I like stuff.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bionic Records

So back in the '90s, there were a couple decent record stores in central orange county. Top Ten records hadn't quite quite gone into the all-punk realm, Bionic Records cost a bit more, but still had a really good selection, and if you didn't care about price and wanted just odd bootlegs and imports, there was always the CD Listening Bar.

Even if those failed, you could always go the Wherehouse chain and rummage through their used bins.

One evening as a lad, I had some time to kill, so I went over to the Bionic in Orange. Rummaged through the used section a bit, and wandered off. An hour later, the place got held up, and a week later they folded the inventory into their other three stores and shuttered the door. I think the space is a Dairy Queen now.

Top Ten closed down some years back as well. The story I heard had something to do with the owner's wife going full-on religious zealotry and deeming that what they were selling was evil, and it too, ended up shuttered. The space is probably vacant now.

The powers that be finally caught up with the CD Listening Bar for all the bootlegs and everything else. I heard it was a pretty crazy raid. They didn't survive.

Even the mighty Wherehouse empire has largely been shuttered.

So why do I post this now?

Well, I had some free time this afternoon, so I figured I'd swing by the Bionic in Fullerton and see if anything interesting was in their used bins. Instead, I found the space had been split, and what was there now was a salon and a tailor.

So when I got home, I hit the internet to see if maybe they'd just moved somewhere, and found reference to the Bionic in Huntington Beach having closed.

And I'm sitting here thinking about all the CDs I've ordered off Amazon, and my stint with legitimate download service, and wondering, "How much am I to blame?"

Of course, the shelf space they had for the sort of music I listen to was a very small fraction compared to the punk, ska, or death metal sections, but even so...

This leaves only 1.25 independent stores within a convenient drive (Black Hole Records in downtown Fullerton, and Ipso Facto (the 1/4, they're mostly a boutique that happens to have a small rack of CDs to purchase)

Of course, I'm assuming that either of those still exist.


Scabrat said...

I know this is a really . . . really old entry. . but I was researching Bionic Records online and your blog showed up.
There's one store still around. . in Cypress. The original owner is still the one and only cashier in that shop. I'm just letting a hopeful know about the place. It's always been an Orange County landmark to me. and also a big part of our punk culture history.

Anonymous said...

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