has been open in San Rafael since 2004, when owner Barry Lazarus moved the shop down from Petaluma, where it had been since 1998. The shop sells mostly used CDs and specializes in rare and hard-to-find vinyl LPs and 45 rpm singles.
Here's a look at Lazarus' background, the broad selection of music in his shop and how he's managed to stay alive in the age of the Internet.
What do they offer?
Tucked away in a corner store in downtown San Rafael, Red Devil Records has a vibe unto itself. With a cross selection of music ranging from jazz, blues and classic rock to reggae and international artists, this shop selling hard-to-find vinyl LPs and 7-inches might just be your best chance to find a long lost album or classic record, not to mention a great place to find new and exciting artists.
Who are they?
Few are fortunate enough to turn a passion and hobby of nearly 40 years into a way of life but Barry was able to do just that upon deciding his stressful city job would not bring the happiness he hoped to have in life. In 1998, Lazarus combined his hobby with business and opened an independent record shop in the hopes of creating a haven for those looking to avoid big box stores. Lazarus opened the shop in Petaluma before moving it to downtown San Rafael six years later.
Lazarus himself is a bit of a genius at reading his patrons. Tell him what you like and he’ll have a recommendation. The store is often booming with great music. He knows his stuff. His knowledge is legendary, many of his customers make the drive from the East Bay or San Francisco, knowing Barry will most likely have exactly what they desire. He’s a Northern California native with a keen sense of style and a laid back attitude. It’s clear he loves what he does and his customers benefit.
What make Red Devil unique?
Red Devil Records has managed to withstand the hits from not only the big box stores but online megasites. It brings a sense of uniqueness to downtown San Rafael. Time spent inside is a time for really connecting to something, the thrill of finding a long lost favorite tune, or discovering an ages old collection never heard before. The walls are covered with vintage posters, many from Barry’s own collection. It’s visual eye-candy, with all the rare and collectable album covers spanning the decades. Store favorites and post-its will guide customers towards their goal and then there’s always Barry, ready to help his fellow music lovers find a new tune or new artist.
Did you know?
Barry will be pouring wine at Red Devil Records during the Taste of Downtown on Sept. 19. Stop by and chat about music while enjoying some vino!
The 411: is at 894 4th Street; 415-457-8999; www.reddevilrecords.net.
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