The musky smell of incense and sage greet you at the door, complementing the smell of used vinyl records that occupy the center of Triple Play Records. The expanse of records is matched only by the musical knowledge of the staff.
After 30 years of business, Triple Play Records continues to provide Grand Junction’s Main Street with music, energy, and community. Fueled by a passion for vinyl record albums, this independent music store has survived the tearing up of sidewalks during downtown renovation, witnessed the coming and going of businesses, and watched the growth of a small college turn into a university.
With his collection of vinyl records and baseball cards, Cesario established Triple Play Records in 1988. He bought his first vinyl record when he was 11, and continued to grow his collection by draining his savings account buying records during his junior and senior years of high school.
“My dad threatened to throw them out on the street because I’d play them too loud sometimes,” Cesario recalls. He also remembers his father telling him that the collection of records would not amount to anything.
“When the record labels decided that there wasn’t going to be any more vinyl, I always felt like I wanted to open a store then, to kind of show them that vinyl would still be legitimate,” Cesario says. With this ideology in mind, Cesario opened his record store – which also includes a wide selection of CDs – in hopes of providing the community with their own supply of vinyl. Despite his father’s initial skepticism, Cesario’s parents were supportive and helpful in getting the business going.
Opening Triple Play Records was a struggle at first; however, the addition of baseball cards helped pay the bills in the beginning. Now, rather than baseball cards, in addition to CDs and vinyl records the shop sells Frisbee golf discs, colorful tapestries, incense, smudges, purses, pipes and more.
“We always felt like there was a potential here, and I wouldn’t want to have a business anywhere else. I feel fortunate to have a business in the town I grew up in and we wouldn’t be anywhere but on Main Street.” – Rock Cesario, owner of Triple Play Records
“We always felt like there was a potential here, and I wouldn’t want to have a business anywhere else. I feel fortunate to have a business in the town I grew up in and we wouldn’t be anywhere but on Main Street,” Cesario says.
Cesario’s affable son, Matt, began working at the shop fulltime about 10 years ago. With a passion for music like his father, and a keen desire to help customers find what they want, Matt helped bring the business into the technology and internet era. He says, “Someone comes in and needs music for a funeral; before, we would have to order it; it would take a week to do so, but then I started using the internet where we could just download it, burn it onto a CD and get it for them that day.” By giving Matt more responsibilities, Rock noticed the generational gap closing between physical and digital media, as well as musical appeal.
“Matt knows what the kids want. I can sell Rolling Stones and Beatles to old guys all day long, or anybody, but as far as knowing to bring in Kendrick Lamar or alt-J – I mean, who the hell is alt-J? – I don’t know who [they are], all I know is we’re selling two of them a week,” Cesario says.
Triple Play Records is located at 530 Main St. and can be reached at 970-243-3974