is no denying that previous trends are coming back into fashion.

“Everyone is coming back into the fold,” Mike White, current owner and manager of Boo Boo Records, said. “Whether they’re experiencing vinyl for the first time or coming back to it, the whole spectrum is a wonderful experience.”

Vinyl records seem to have taken the hipster world by storm, whether you own a turntable or not. Boo Boo Records, located in downtown San Luis Obispo, has been operating for more than 40 years, but the people stepping in to peruse the selection of music are not just 40-year-olds.

“Seeing your record collection grow is a pleasing sight,” experience industry management senior Connor Griffith said. “It’s proof that you have it, you bought it and you support it.”

Ed Taylor and Glenn Forbes, Boo Boo Records’ founding partners, started their plans for the local record store in 1974 after both had recently left their lives in Southern California and moved north to find a new calling.

“If you asked them if this was going to be a career, I don’t think they knew it was going to go this far,” White said.

In the weeks following their introduction, a location for the store was discussed. Originally targeting Santa Cruz, the pair finally agreed to settle in San Luis Obispo.

With $700 in their pockets to start this business, the pair began to sell and trade vinyls and collectibles at swap meets and flea markets.

“Vinyl is special because it provides a physical medium to the work that people put into the music they create,” Griffith said. “You can see the grooves, hold it in your hand and it’s fun to drop a needle on the record.”

After four months, they made enough money to buy their first store front.

Boo Boo Records built its reputation as the “underground” record store in town, competing against four others. After releasing its own branded items, the name became well known and the store became the place to go for music.

“It has a nice homey feeling to it,” business administration sophomore Remi Crosetti said. “It’s a good place to go to kill a couple hours.”

Cal Poly’s student body plays a big part in Boo Boo Records’ success.

“They provide a steady influx of young minds and young buyers, and it’s always exciting to have people come through here and keep coming back,” White said. “It’s like a big family.”

When asked about the reasoning behind the name Boo Boo Records, White laughed.

“That is a tightly held secret,” he said.

What he could talk about was the origin of the rooster, the store’s logo, seen all around San Luis Obispo on Boo Boo Records’ T-shirts.

While trying to brand their business in the ‘70s, Taylor and Forbes owned chickens. The idea of the “cosmic chicken” stuck with them, and became the face of Boo Boo Records as seen today.

In 1976, Boo Boo Records had grown enough to open another store front in Grover Beach, which closed in 2007. Taylor and Forbes worked through the struggles of owning these stores and gained experience in the business, finally making the executive decision to move the San Luis Obispo location from near the railroad station to the Downtown Historic District of San Luis Obispo.

White became the manager of Boo Boo Records after a few years in the new location and was later asked to become an active managing partner of the business in 1986.

Boo Boo Records now holds not only vinyl in its stock, but a plethora of posters and T-shirts, patches and pins, CDs and DVDs — pretty much anything music related one could ask for. Those starting out with vinyl can pick up one of the store’s select turntables and receive $20 in vinyl credit.

“What really brings vinyl out aside from the better sound quality is that you can enjoy an album from the beginning to the end, just like the artist originally intended,” Crosetti said.

But what the store really prides itself on is customer service. Since the beginning, Taylor and Forbes wanted to make Boo Boo Records really unique with the expertise and diversity of its employees.

“The staff is what makes the store,” Griffith said. “They can talk pop just as easily as experimental jazz, can point you in the right direction and tell a good joke along the way.”

Boo Boo Records also offers services beyond selling physical music, now selling concert tickets and even hosting in-store concerts. The concerts give fans who might not be able to get into a bar or were unable to get a ticket to a sold-out show a chance to enjoy the music they love.

Not only can customers purchase music paraphernalia at the store, but they can sell it as well. Boo Boo Records accepts used CDs, DVDs, records, video games and books. This win-win situation helps the environment and keeps spreading the joy of music.

White said he feels lucky to have every demographic represented in his customers.

“From young moms with their babies to people in their 70s and 80s, high school and college, young professionals,” White said. “Making this a place for everybody, where everybody can feel welcome; that’s really important to me.”

Customers can stop by the store on Monterey St. to pick up a few new songs or have a conversation with one of White’s expert staff members.

“For me, I just want to present what I have, which is the best selection with fair prices, and with a non-judgmental, educated and friendly staff,” White said. “Customer service is everything.”

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