I’ve been here more than several times over the years – bought a lot of rare Bowie, Monolake aluminum tins & King Crimson side projectslots of fun, rummaging around.

Jun 21, 2021 | Re-posted from NJ . com

The legendary Vintage Vinyl record shop in Fords is closing July 31.

Vintage Vinyl, the longstanding Central Jersey record store revered for its vast selection and in-store performances, will close for good July 31.

“It’s time to retire,” founder and owner Rob Roth told NJ Advance Media Monday. “I lived the dream. It’s more than I could’ve dreamed. This will be my legacy.”

Roth, 65, announced the closing Monday in a mailing list email sent to customers, writing: “Thanks for 42 wonderful years, it’s been a great ride.”

Roth said the pandemic helped put “life into perspective,” but was not a deciding factor in closing the iconic shop.

“I have children and grandchildren I want to see,” Roth said, also noting his lease is up this year. The store has been a staple of the Fords section of Woodbridge, just off Route 1, since 1984.

Vintage Vinyl is known among New Jersey music lovers as a mecca of rock, punk and metal, as well as a destination for Record Store Day exclusives and high-profile performances on the store’s tiny back stage. The list of artists who have come through the store is immense, but some highlights include emo superstars My Chemical Romance’s first-ever “The Black Parade” album performance — in the store’s parking lot in 2006 — plus performances from New York Dolls, The Gaslight Anthem, Jimmy Eat World, Julien Baker and many more. A final in-store performance may be booked in the coming weeks, Roth said.

At 23 years old, Roth opened Vintage Vinyl in 1979 as 200 square-foot shop in Irvington, to serve his desire for rare albums.

“I couldn’t get the music I wanted in the chain stores,” he said. “It was the era of punk and you couldn’t get those records anywhere. I wanted to fill that void and bring the obscure, selling the punk and British records, and the stuff that was being ignored.”

Later, the store’s slogan, “from the obvious to obscure,” was born as it expanded in its Fords location four times.

The store’s closing is a seismic loss for the local and independent music communities as stores across the state and U.S. continue to shutter, even before the pandemic. Asbury Park’s popular Holdfast Records closed last summer. Longstanding Iris Records in Jersey City shut its doors in 2019 and reopened in a smaller space last year.

Roth knows the closure will be a hard pill to swallow for customers, but is at peace with his decision.

“Everything comes to end,” he said.