Geneva’s iconic Area Records closing after 40 years

Geneva’s iconic Area Records closing after 40 years

September 13, 2017 05:18 PM

GENEVA — Musician Larry Williams once said that rock ‘n’ roll has no beginning and no end, for it is the very pulse of life itself.

So as one of the Finger Lakes region’s longest-serving independent music stores closes, Area Records & Music owner Mikel George views it not as an end but rather the beginning of a new chapter four decades in the making.

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“It has certainly been a good time, and our customers have always been incredible,” George said recently, as the store prepares for its liquidation sale beginning Friday. “I never felt as if I was going to work every day. The social atmosphere and business routine mixed together really well.”

George has been involved with music retail in downtown Geneva for more than four decades. As the independent record store marked its 40th anniversary, George said he decided that it was time to retire.

Music legends performing throughout the Finger Lakes region have made it a point to stop into Area Records to purchase various music accessories and equipment, compact discs and vinyl LPs or to simply say hello and chat. Among those who have visited the store are Taj Mahal, Rosanne Cash, Warrant, Béla Fleck, Victor Wooten, Carlene Carter, Barenaked Ladies, Derek Trucks and band members, Chris Robinson, Tara Nevins, Brad Gillis of Night Ranger, Ra Ra Riot and Geneva’s own Travie McCoy and Matt McGinley of Gym Class Heroes.

“Area Records has been a staple in my music shopping for over 25 years,” said Lance Ricci, a longtime customer. “Losing them is a huge loss not only to the local community but to music lovers areawide. If they didn’t have what you wanted, they would go out of their way to get it for you. It was always a very homey feeling every time you went in there.”

The store opened in Geneva in 1977 as a small record shop and continued to expand from that point on. Expansions of various music merchandise lines followed, from recorded music to instruments to repair service to lessons to all the small products needed to play and listen to music. Area Records’ mission has always been to concentrate on bringing customers the best products for the best price with the local market in mind.

“With Area leaving, it gives music collectors and lovers like myself fewer choices locally — and it’s just a sad state of how the music industry is now,” Ricci said. “I do understand Mike’s reasons and wish him the best in his retirement, but it won’t be the same walking down Main Street and Geneva without being able to go into the store anymore.”

Area Records will remain open as normal until most merchandise is sold.

For updates as the liquidation sale progresses, visit Area Records and Music’s Facebook page.


Leah Shea Daily Messenger freelancer

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