Record Store Day 2018

by Brian Ripple  |  Sunday Apr. 1st, 2018

According to their website “Cactus Records & Gifts, calling downtown Bozeman MT home since 1970, is Southwest Montana’s destination for new/used vinyl & CDs, gifts & novelties, oddities & hilarities, traditional & body jewelry, aromatics & apparel, cards & posters, concert tickets, & more!”

We took a few minutes to catch up with Cactus’ owner and fearless leader, Mike ‘Bueno’ Good, and what we learned was both frightening and enlightening.

BR: What year did you purchase Cactus Records, and what makes it a “Weirdo Place”?

MBG: I purchased Cactus on September 5, 2001 – a time that most people who were alive then remember clearly, as it was 6 days before 9/11.

The “Weirdo Store” description came from a straight-laced looking guy walking past Cactus who described the store to his wife that way, unaware that I - the owner of Cactus - was walking behind and within ear-shot of what he was saying. I’d love to know the reasons he described us that way. I don’t think he meant it as a compliment, but I took it as one, and I feel that it is a fairly accurate description in many ways.

We have a pretty interesting and colorful staff and we attract a similarly interesting and colorful clientele, and I definitely mean that as a compliment. I think that anyone who has ever been described, or thought of themselves, as “weird” would feel pretty much at home here at Cactus.  

Also, much of our inventory is pretty eclectic and unusual, and to a lot of people unfamiliar with stores like Cactus, “weird.”  Gift items like “Tiny Hands” and “squirrel underpants” come to mind. Most of the music we carry would never get any commercial radio airplay, so to people who stick to more mainstream styles, the music might seem “weird” to them as well.  

BR: What was the first year Cactus Records participated in Record Store Day? Can you recall some highlights from that year?

MBG: Cactus Records first participated in Record Store Day the first year that it was participated nationally, which was 2008. We had no idea what to expect, and I don’t think many other people did either. A lot of people in the community thought it was just something that we at Cactus randomly made up. I only wish I was that creative.

I remember there were less than a dozen special releases that year but I can’t remember what they were (doing a search online reveals that there were titles by Vampire Weekend, R.E.M., Death Cab for Cutie, and Stephen Malkmus among a couple others).

BR: Record Store Day has been called Christmas in April. How important is RSD to you and other independent music stores?

MBG: I really believe Record Store Day is one of the greatest forces that kept a lot of Record Stores afloat, and ultimately helped them thrive, during a tumultuous time that saw a lot of stores close their doors. Every year, we see Record Store Day as our single best day of sales of the year. No other day, even those preceding Christmas, come close. I know the trend nationally and internationally is the same.

BR: Are there any specific releases this year that you and your staff are eager to check out?

MBG: I could be wrong, but I think this is the largest list of special Record Store Day releases to date. Even if it isn’t the largest, I believe it is the best, and it is pretty hard to narrow down what we’re most excited about. And of course, each member of the staff has different tastes, and thus, different favorites on their wish lists.

I think a lot of us are pretty excited about all of the David Bowie releases, which there are a few.   

And I think most of us have probably have the three Tom Waits limited releases: “Brawlers,” “Bawlers” and “Bastards” on our list.
We always do really well with Grateful Dead pieces, and this year there is the Dylan and the Dead, the “Live at the Fillmore West 1969,” and the new album by Mickey Hart.

There is also a pretty huge buzz about the Led Zeppelin 7 and a pretty cool Cheech & Chong Up in Smoke leaf-shaped die-cut picture disk.

Those are just a couple of the big name releases that come to my mind at the moment. To see the complete list folks should go to www.recordstoreday.com.

BR: What time will you open on RSD, and what time do you think people should get in line?

MBG: We open at 9am, which is the same time we open every Saturday.   We’ve considered opening earlier for Record Store Day, but we don’t want to cause any confusion amongst customers by changing our hours for the day.

To be honest, I don’t know what is the best time to get in line. I don’t know what time the first customers typically arrive. We have had at least a couple of people wait overnight in the past, and I know that happens a lot in bigger cities. Last year, by the time we opened at 9am the line of people was around the corner.  

BR: What is the best part of owning such a treasured local business?

MBG: I’ve heard from a lot of customers over the years that Cactus Records helped shape the person that they became. And each of those people described this as something positive.  Also, people always have a smile on their face when they’re here, including the non-“weirdos.” It’s nice to feel that you’ve provided something positive to people’s lives.

Record Store Day 2018 takes place on Saturday, April 21. Doors open at 9am and lasts all day. There will be in-store performances as well as great one day only deals on all types of merchandise.

“The Sounds! The Smells! The Sights! Cactus Records & Gifts provides the most unique & enjoyable shopping experience in Bozeman.”  

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