Gold Million Records stores vinyl treasure trove on the Main Line

Justin Rodstrom

When the word “vinyl” comes to the mind of a college kid, we often conjure up those acid-fueled, Bacchanalian days of the ’60s and ’70s, transported to these times through films like “Almost Famous” and more recently “Across The Universe.”

In our hi-tech world of iPods, mp3s and LimeWire, vinyl has become a sign of a different generation. But every once in a while, we get curious, we wonder … What treasures might lie hidden under all that dust in the attic?

With that attraction to the unknown, I made my way down the Main Line to a little record shop called Gold Million Records.

Upon entry, I was greeted by a half century’s worth of memorabilia and records, culled from shop owners Max I. Million and Harold Gold’s personal collections.

For the past 30 years, Million and Gold have dedicated their lives to their passion – the preservation and sale of some of the most important musical documents, paraphernalia and, yes, vinyl records from the past 50-plus years.

“This is our lives; we have a love for what we do – the sound of music, a real deep love of music,” says Million of her life and livelihood.

Gold Million is your absolute classic record store, such a treasure trove it seems like something out of “High Fidelity.” Tens of thousands of autographed or limited-print 45-inch, 10-inch and 7-inch records line the walls like an art gallery.

Autographed guitars, posters and memorabilia are on display as if you had truly reached the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – the pinnacle of all that is 20th-century music.

And what a life in music it has been for the owners of Gold Million. Over their 30 years in the business, Gold and Million have attracted some of the biggest names in the industry to their quaint conservatory.Artists from Blondie to Iggy Pop, The Talking Heads to The Ramones, Joan Jett and The Jam have all made stops in to the shop for appearances and autographs, always leaving with a few new albums to add to their personal collections.

As digital music has become the standard, Gold and Million have found ways to adapt their business while maintaining integrity and passion for their work. The Internet has been a big part of their demand, with orders coming in from around the globe.

“Since we opened our eBay store, we have had orders from around the world, from people who never would have known we exist,” Gold said. “Since just last night we’ve had orders from Austria, Great Britain and Greece. This one customer from Italy has been really interested in our autographed Ramones albums.”

In addition to records, Gold Million has stayed viable among digital competition by offering products unique to the Gold Million name.

If you love “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles, why not get a gatefold wall clock featuring the original art from the album? Always been a fan of The Rolling Stones? You might want to pick up a tissue box made up of assorted panels from the album “Sticky Fingers.”

“For fans of the music, it’s a great way to appreciate the album art and give the records a whole new purpose,” Million says. Though Million and Gold have come up with new ways to stay open amid changing demand, they both stress the importance of vinyl to music and their business.

“Vinyl is a social experience,” Gold says. “You bring over a couple friends and just get into it. You study the album’s art, the liner notes and take everything in.”

Million chimes in, saying, “You get to learn about the artist, why they wrote this or that song – take the album in as a whole as opposed to just individual singles. Also, vinyl just sounds better.”

As vinyl stores around the United States shut down due to music industry changes, Gold Million has bought up many collections over the years and continues to add to its priceless collection.

And although the store offers many alternatives to the standard vinyl, Gold says, “Kids will inherit their parents’ records and it will spark an interest in collecting.”