Adelaide’s iconic 5031 postcode has become home to a number of new outlets along its Henley Beach Road hive, as of late. Namely, a swish new florist called Flowers By Lottie and Saray Mediterranean Supermarket where you can find an array of delectable morsels. Another one of Torrensville’s latest establishments is Lenny’s Records – an unpretentious musical hub specialising in vinyls, that opened on the down-low in late May of 2022.
Lenin Simos, or Lenny, is the intellect behind Lenny’s Records and describes himself as “a collector of music but moreover, an admirer, an accumulator, a student, a historian, a salvager, a recycler, a recommender, and a facilitator of music.” We chatted to Lenny about the euphonious emporium and the inspiration behind the new, secondhand store.
“The majority of the stock at Lenny’s Records has come from my personal collection. I’ve been stockpiling for a long time and I’m always on the hunt for more,” Lenny shares.
“Approximately two-thirds of it is on vinyl, including a small range of 12 inch and 7 inch singles and EPs. The rest is on CD – if I don’t have it on vinyl, I’ll try and have it on CD.
“I think genres such as heavy metal, punk rock, hip-hop, and electronic music work well and sound great on CD. They are generally inexpensive, have a long shelf life, and sometimes contain music you can’t get on vinyl.
“In 2022 they’re not quite as cool as they were in 1992, but they have their place and I personally like them a lot.
“I’ve got some cassette tapes too, and a few boxes of music and movie DVDs,” Lenny continues.
“People that know me, know that I have an eye and an ear for the left-of-centre, the eccentric, the obscure, the weird and the wacky, the forgotten or the marginalised. I have a fair amount of popular music from the ’50s to the ’80s, as well as music that perhaps you don’t see every day,” Lenny says.
Lenny’s Records came about as a result of, “Needing a place to put my records and CDs, which were taking over our house, our garage, and filling up a rented storage unit – and I didn’t want to get a ‘real job’,” Lenny adds.
“After working casually in record stores and getting to learn the trade, making connections with similarly music-obsessed people, and more than anything, wanting to listen to music all day, I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather do.
“I’ve always enjoyed the process of searching for and finding a particular record, listening to it for the first time, getting more out of repeat listens, and then putting it on the shelf to come back to another time.
“Nowadays that process includes putting that record on the shelf in my shop for somebody else to find and appreciate in their own time, in their own way.
“I regard my collection as an ever fluctuating mass. I want to hear as much music as I possibly can in my lifetime; I just don’t need to hold onto it all forever,” Lenny divulges.
The store itself is neat and minimal, as decoration is yet to commence. The secondary attraction is the listening station – an old quadraphonic unit where customers can listen to things they might be curious about. It’s a modest set-up, but what more does one need in a quaint, neighbourhood record store. Speaking of neighbourhoods, Lenny has lived in 5031’s Mile End for the past five years and inevitably, as happened to many before, the locale now “feels like home.”
“Opening the shop specifically in 5031 was important to me. My primary motivation was to try and find a space close to my home. I love that the area is culturally diverse, close to the city, the airport, the beach, and that it’s evidently home to a lot of people that are really into music,” Lenny shares.
“I don’t have any signage yet, talk about ‘Secret Adelaide’, so a lot of my customers have been locals who’ve walked past or seen me setting up.
“It helps that there’s lots of great food nearby and that I’m directly opposite Custom Music, which is a well-known musical instrument shop and rehearsal space. So many great bands have practiced there over the years. It’s an institution,” Lenny reveals.
As for the vision of Lenny’s Records – “My philosophy is pretty simple. I want the shop to be a place that I’m happy to go to when I get up in the morning.
“Hopefully there will be interesting records and CDs coming through – enough to go around to keep me and my customers happy.
I don’t have any grand plans – enjoying listening to music and chatting to people about music is pretty much as good as it gets for me,” Lenny finishes.