Best Place to Find That Elusive Hit Song on Vinyl - 2003
Bay Area DJs and music aficionados alike (at least the ones savvy enough to have working turntables) know there is only one place to go when searching for a particular tune on wax. Damn near overflowing with 7-inch singles, Rooky Ricardo's is the Lower Haight's living, breathing shrine to the 45. Co-owners Richard Vivian and Jerry Thompson share an encyclopedic knowledge of classic soul and pop music. When someone doesn't have a song title or artist to go on, Vivian can often name that tune after coaxing embarrassed customers to sing a few bars. While Rooky's has no shortage of full-length albums, it's the racks upon racks of 45s that have vinyl junkies, amateur archivists, and people dying to own Deep Purple's version of "Kentucky Woman" on wax hunched over the store's rickety listening stations for hours on end. And you won't find too many record stores on Haight as friendly on the wallet as Rooky's; high-end collectibles aside, the bulk of the shop's massive stash of singles goes for two bucks apiece or three for $5.