Record Store Day: CoOp Records
My first record store will always be my favorite. Though it has long since closed, CoOp Records was a pivotal part of my childhood – and one of the few places in Iowa where you could find independent music. My friends and I used to ride our bikes down to the college square mall to spend hours in the store –listening to music, or just drooling over the band posters and shirts. They had a couple of stereos there that anyone could use to check out any used album (the new ones were all shrink wrapped) and we certainly took advantage, listening to everything we could get our hands on. You could also swap old records for store credit – making it entirely possible for me to walk in with a handful of my sister’s hair metal CD’s and walk out with the new Beastie Boys joint. I used to buy albums for all the wrong reasons (I bought Helmet’s Betty because I had a weird crush on the cover art girl and I bought Big Black’s Songs about Fucking for obvious reasons) but more times than not I ended up with something I liked (I still have both of the aforementioned albums). If for some reason I didn’t, well I could always sell it back to the store and find something else. These days you can pretty much do everything I did at CoOp much easier and more quickly online, but honestly I am glad that that wasn’t an option back then because the afternoons I spent at CoOp Records as a kid are ones I wouldn’t give away for anything.
— Jon Behm