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New Things Happening at Zone Music

Posted by on Sep 17, 2010 | Comments (6)

Zone Music in Cotati may have closed its doors last month, but as promised, new stores are opening in its location.

I stopped by the Vinyl Zone last week, run by a local musician named Jim Cassero. Still in its formative stages of getting stock out of the floor, it features all vinyl—no CDs—and appears to specialize in 1960s records; a banner of Jimi Hendrix hangs in the front window. Jim was pricing records and filling the bins, while the already-stocked walls showcased more collectible records by Can, the Misfits, the Who, Bo Diddley, John Coltrane and many more. Jim’s not new to the vinyl business; in 1999 he moved to Wisconsin and ran a store in Green Bay called Amazing Records, which you can get a local-news taste for by watching a video here. I didn’t ask how many trucks he filled with records when he moved back to open in Cotati, but he’s got a ton of boxes and seems happy to be home in California. (Years ago, Jim played guitar in the metal band Vicious Rumors, although he seemed surprised when I mentioned this fact to him.) He’s shooting for an official grand opening in October, but in the meantime feel free to stop by and see what he’s got. I picked up a Dodo Greene record on Blue Note, along with some Ron Carter and Young-Holt Unlimited LPs from the dollar bin. Not bad!

Of pressing concern to most who patronized Zone Music, of course, is the promised new music store opening on the premises. Longtime Zone employees Neville Hormuz, Tim Haggerty, Marie Parker and Randy Quan are in the process of getting Loud and Clear Audio & Visual up and running in a slightly smaller space at the old Zone Music location. Though their behind-the-scenes specialty will be audio and video installation, the storefront will carry all the basic necessities Zone had—strings, pedals, cables, picks, drumsticks, heads, microphones and much more. I talked to Hormuz, who said he’s thrilled to see a music store still at the site, and to still be working with the public. “I can’t help it, my heart’s in retail,” he said, mentioning that while Zone was going through their recent troubles he actually worked a month at the store for free. Not wanting the new place to have the in-and-out feel of a convenience store, Loud and Clear will also carry a wide and ever-changing selection of consignment guitars and amps to keep the place interesting. Ironically, Hormuz and the others hadn’t even thought of opening the store until they read Zone owner Frank Hayhurst in the press talking about Zone’s demise, and promising that a new store would open in its spot!

Loud and Clear opens with limited hours on Sept. 22, and an official grand opening follows on Oct. 1. Still in full swing at the site are Zone Recording, a full-service recording studio run by the experienced and capable Blair Hardman, and Backstage Technical Services, the dependable, perpetually cluttered repair shop run by longtime soldering-gun wielder Kent Fossgreen.

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  1. Kent Fossgreen
    September 18, 2010

    Hey Gabe–thanks for the mention! I’m happy to report that the perpetual clutter of Backstage Service (“Technical” just makes my tongue do weird things when I answer the phone) has been greatly reduced thanks to an influx of shelving that was formerly part of the Zone empire. The cleanup process is ongoing, (still gotta fix stuff) but great strides have been made.

  2. Profile photo of Gabe Meline
    Gabe Meline
    September 18, 2010

    Oh, no – keep the clutter! I tend to distrust any repair shop that ISN’T a complete disaster area.

  3. Brian Gandt
    September 19, 2010

    Having know Jim Cassero when I lived in Green Bay, I can say that he is a great guy, and that he has a great store. Best wishes in Cal, Jim! Brian Gandt, Madison, WI

  4. excellent, bravo
    October 28, 2010

    Thanks for the post. I will forward it on to a couple of friends.

  5. Trisch Brosig
    January 28, 2011

    Jim Cassero’s AMAZING RECORDS store was a GREAT place to browse and buy. What variety and quality he has ! Jim is a really cordial guy.Never to busy to chat with customers. And very good at what he does. We really miss Him and his Store, here in Green Bay.
    He’s definitely a California guy all the way , and we know he yearned for that year round California sunshine ! We’re glad that he made it back to the warm weather, where he belonged .
    Good Luck Jim. Think of us back here in the snow ……..once in a while ! Thanks for sharing a little of your life and A LOT of your much appreciated MUSIC with us.
    We truly enjoyed you .
    Pat B.

  6. Pat Brosig
    January 19, 2012

    I closed my store here too. Couldn’t keep up with the heating bills !! Ha ha (true story) Am glad to be home with nothing to do. We miss Jim. Missed him as soon as he left. We had good laughs and good memories . We all hope everything is going well for him. Pat Brosig


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