For some unexplainable reason, in the near two-plus years that I've lived on Fillmore, I've only stopped into Rooky Ricardo's once. While wrapping up a short run this afternoon, I stopped in for a second time.
As I stepped inside I was immediately greeted by a table of middle-aged guys playing some sort of card game. They told me to ask if I needed anything, and they proceeded to flip back to their leisurely game. I scoured the 7"s and found a number of ELO singles that I've wanted for some time. I then found a Springsteen 7" of "Incident on 57th Street" LIVE! What on Earth is this? Well, it's mine now.
As I was about to leave for the day, I became a bit immersed in the 50's soul that was playing at a perfect volume throughout the store. Like any record collector, the gentleman manning the register could sense my interest. He popped the CD out of the CD player and explained, "These are songs that never made it to CD. I copied them from vinyl." Add that to my 7"s. I explained how this music brought me straight back to riding around in my mother's Pinto in the late 70s/early 80s. Whenever we'd go to the laundromat or the grocery store, my mom would play CBS 101.5 in NY/NJ. Her love for this period of music is very similar to my love of music today. No matter her mood or the trials of the day, she'd always sing along to soul music of the 50s and 60s. The man suggested that I phone my mom and ask her to list off a few of her favorite bands from that time. Once I had that list, I should return to the store and he'd guide me.
It would be impossible to convey this little experience. Not only did it bring me back to my childhood, but the sincerity and good-natured attitude inside of Rooky Ricardo's represents everything I cherish about mom and pop stores. Unlike most tedious record stores in San Francisco, there is absolutely no attitude inside these walls. There's simply music, a few fellow music-lovers and a casual game of cards.