‘It's been a great ride’: Vintage Vinyl to close after more than 40 years

An iconic record store that has been known to feature live performances from many legendary musicians will close after more than 40 years in business.

News 12 Staff

Jun 22, 2021, 9:39 AM

Updated 1,029 days ago

Share:

An iconic record store that has been known to feature live performances from many legendary musicians will close after more than 40 years in business.
Customers flooded Vintage Vinyl in Fords on Tuesday following owner Rob Roth’s announcement that he is retiring and will close the shop at the end of July. Roth sent an email out to customers with the message “It’s been a great ride."
“It certainly is a fulfillment, more than a fulfillment, of a dream I had when I opened the business,” Roth says.
Vintage Vinyl opened in 1979 when Roth was just 23 years old and devoted to music. Its original location was in Irvington, a 200-square-foot space.
“And I will say this – if I had any real musical ability, none of this would have happened because I would have done that. But since I’m not a musician, I did this instead,” Roth says.
Roth built a loyal customer base of music fans and musicians alike. The shop became known for the stage in the back of the shop where some of the music industry’s brightest stars have performed.
“The New York Dolls, Ryan Adams played back there. Queens of the Stone Age, twice,” Roth says.
Vintage Vinyl became famous for its in-store appearances and record release concerts, photos of which line the walls.
“People would fly into Newark and want to go up on stage and take a picture because they’d seen our videos of all their favorite bands,” Roth says. “People have taken their wedding pictures and engagement pictures on that stage,” says Roth.
The store holds a special place for musician Bob Levy of the Edison-based band The Trash Mavericks.
“As a memento, I'm taking my bin card because that gave me a sense of importance. Having my local bin card next to The Rolling Stones and everything. But that's how Rob was, he always supported local music here,” Levy says.
For record collectors, the wide-ranging selection and environment kept them coming back.
“Running your hands through the records, going on that search, trying to find a treasure,” says Kiesha Mack, of Metuchen.
Roth, 65, says that at his age, he is simply ready to retire. He says that the pandemic led him to re-evaluate how he wants to spend the coming years. But he leaves behind a business he is proud to have created.
“If I asked my 23-year-old self if I could go back and say, this is how it’ll turn out, it would be beyond belief,” he says.
Roth says that some of the customers who first came to his store 42 years ago still shop in the store today.


More from News 12