March 18, 2013

That’s right, more stories from our trip to Copenhagen (it’s where we shot our new and spectacular spring catalogue). If you’ve only just joined us around our imaginary campfire of storytelling you should certainty check out our behind the scenes video, as well as an interview with vintage toy collector Bobby and our look into the world of late night arcade clubs. Today we’re all about vinyl junkie Martin, owner of record shop Route 66 in the heart of Copenhagen.


Whilst we crammed all our models into his store hit up some spring fashion, Martin was kind enough to have a chat with our crew (click the big play button up top there, go on now). We also sat him down for a little chat about how he got started with his vinyl addiction, here’s his words…

When did you start Route 66?
I started Route 66 in August 1990 and bought this shop in 1999. I was over here buying records from the previous store that had just closed down and had some problems; I was moving a box and my back nearly broke and ended up at the hospital for 13 days. I was lying there thinking about what to do with all of this and came to the conclusion that I would buy the store but not the records; I had found out that the old owner had basically forgot what it was all about and didn’t take care of his customers. I thought that there were many people over here, so in that way I couldn’t understand why the last record store in Copenhagen couldn’t function. I took a chance and bought it.

It took some years to build it up but I was right in what I thought, people here appreciated that there was somebody who took care of the new record shop. You can have a history with old records but you wont have a future without new records. So that was my reason to buy another store.


What were you doing before your started Route 66?
I’ve been working in record stores since I was 14 years old and I’ve been collecting records since I was 13! I grew up with a nice gramophone in our home and I was the only person who used it. You know, when it comes to music it’s a matter of a feeling inside of me, I do listen to every kind of music, so in that way music has meant a lot to me in everyway.

What was the first record you ever bought?
I bought 4 records. I can only remember one; it was a Led Zeppelin album.

And were they for your personal collection?

Do you still have them?

Yeah I probably swapped them in the old days. Records are a little bit expensive today, and much more expensive compared to what you were earning back in the old days. Look at the 70’s records and why the records were so important, it was because people could afford to buy it. When it came up to buying a full album in 60’s it was quite a lot of money to pay.


What’s you all time best seller?
It must be the first Portis Head album, it was the first record where I sold more than 500 in a month.

You know them?

Yeah, of course!
Its selling maybe two items a week, in both shops.

How many is it selling a month now?
We normally sell 10-15 records a month when it is in the press.

Do you feel like vinyl is coming back?
Yeah, it is.

Why do you think that is?
Firstly you need to consider the download, the people who collect think that the download is just something that you have on your phone. A real collection is to have something that you able to touch and look at. Its built for this, it’s not like the CD, its not nice to just touch the plastic box on the CD. I think the CD would have done a lot better if they tried to form the cover with some sort of art instead of just a plastic box.


Do you love record sleeve art? It sounds like you do…
Yeah, it means a lot to me to be able to take the cover in my hands and to take the record out, spinning it around and all the little details. Then you put the record on and look for more details, that’s the way it moves for me. I mean the fastest working place for art is records, its there everyday, especially after Photoshop was introduced to the art world; it’s remarkable what you can create.

How many records do you have in your collection?
I’m down to about 3,000.

Are you trying to downsize?
Yeah, I have too.

Is that by choice?
I might have a little bit of a secret stash and I do buy new music all of the time. I just have records that I need to listen too.

What are those records?
It could be a record like this, I played this for you this morning and you never noticed what it was. Its not what it looks like, its really a special album. It has a lot of energy, and a lot of different situations.

Can you put it on please?

*Puts the record on*

It sounds very much like a movie score?
The funny part is, all the instruments are from the 60’s. Most musicians who didn’t like to tour live in the old days they were good musicians, they ended up doing music for films and stuff like that.

When I play this record, I have sold maybe 200 of them. People buy it because of the music, not because of the cover. Its because its very well composed.


We want to know about all the little things that are stuck up on the door and the posters you’ve got around the place. Do any of them have any meaning?
Everything here had a meaning when I put it up. Then we just covered and plastered over and over for maybe the last seven or eight years. There’s a little funny story to everything. Basically it’s more about real history and it’s no longer an ugly door.

It’s such a nice place; it has touches of you everywhere.
Yeah, but its basically just because we want a style. We just want it to be like a living room and we also do a lot of talking with our customers in our daily lives. I don’t think there’s a special way to make the shop, its just happened to be like this.

But why is it called Route 66?
It was pretty hard to find a name; I like the Route 66 name because of the story about getting far in the states. You wont go far without a car! If you want to be well known in the states you have to do the Route 66 and play all along through the states. I thought that it was a good name for me because when I started up, it was pretty hard to get the records. So I had to go everywhere to get a good collection, thats why I chose the name.

Now check out our models strutting their stuff in amongst Martin’s collections…


Fancy a shop? You can chirpse 10% off selected items online right now! Just use code SS13WEB at the checkout!