He’s collected vinyl, newspaper clippings and trading cards — now he wants to open a shop
As a boy, Alex Kolosow was fascinated by newspaper headlines and rock stars.
As he grew older, he learned to combine the two by placing newspaper clippings about artists — perhaps they put out a chart-topping song or scheduled a noteworthy tour — in the respective album sleeves.
When Beatles member John Lennon died on Dec. 8, 1980, after being shot by Mark David Chapman, Kolosow didn’t hesitate to pick up a newspaper as well as every Lennon album ever recorded.
“I drove down to the Warehouse Records on Beach Boulevard and gobbled up every album I could get,” the 66-year-old retired salesman recalled. “I grabbed about 20 or 30 albums. I remember coming home, laying them out and just listening to songs like ‘Imagine’ and appreciating the songs this man wrote.”
He then placed the newspaper article in one of the record sleeves.
Over the years, Kolosow collected more than 30,000 vinyl records — “everything from ABBA to ZZ Top” as well as a Beatles record that he says is worth $9,000 — hundreds of thousands of baseball cards and important headlines, some dating back more than a century. Now, with the items filling his home, is the right time to share his findings with the world, he said.
Kolosow, who said kids from his neighborhood regularly visit his house to listen to his music, is looking to open a collectors’ shop in Huntington Beach where he would sell records in stereo and mono versions, old newspapers, valuable baseball cards and other collectibles. He wants to open it this summer with his son, Alex Kolosow II.
“The Huntington Beach area is ripe with people interested in the old-school vinyl, articles and sports memorabilia,” said the elder Kolosow, who added that he’s been in negotiations to open at Old World Village, a collection of shops and restaurants reflecting European cultures. If that doesn’t pan out, he’ll look for other options in the city.
"[Old World] is an ideal place because it’s right off the 405 and near Bella Terra. I think the time is right for something like this. ... I have to get rid of it. I’m just overdosed in this house. I’m at the point now where I’ve reached my age, and I just want music to just spread for everybody else.”
Bernie Bischof, secretary of the board of directors for Old World, which houses bakeries, bars, restaurants and beauty salons and hosts the annual Oktoberfest celebration, said he believes a record store would attract new customers to the area.
Kolosow, who owned a shop in the 1990s on Goldenwest Street and Edinger Avenue, said he hopes to introduce younger generations to the music he has grown to love, like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie and Prince.
He said while some music today is decent, most of it doesn’t have the same power.
“Vinyl, when you bought it, told you a story,” he said. “Groups like the Moody Blues, the Rolling Stones and The Who told a story when they put out an album. You could open it up and read along to it. A lot of music today is just wham, bam, thank you, ma’am. We’re just not listening to music nowadays where there’s a story that’s told, there’s a heart that’s broken, there’s a place they visited and there was an event they remembered.”
He said at least three artists will be played on any day in his shop, and visitors will be able to read headlines to discover the latest news about them — or details about their deaths.
“I think we can get younger people involved in more music, reading and broaden their horizons,” he said.
Regarding his collection of tradeable cards, some featuring politicians and movie titles, Kolosow said he used to buy for 5 cents a pack baseball cards that are now worth thousands of dollars.
“Kids aren’t pulling the types of stars nowadays that I used to pull out,” he said.
Kolosow’s son, 40, who said he has a prized Mickey Mantle baseball card assortment worth more than $50,000, expects that customers would enjoy a store like the one he and his dad are planning.
“Whatever my dad sells, he’s going to have a good story to it,” he said. “It’s kind of cool. He’s saying this is older music, and I know that sounds kind of corny, but that was just what he and his friends were rocking out to then.”
Brittany Woolsey, email@example.com