Roy Griffith and his Turntable Shoppe saved my life. I was running late for an important DJ gig, scrambling to load my equipment in to the trunk of my car as fast as humanly possible, when the unthinkable happened.
After tripping over a rough patch of sidewalk, my equipment case flew out my hands, crashing to the ground and spilling its contents all over the road. I was devastated when I looked up to find scattered pieces of my beloved Technics 1200s strewn across the highway.
After I recovered from my initial panic, I remembered Roy and his turntable repair shop. Desperately hoping for a miracle, I hopped into my car and sped to Roy's small storefront on East 10th Street, only to find I'd arrived two hours after closing time.
I anxiously dialed the phone number posted on the shop's door, explained the situation and, to my surprise, Roy agreed to meet me. Within minutes he had me patched up and ready to go. I made the gig with time to spare.
Emergency turntable resuscitation is just a small part of the UK native's business. He also sells a variety of turntables for all levels of interests, ranging from $60 starter gear to higher-end equipment for hi-fi enthusiasts.
"It's not expensive to get into," Roy assures, promising, "I can hook you up with a turntable, a receiver and a pair of speakers for less than $200."
The shop also carries a wide variety of turntable accessories too, including essential items like cartridges, needles, belts and cleaning brushes.
It was a long journey that brought Roy from his UK home to his current digs on Indy's Eastside.
"I'm from Manchester, England originally. I moved to the States about 13 years ago. I was an engineer here for nine years, designing tanning beds," Roy said.
Misfortune struck Roy one day when the tanning bed company closed down. But then inspiration quickly followed.
"I drove by this space one day and had an epiphany that I could open a turntable shop." he said. "I used to fix turntables just for fun, so I decided to turn my hobby into a business."
Although his background is in engineering, he's no stranger to music, which has played a large part in his life since childhood.
"My dad was a huge music fan. He taught me how to play guitar when I was six years old," Roy said.
But it was the family's weekly music listening rituals that fueled Roy's love for vinyl culture.
"Every Saturday night, the whole family would listen to records. From the age of four years old, Dad would make me put the records on the turntable. He would be sitting, drinking his Stella Artois, and I would put on the records," Roy said.
And what was on the turntable in the Griffith house? "'60s Merseybeat, freakbeat, Jimi Hendrix, early Pink Floyd, Beatles and Stones," Roy said.
These were sounds he would later draw from in his own musical career. Since arriving in Indy, Roy has had a big presence in the city's music scene.
Roy's love for music is obvious when you enter the small and stylish shop. Huge oversized prints of Roy's favorite LP covers drape the walls, featuring everything from Roxy Music to Fela Kuti, and the floor is filled with boxes of classic LPs.
The Turntable Shoppe has been open for just over a year, but when you enter the space, it feels like it's existed there for decades. Rare turntables and exotic parts overflow from the shop's shelves, creating an atmosphere that's part museum, part science lab. The Turntable Shoppe provides one of the most interesting window-shopping experiences Indianapolis has to offer.
As we celebrate Record Store Day this Saturday, it's important to acknowledge turntable vendors and technicians like Roy who make it possible for vinyl culture to survive.
@bobp - I would recommend the great Chilean MC Ana Tijoux for starters... for Argentina…
could someone please recommend me some Chilean/Argentinian/Latin American, hip hop? cheers!
Shout out to Chilean Hip Hop!! The man has great taste and an ear to…