Record collector Jeff Todd stands at the pulpit at Vinyl Heaven. Photo by Adam Vescovi
Buyer on the Search for Vinyl Records
By Adam Vescovi
The first three records Jeff Todd bought as a teenager were Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, and Grand Funk Railroad’s On Time.
Todd, now the owner of Vinyl Heaven, has increased his collection significantly, up to around 6000 vinyl records. He is looking to double his collection up to 12,000 by purchasing gently used vinyl records from people ready to sell them.
In recent years, the vinyl record industry has made a major comeback. In 2017, over 14 million records were sold in the United States, up by 1000 percent from ten years before.
Todd understands their appeal.
“Back in the day, you would read lyrics and look at artwork like a comic book. You can’t do that on MP3s,” said Todd. Todd then listed off some examples of unique records: Alice Cooper’s School’s Out, which took on the appearance of a grimy school desk that when unfolded, would give the viewer the impression that they are looking inside of the desk, Jefferson Airplane’s Long John Silver, which could be turned into a humidor by following instructions, or Jethro Tull’s aptly titled Stand Up, which when unfolded, would show the band members standing up, not unlike a pop-up book.
On Sunday November 11th, from 9 am to 4 pm, Todd will be hosting a record show at American Legion Hall at 75th & Metcalf. Here, record collectors will be able to view and buy 70 tables worth of LPs, CDs, cassettes and music memorabilia such as t-shirts and posters, which are being sold by record dealers from as far a Des Moines.
Unique finds can also be found at Todd’s store, located at 7319 W. 81 St. in Overland Park. Vinyl Heaven is not like your average record store, however. “You do not have to navigate through sex toys and drug paraphernalia to get to where you need to be,” said Todd. Here things are kept plain and simple, hence his slogan “All sales are vinyl.”
Everything in the store is in mint, near mint, or very good condition. All records are bought by none other than Todd himself, who aggressively goes out of his way to buy records from individuals who can’t get out or from former record dealers. The store contains a unique and wide variety of records: Jazz, Rock, Blues, Metal, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Folk, Movie Soundtracks, among many others. For more information, call 913-499-7442.