Top 10 Tampa music stories of 2011, No. 6: Goodbye, Vinyl Fever
In late December 2010, this story came as a shocker: Just three months after Rolling Stone named it one of the 25 best record stores in the country, Tampa’s venerable Vinyl Fever announced it was closing after 30 years.
“It’s not profitable enough to pay for another move,” owner Lee Wolfson said in January. “I’m not interested in downsizing.”
Employees were stunned, as were the many fans who have visited the independent South Tampa store. Other record stores acknowledged it was a sign of the times.
The store underwent a massive fire sale of all its merchandise, including signed posters (we bought one of Obituary) and trinkets (we purchased a 2000 Weekly Planet Best of the Bay Award).
At least one used record shop has stepped up to fill the void: Daddy Kool, which has become the Bay area’s new home for Record Store Day-related activities, plus in-store sets by the likes of Saves the Day and Breathe Carolina. And there’s a bright spot in Tampa, too: At least part of Vinyl Fever’s spirit may live on in Seminole Heights’ new Microgroove record store, operated by former VF employees Keith Ulrey and Carl Webb.