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Thursday, January 21, 2010

In Store: Rooky Ricardo's (New Record Shop Column)

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 10:08 AM

click to enlarge rooky_s.jpg

In Store is a new All Shook Down column in which we find San Francisco's quirkiest, most beloved, weirdest, and/or otherwise-most-interesting record stores, talk to people there (employees, volunteers, customers, cops, whoever) and find out what's up. Along the way, we hope to paint a fun little portrait of each shop.

Record stores are part of what makes San Francisco special. From the Mission to North Beach, this burg's unmistakable friskiness and its cultural capital emanate from those dusty, creaky, hard-to-find, money-losing, neophyte nerve-racking, cheap, expensive, insanely huge, hilariously small, and often-crowded (at least with stuff) outposts of recorded music. We have our eyes and search engines a-huntin' for choice music outlets, but if you're curious about a specific one, please send a name or other useful information to

Name: Rooky Ricardo's

Owner: Dick Vivian

Location: 448 Haight. St.

Tagline: "Records -- Turntables -- Psychotherapy"

Employees on payroll: None.

Unpaid music lovers who regularly help run the place: Three.

Specialty: Great old soul, jazz, funk, Motown, R&B, and pop records by mostly obscure artists who were easily as good as, or better than, the great "oldies" acts: Shuggie Otis, Barbara Lewis, Vince Guaraldi, and many, many others.

Origin myth: In 1987, Dick Vivian decided to sell off some of the thousands of 45s he had collected since childhood. He found a cheap space in the Lower Haight and planned to be in business for a few months. Eventually, Vivian said, "I had a sign made, and one thing led to another."

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About The Author

Ian S. Port


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