Michael Maccarrone of Sound and Vision Vinyl

Sound & Vision Vinyl: Home Away From Home

Music Interviews

Owned and managed by New York natives, spouses Pam Lancaster and Michael Maccarrone, and established at the end of 2015, Sound & Vision Vinyl is the gem you may not have heard of and, after visiting, won’t forget. During my visit, I was treated to a typical day at the office: interacting with the frequent stream of curious and knowing customers, listening to passionate conversations about the best pizza place in New York (unequivocally, Little Vincent’s Pizza), and discovering (through hearsay, of course) the former pleasures of peeing in the halls of CBGB. With Lancaster in Holland mining for vinyl gold, Maccarrone took me aside, sat me on a Union Jack upholstered couch, and told me everything there is to know about his Sound & Vision.

SLUG: What brought you to Utah?

Maccarrone: Pam. I met Pam in a punk rock bar in 1980. [She] was MTV’s head of fashion and makeup from about ’85–’91. She did [David] Bowie’s makeup, Siouxsie’s, Blondie’s, Guns N’ Roses’. We never dated or anything, [but] every night I would kiss her “hello” at the bar. One night, the kiss lasted for about 40 seconds, and we both just kinda looked at each other. … Pam took a leave of absence from MTV—with her boyfriend at that time—to open a business [in Salt Lake]. … Flash-forward: [We] reconnected … She came out to visit me and we knew we were supposed to be together. [Eventually,] I came [to Utah] and fell in love with [Salt Lake]. We were able to open up the store about six months ago.

SLUG: What led you to open Sound & Vision Vinyl?

Maccarrone: I’m a record collector, and this is what I know and love. I started working in record stores when I was 16. I used to leave school at 11 o’clock in the morning go to open up the store. It was great. I’ve been trying to open up a record store since [then], and was never able to—but we’ve been fortunate. Pam handles the business end, and I work as the manager. I think opening this store, in this time of my life, is perfect. If I had had Sound & Vision at a younger age, I don’t think I would have had [enough] knowledge.

SLUG: What was your earliest experience with music?

Maccarrone: The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, Feb. 9, 1964. I remember watching it with my mom and dad. I sat there [thinking,] “This is cool! These guys are having fun! I think I want to be a Beatle.” My father had about 150 45s, and I remember sitting in the house [listening to] doo-wop from the ’50s—Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly.

(L–R) Pam Lancaster and Michael Michael Maccarrone, owners of Sound & Vision Vinyl. Photo: Shannon George

SLUG: I heard you have a story about The Cure staying at your buddy’s house?

Maccarrone: A friend of mine, Greg. Greg made bootleg silk-screen T-shirts. He went and saw The Cure playing in a small bar, about ’81 or ’82. He made them a shirt, and they said, “This is fucking cool, dude! Come hang out with us.” [Greg] had a horror movie video collection of like 400 films, and Robert Smith was a huge horror movie fanatic. Greg brought them back to his house, and they were there for three days [watching movies]. Finally Greg was like, “I got a job; I got a life. Get the fuck out!” and threw them out of the house.

SLUG: Why are records coming back into the public’s eye?

Maccarrone: Records have come back because anyone born after 1980 was born with CDs and downloads. They never had the experiences we had with records. Kids are starting to discover [that] there is nothing like the experience of vinyl. The only reason [vinyl] stopped [being made] is because the record companies wanted to sell CDs, and they forced it upon the public. When you put a record on a turntable, it’s an experience. Vinyl should have never left, and I’m glad that it’s back.

SLUG: What is Sound & Vision adding to the local record scene?

Maccarrone: What I want to create here is a home away from home, a place to really enjoy music—to be able to come in and have the availability of new and classic stuff, but also to have someone who has got stories and knowledge and makes you feel welcome. It’s not just a record store. It’s like having that house that everybody wants to hang out at. That’s what [Sound & Vision] is about.

With Record Store Day plans still in the works, Michael is looking forward to the growth of Sound & Vision, along with all the new faces he hopes to see. Before I left, I was treated to a listening of a rare bootleg cover of The Beatles’ “Penny Lane” by David Bowie—pleasures previously unknown and now insurmountable.

Sound & Vision Vinyl is located on 3444 S. Main St. and online at soundandvisionvinyl.com.