I love music. Since I was 14, I’ve been going to concerts, hanging out in record stores, listening to records with friends, and playing as a drummer in blues, zydeco, indie, and country bands. I've even recorded two records!
Regular jobs weren’t for me. I met the original owner of Zap Records, Paul Cowan at a record show in 1985. At the show, I realized my record collection had some value, and if I contributed my collection to his business I could become a partner in a small record store in Belleville. That’s how I joined the Zap team.
I learned from Paul the importance of professionally cleaning records, repairing album covers and replacing damaged inner sleeves. I learned that certain records and CDs are more collectable than others, based on the history behind labels and covers. And I got good at grading records. Putting all that information together leads to knowing which vinyl has value and how to price it well.
After 4-5 years of learning the ropes in Belleville I was ready to start out on my own. I chose Kingston because I love the music scene, the vibrant and progressive downtown with lots of tourists and students, and its close to my family in Belleville.
I organized the Kingston Record Show in 1991. I attended the Ottawa Record Show twice a year and was at the Toronto Record Show for years too. Record shows continue to be a great way for me to stay connected to my peers and deepen my knowledge of collectable records.
Back in 1991 when I was first looking for a storefront, 20 Montreal was actually the first place I looked at but it wasn’t available at the time. Zap Records has had three locations in Kingston, 77A Princess, 340 Princess, and now 20 Montreal St. It feels great to finally feel like I’m home.
There’s another Zap Records in Cobourg. It was opened by our friend Jim in 1991. He eventually sold it to Tim who had been working there for years. Now Jim runs Zapp Productions, a concert production company and recording studio. And Tim has an awesome storefront in Cobourg that's definitely worth a visit!
The three of us share the same roots in the original shop, but we are independent.
I’m proud to be a source for great music that stands the test of time. I look for gems and put them in the hands of people who appreciate them. I love having a place to share some of the great titles I’ve collected over the years.