In Store: Force of Habit Records Makes Granny Nuts

In Store spotlights San Francisco's quirkiest, most beloved, weirdest, and/or otherwise-most-interesting record stores. Our city's unmistakable friskiness and cultural capital emanate from those dusty, creaky, hard-to-find, money-losing, insanely huge, hilariously small, and often-crowded (at least with stuff) outposts of recorded music. We're always hunting for choice music outlets, but if you're curious about a specific one, please send useful information to

Name: Force of Habit Records

Location: 3565 20th St. (at Lexington)

Owner: “Braindead” Dave Devereaux

About the name: Standing outside of Amoeba during cigarette breaks, Devereaux noticed that many customers came in the same day at the same time, and would always buy at least one new record. “I thought to myself, 'Ah, a force of habit.' And ding! That kind of explains how I feel about new music coming into my life. It's like oxygen or food. It's nourishment to be turned on to something new.”

Specialty: Punk rock on vinyl and CD.

Tagline: I want your records!

Famous people who shop here: Jello Biafra, who also DJed Devereaux's recent 40th birthday party at the Knockout.

Other things for sale:
Action figures, DVDs, VHS tapes, turntables, needles, record bags, stickers, T-shirts, and magazines, especially Maximum Rock'n'Roll. Also, country, classical, metal. and other records.

Founded: 2004

Employees: None

Feel: Storefront on a corner at the bottom of an old Victorian. Custom-designed retro neon signs. High-end record nerd gear inside. A smattering of rare, high-dollar records, with lots of medium priced stuff. A $2 record bin. Random toys in the so-called “kitsch corner.”

You won't find this for sale just anywhere everywhere:
A complete set of original Simpsons action figures from 1990.

Philosophy: “This store is what I would want to shop at.”

Beginnings: Devereaux used to work at Amoeba in San Francisco and other record stores. Eventually he realized he could support himself by reselling the vinyl he collected at record swaps. He ran an online record-selling business out of his one-bedroom apartment until a family expansion pushed him out. “I thought, 'I'll get an office. Well, I could make it so people could come in and check out my stuff when I'm available.' Actually, they call those stores.”

So basically: “I rubbed two records together and made three, and that is how I got this.”

Lives for: “Days where it clicks … and there's an energy of people coming and going and being stoked about finding some record they've been looking for for 10 years. Or a local band that's got their first single out and they're just grateful that I'm putting it on the shelf for them and playing it in my record store.” [page]

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