Andy Curcuru, center, with son Alex Curcuru, left, and Katherine Ramos, visiting from Chicago, get Ripe Records Detroit ready for its opening April 21. Ramos is Ripe Records Detroit co-owner Kathy Garrido’s daughter.

Andy Curcuru, center, with son Alex Curcuru, left, and Katherine Ramos, visiting from Chicago, get Ripe Records Detroit ready for its opening April 21. Ramos is Ripe Records Detroit co-owner Kathy Garrido’s daughter.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Ripe Records Detroit is all about the vinyl

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 17, 2018

 Andy Curcuru, holding a 7-inch of the Pagans, and his wife, Kathy Garrido, will open Ripe Records Detroit in Grosse Pointe Park April 21.

Andy Curcuru, holding a 7-inch of the Pagans, and his wife, Kathy Garrido, will open Ripe Records Detroit in Grosse Pointe Park April 21.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

GROSSE POINTE PARK — The days of hanging out at the local record shop, flipping through bins to track down the latest find, and chatting with the clerk behind the counter about your favorite bands has returned.

There is a new record store in town, and it’s ready to rock ’n’ roll.

When the clock strikes noon this Saturday, April 21, Ripe Records Detroit will make its debut as husband-and-wife owners Andrew Curcuru and Kathy Garrido officially open for business. The 750-square-foot record store — located at 15212 Charlevoix St. in Grosse Pointe Park — is ready to become the new spot to shop for LPs, and to sell and trade them.

The store, which former club disc jockey Curcuru said has been in the making for about two years, will carry new and used vinyl records in just about every genre of music. Ripe Records Detroit will only stock vinyl records — no CDs or cassettes.

“Vinyl, that’s it. Nothing digital. Everything is analog,” Curcuru said. “We’re bringing back the sound of vinyl.”

The new business owner was always a fan of vinyl, which has made a comeback in recent years. There’s just something about hearing the needle drop onto the record groove.

“It is a passion. It’s the beauty of the sound,” Curcuru said. “You hear the highs and the lows.”

As a collector, Curcuru bonded with friends over what was spinning on the stereo. Along with listening to the tunes, the other essentials were the album artwork, liner notes and photos inside the the record sleeve.

“It’s an experience. You play with your records,” Garrido said. “They’re like a toy.”

With the opening of Ripe Records Detroit, Curcuru and Garrido will use a grading system to help shoppers determine the shape of the records, ranging from “F” to “near mint” to “mint.” “VG,” for example, stands for “very good,” while “NM” is the code for “near mint.”

“The condition and the artwork is considered,” said Curcuru, a Grosse Pointe Park native and Grosse Pointe South High School graduate.

With Ripe Records Detroit serving as the backdrop, Garrido looks forward to getting to know the clientele.

“Music brings people together. We just want to be the hangout place,” said Garrido, who loves all kinds of music and recently has grown to appreciate blues and jazz. “I was born in Venezuela. I think I was born singing and dancing.”

Last week, Curcuru and Garrido, their son Alex Curcuru and Garrido’s daughter Katherine Ramos, visiting from Chicago, were preparing for opening day. They worked together organizing the store with classic rock, alternative, new wave, easy listening, techno, indie/punk, soul, disco, classical, jazz, movie soundtracks, blues and reggae titles.

The Cars, David Bowie, Metallica, Madonna, the Beastie Boys, the Traveling Wilburys, Billie Holiday, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Lee Greenwood, the Geto Boys, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, and the soundtrack to “South Pacific” are just a sampling of the merchandise.

Alex has inherited his parents’ love of music. His musical taste is all over the charts, from the Rolling Stones to Frank Sinatra to disco to funk. In addition, the South sophomore plays trombone in the school’s concert band.

Ripe Records Detroit will have LPs that sell from $1 up to hundreds of dollars, with the average title priced between $18 and $45. Distribution for Ripe Records Detroit will come from all over the U.S., and the goal is to reach music fans internationally through the internet.

“We’re going to sell online. We’ll be able to go all over the world,” said Garrido, adding that items not in stock can be ordered.  

Metro Detroit artists also will have the opportunity to sell their originals.

“We’re going to have a local section,” Curcuru said. “We want the local guys to bring in their music.”

And for music buffs who don’t have the equipment on which to play vinyl records, don’t fret, as Ripe Records Detroit will have a selection of reconditioned turntables and speakers for sale. Repairs will be available too.


Setting the record straight
Ripe Records Detroit is opening up just in time for Record Store Day, which is celebrated annually and falls on April 21 this year. It’s a chance for staff, customers and artists to come together and celebrate the record store culture. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are exclusive for the day.

Ripe Records Detroit will have a number of limited editions from Jett Plastic Recordings ready for release on Saturday. One such LP is the 1996 recording of “Out Of The Closet” by the Trash Brats, a well-known pop/punk/rock band that played the Detroit circuit and out-of-state from 1987 to about 2005. It is the first time “Out Of The Closet” will be on vinyl.

“It’s great to know that our music still resonates with people, and hopefully the release will help to turn our music on to newer fans as well,” guitarist and former St. Clair Shores resident Ricky Rat said in an email.

Rat said recording the album more than 20 years ago with producer Mike E. Clark “was a fun and fantastic time.” Clark also supplied the remix for the vinyl release from the master tapes. In honor of the vinyl pressing, the Trash Brats will reunite for a reunion show April 20 at Small’s in Hamtramck.

“We will be doing a good selection of songs from the album along with many other Brats classics,” Rat said.

Rat hopes to stop in Ripe Records Detroit after it opens. Also planning to venture over to the new store is Grosse Pointe Park resident RJ Spangler, a local jazz drummer of the group Planet D Nonet.

“I’m going to check it out,” Spangler said. “I hope it’s very successful for them.”

The musician collected blues and jazz vinyl for years, lost it all in a fire in 2003, and has slowly built up his collection.

“There’s a warmth to vinyl you don’t get in digital,” the 1975 South graduate said. “When I grew up, payday was Friday and I would go to the record store. You make lifelong friends doing that type of thing.”

Ripe Records Detroit will open April 21 on Record Store Day. The store can be reached by calling (313) 469-7479 or by visiting www.riperecordsdetroit.com. Hours are 2-7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; noon-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 1-6 p.m. Sundays. The store will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays.