Cherish the Peeps Who Run Your Favorite Music Store

Jaccko in His Awesome Record Store

My CD Collection in the ZOT Zin Music Studio

Back in a previous life when I still had a regular day job in Belgium (before moving to Boston) I spent many thousands of dollars buying over a thousand CDs in only a couple of years’ time.

Half of that collection is still in Belgium. The other half my dad shipped to me from Belgium many years ago to use in my teaching studio here.

I discovered many new bands at that time, many new styles, new sounds, and kept building my music collection adding the music of all my favorite bands.

I bought so many CD’s on a weekly basis, that it only took me months to have EVERY album ever recorded by:

  1. Rush,
  2. Led Zeppelin,
  3. Judas Priest,
  4. The Beatles,
  5. Jeff Beck,
  6. Dream Theater,
  7. Artension,
  8. Badlands,
  9. Chopin (I know there were no albums yet in his time lol. Of course: in his case I meant “the complete recordings of all his work”),
  10. Igor Stravinsky (the complete works),
  11. Steve Vai,
  12. Joe Satriani,
  13. Greg Howe,
  14. Boston,
  15. Dire Straits,
  16. Cairo,
  17. Cream,
  18. Charlie Christian,
  19. Jimi Hendrix,
  20. Helloween,
  21. Fates Warning,
  22. Guns N Roses,
  23. Journey,
  24. Eric Johson,
  25. Steve Morse,
  26. Living Colour,
  27. Steely Dan,
  28. and so many more.

The Best Music Stores.

This leads me to this really cool article I read on Buzz Feed a minute ago about the top 27 record stores you have to shop at before you die.

I had to post it on my blog here because it made me reminiscence over the old days when I used to spend hours and hours every week in my favorite record store (then called “Music Mania”, later “Pop Center”) in Kortrijk, West Flanders, Belgium.

The list should have been 28 record stores.

Here’s why:

I still have fond memories of hanging out every week at Music Mania/Popcenter with the store owner Jacques Merlevede. (Check Jacques out here)

Jacques is famous and a bit of a cult figure in Kortrijk for his ability to keep his record store going despite the many storms in the music industry and the huge drop in album sales in the past decade.

Jacques specialized (and still does) in the niche market of everything from classic rock and progressive rock to metal. (not coincidentally of course the music I was, and still kinda am, most into)
Interestingly enough: he somehow always managed to also get his hands onto the most obscure jazz or blues albums I ever wanted but could not find anywhere.

Praise where praise is due: I am forever indebted to Jacques for the great bands he taught me about and introduced me to.
He’s the guy who, while I bought the complete works of all the aforementioned bands, also introduced me to “Artension”, “Budgie”, “Gentle Giant”, “Focus”, “Genesis”, “Glenn Hughes”, “WigWam”, “UFO”, “UK”, “Tygers of Pan Tang”, “Robin Trower”, “Triumph”, “Superior”, “Cairo”, “Mahogany Rush”, “Medalyon”, “King Crimson”, and literally hundreds of obscure, hard to find progressive rock band albums that are ridiculously good.

While Jacques has always been and will always be his most humble self, he single handedly, played an extraordinarily important role in my musical “upbringing” and journey through all the bands and new music he constantly exposed me to.

The negative mind of course could say:

… “Yes, but his sharing all these bands with you brought him a massive amount of extra sales and business”.

2 things about that:

  • You are right, depending on how you look at things. However: the same can be said about me as a guitar teacher. The better service I deliver and the more options I present to my students and prospect students, the more lessons they will buy with me.
  • Everybody can intuitively feel the difference between somebody who is passionate about helping you and showing you new cool stuff, and somebody who is just out to get your money.

Jacques is nothing more than really passionate about the bands he has in his store, about music, and about seeing you learn about new stuff that is out there or old bands he thinks you should know about.
If he was just about the money: he would have been out of business many years ago, just like any other record store that had to close its doors.

So though Jacques’s Popcenter has been overlooked on the following list, this is still an absolute must read for anybody who plays, enjoys and loves music.

27 Record Stores You Have To Shop At Before You Die.

My alumni Mike Beach, who is now a very successful guitar teacher himself in Melbourne (Australia) and San Francisco, shared this fun article with me.

Click here to check out 27 Record Stores You Have To Shop At Before You Die.

Jacques and I have lost touched a bit since I moved to LA.
In an interesting way: I pretty much also stopped buying CDs entirely ever since the day I moved so far away from my favorite store in Kortrijk.

If you have any favorite music stores that are not on that list and that I should know about, hit me up here in the comments.


Hit me up anytime at if you have any questions, or if you would like to book a lesson.

These free lessons are cool, but you will never experience the progress, joy, and results that my students experience in lessons when you’re learning by yourself from blogs and videos.

That is why people take lessons: way better results and progress, much more complete information, exposed to way more creative ideas than you can get from a blog or YouTube video.
There is only so much that self-study can accomplish.

If you want to see amazing results and progress in your guitar playing, buy your first lesson here and get started ASAP.

  • 1 Lesson = 75

You’ll impress your friends and loved ones in no time with your guitar playing!

Consider donating any small amount to help me keep this blog going.
Thank you for your support!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Tagged , , ,

Leave a Comment