Record Shop Tour -Vinyl Isle, Morro Bay, CA
Updated: Apr 23
Located a few miles off Highway one on California’s Central Coast in the beach town of Morro Bay lives Vinyl Isle. Housed inside an old green stucco cottage with a giant record player sign on top, this fantastic little record shop is one you won’t regret making the special trip to find. A quick peek inside clues you in that you are in the right place for a good dig. In fact, I have never left this place empty handed.
Owned and operated by Central Coast local Jeremiah Highhouse since 2007, Vinyl Isle is a treasure trove of music collectable goodness. This tiny shop is packed with vinyl, cassettes, audio equipment, local artwork and tees. The decor inside, a mishmash of musical pop culture with a nice display of signed memorabilia, kitschy 60’s & 70s knick knacks & vintage fixtures straight from your cool grandma's house. Mini musical record shrines to iconic artists like the Beatles and Elvis exist below a massive ceiling collage of posters plastered in a way that lives up to the highest standards of any teenage bedroom wall. There is even an audio room tucked in the back of a small closet like space full of speakers and musical players of all sorts. Record players, 8 track players, and cassette decks all housed on shelves alongside collectible books and magazines. A quick flip through the new arrivals sports Devo, Rolling Stones, A Stiff Records comp and formally much loved copy of Frampton Comes Alive! Bins and shelves are full of everything from rock to punk to classical, jazz, funk, bluegrass and more.
I watch folks cruise in and out during my hour and a half there. I see locals pop in and out, an eccentric artist, a music picker from a very popular (un-named) shop in Hollywood and a Cal Poly student hunting for jazz records. There is never a shortage of interesting chit chat in this place.
The guy behind the counter is friendly, an artist and local Reggae DJ, and has been a long time employee of the shop. He has worked for years for record trade. “I have about $5000 in free record trade.” Damn. He also sells his art work in the shop. An avid supporter of the local San Luis Obispo music and art community, Highhouse sells local music along with artisan jewelry and custom designed tee shirts from local artists Brother Frog and Chad from Roots Relics .
A young college student flips through the jazz section, while I search for Hawaiian LPs for my upcoming DJ gig. Two guys traveling from Bakersfield making the rounds. One man moves over to 80’s records, how expensive and collectable they have gotten. I eavesdrop while I flip through the soundtrack section… I hear a man ask the clerk behind the counter, “you have any Pearl Jam? Nirvana? “ 90's rock has made a big comeback and people want it on vinyl regardless of the fact that most of it was originally issued on cassette or compact disc. It just sounds better on vinyl right? I'm sure most of the people in the shop would agree.
Vinyl Isle is located at 740 Morro Bay Blvd., Morro Bay, CA 93442
Typical hours are from Noon-4PM