Interview with Andy Royo by Tom Prestopnik for Goldmine Magazine in 2010
ANDY ROYO is the owner of Sounds Good Music. He’s been at this store, located in Port St. Lucie in South Florida, since 2003.
Sounds Good Music is the only used record store in a radius of about 40 miles.
Andy Royo, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, worked many years in the record business in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area of Florida and now owns and runs his own used and new record store.
When did you come to Port St. Lucie, and what did you do before you opened your own record store?
Andy Royo: I moved to Port St. Lucie in 1998 and had a pool-maintenance business at that time. When I was in high school, I worked at Q Records, which turned into Strawberry’s record store, and then at Peaches in Fort Lauderdale. I opened the Peaches in Tampa. Peaches went out of business — my thoughts, [it was] because they were slow to grasp on to the DVD sales and the changes in the music industry. I got my degree in business and have used that to help me with the pool and music businesses I have owned.
What was the first record you ever bought?
Andy Royo: When I was in sixth and seventh grade, I was getting $5 allowance, and I went and bought The Beatles’ White Album. In North Miami there was a record store right next to the grocery store, and when my mom was shopping, I would go there to buy my records. Hotel California [The Eagles] was another of my first purchases.
You’ve been at this store for more than seven years now. What changes have you seen in the market since you opened?
Andy Royo: New CD sales. We started out selling used records and used CDs and then went to new CDs and now a lot of new vinyl. Most of the new vinyl comes with a free CD inside.
What does your store offer that other used-vinyl stores don’t?
Andy Royo: New vinyl for one. As an independent store I stock a lot of new vinyl, and I don’t think a lot of other stores do that. We special order a lot of new vinyl and new CDs for our customers. People will come in with only one or two words of a song, or band, and we can find the music that they have in mind. I can also find phonograph needles and belts, and other stuff like that.
Besides me, who are your other favorite customers?
Andy Royo: We have a lot of international customers who come on vacation and come in looking for something. I have 10,000 pieces of used vinyl in here and about a thousand pieces of new vinyl.
What’s the best part and the worst part of owning your own record store?
Andy Royo: The best part is when a customer comes in several times and then asks me, “What do I need?” I get to know their musical likes and personalities and can make recommendations. I’ll send them home with 10 items and they might love eight. The next time I’ll send them home with five, and they might love them all. The worst part is when people bring in their records and they tell me that they’re in mint condition and rare and valuable, and they’re Al Martino or Herb Alpert and might look like they’ve been danced on. That’s the worst part, telling people that their records are worthless.
Ever had anybody famous in the store?
Andy Royo: Tori Amos lives in Sewall’s Point south of here, and she came in one Saturday morning. She was wearing sunglasses, and I asked her, “What took you so long to get here?” Greg Allman has been in here. And a figure skater, Nicole Bobeck, came in here one night when we had live music.
When are you going to have live music again, and who will you be having?
Andy Royo: Soon. We can’t sell beer, but we can give it away, as long as people are respectful. We’ve had bluesman Ben Prestige here many times and will try to get him back when we do live music again.
What’s the rarest record you’ve ever had in here?
Andy Royo: A sealed mono copy of the Velvet Underground’s Andy Warhol album, the one with the banana sticker on it [Ed. — Velvet Underground & Nico]. It also had a sticker on the shrink wrap that listed the songs.
What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had from a customer?
Andy Royo: That stupid “Dominick the Donkey” Christmas song. We found it for a customer. One of the weirdest was a guy came in and wanted to sell all of his wife’s records while she was at work. I just couldn’t do it.
What’s your favorite band?
Andy Royo: We have to do a top five. I’d have to say Wilco is one of my favorites. Rolling Stones, Beatles, Santana and Crosby, Stills and Nash. I like David Crosby. I could listen to “If I Could Only Remember My Name” every day.