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Revenge of the Swifties: Celebrating Record Store Day ’23

10:45 AM EDT on April 24, 2023

It was a typical morning: I got dressed, brushed my teeth, and, stupidly, had a cup of coffee afterward. So, I brushed my teeth a second time, because I had time.

With my ample disabilities check in my hand, I went to Saturday’s Record Store Day activities early but not too early, because usually there are only five or six customers in the vicinity of Guestroom Records, 125 E. Main St. in Norman, talking records, comically aloof, and bracing for the early morning air.

But this morning, as I turned the corner, that line was slightly larger than I expected…

And then it got bigger—much bigger. I turned the corner to find a massive queue. Apparently, this wasn’t your typical Record Store Day—it was Taylor Swift's Record Store Day.

So it's gonna be forever, or it's gonna go down in flames?

All around me, Swift tributes, memorials, and encomiums were embraced and displayed by the pop intelligentsia. From worn concert hoodies to people strollering thier babies to Taylor-tunes, fans were drowning in comfy comforters with spritzed-on body wash and old, ragged Uggs, letting their inner and outer swiftie shine.

Sadly, Kevin Stitt or Ryan Walters wasn't in attendance:

About twenty minutes to opening, the well-trained staff brought out cups of coffee, which was truly appreciated. When it was time to open, there were about five customers allowed in every five-to-ten minutes to keep the business from imploding on itself, Poltergeist-style.

As the many Swifties entered and exited from the store, with a copy of Folklore in one hand and their gift bags in the other, the wind grew as I neared the entrance. But, right as I was about to immerse myself in today's celebrations, I was stopped. I was the next in line, right outside the door, waiting…

After a gasping few seconds of life, I was finally let in and, I couldn’t believe it, everything—and I mean everything—was waiting for me to purchase!

Of course, I wouldn’t expect Paul McCartney’s Red Rose Speedway or U2’s “Two Hearts Beat as One” single to be sold out, but what about Son Volt’s Day of the Doug or The Donna’s Early Singles 1995-1999 that had smaller numbers?

It was all there and then some: the Ramones, Jonathan Richman, T. Rex, Sir Douglas Quintet…all the limited runs and limited copies were all there, and all of my FOMO worries seemed to dissipate as the cashier took my hard-earned dollars.

Out of all my purchases, the one album I was looking forward to the most was Guestroom's official pressing and reissue of Tulsa’s Marble Phrogg’s 1968 lost album of trippy stoner rock. Sight unseen, I hope the album is reasonably good!

As I left the shop, I noticed more Taylor fans purchasing her record store day album. Since I now was no longer in the line of blonde fire, I was no longer sour with this paean to music capitalism. It was fine and they were fine as we all punished ourselves with this all-consuming hobby.

But, to be fair, next year, I am probably coming at 6 in the morning with a warm blanket and a thermos of coffee, just to be fair.


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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