This week we take a trip to another record store, this one run by Becca Peterson out of Alton, IL Score! Records. At 21 years old she opened a successful shop which her “community has graciously accepted“. When we connected on social media and I saw her story, I was happy to share more about what she’s up to.
When Becca isn’t at work you can find her attending shows, thrifting, playing guitar and drums, roller skating and skateboarding.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
Growing up I was constantly surrounded by music. I collected CDs and cassette tapes. If it had anything to do with music I was into it. I started going to local shows pretty young (12 years old). I owe a lot of my initial involvement and music taste to my older brother (thanks Tommy!!). As I got older I got involved in the local DIY music scene and eventually started doing music photography leading me to tour with friends bands taking photos. I remember in middle school wanting to open a record store, venue, and be front woman in a band (still working on those last two, haha)! At the age of 21 I decided to take that leap and fulfill a childhood dream. I believed Alton, IL was in need of a record shop and I felt I could provide that service. Alton has supported me with open arms and I’m very grateful for that.
What is a day in the life like?
Every day is different but mostly my day consists of listening to music, handling the day to day operations of running Score!, and hanging out with my customers. I try to provide a space that is more than just a record shop. I want my customers to feel like they have a friend and a space where they can come and just be. When I have down time in the shop I’m usually practicing guitar, practicing drum rudiments, or learning more about topics that interest me.
Favorite sale / relationship made from behind the counter?
Honestly the greatest relationships I’ve formed has been with the young kids that come in. Corny enough they make me remember why I was so captivated by music and the music scene in the first place. They remind me how music connects us all together. That music is universal. They keep the spirit of music alive and moving forward.
In your opinion what has been the coolest thing to come through your shop / thing you had to keep / almost couldn’t put out for sale:
The coolest thing that has came through the door at my shop was this cool Mad Magazine Flexi Disc with the iconic Alfred E. Neuman sporting on it. I ended up keeping it! Also Gang Green’s We’ll Give It To You / Skate To Hell 7”. The 7” is a picture disc that is shaped as a skateboard. So cool I ended up keeping that as well and displaying it in the shop.
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
I’ve overall had a very awesome experience but I sometimes struggle with feeling like I have to prove myself more in my industry because of my age and being a woman. Whenever I feel that way I always try to remind myself that someone needs me to show up and do what I’m doing.
Also telling people nicely that their parents + grandparents used vinyl isn’t worth very much can be a bummer!
What has been the craziest experience that has happened at the shop?
The craziest experience to me is people that come in from out of state. I’ve had people come in from the UK, New York, Nebraska, and California to name a few. That will always be so wild to me! I love that I can provide an experience to them away from home.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
My advice is to start today and just go for it! You can always learn along the way. If you’re passionate about something you’ll never regret going after it. And even if you “fail” at least you tried and that’s better than never starting!
Never stop learning and expanding your taste in music! Don’t put yourself or what you listen to in a box. And that goes for everything in life. Also – GET INVOLVED IN YOUR LOCAL MUSIC SCENE!
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
I’m not an avid vinyl collector I have a few pieces. I consider my shop my collection. I hand pick and carefully curate what vinyl is stocked. Score! is basically my music taste spit out. I totally get the appeal of vinyl and the listening experience it provides. Nothing can top it.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about? i.e. innovation, or trends you’re seeing.
I’m excited that vinyl has made such a big comeback. I’m noticing that more big-box stores are stocking vinyl which leads me to believe that vinyl could potentially be just a fad but I have hopes that it’s here to stay and that it will encourage more people to get into collecting. I believe there will always be die-hard music fans that want their fix in the form of a physical copy.
What are you listening to right now; and also, anything else you want to share?
I will always have a soft spot for hardcore punk and crossover hardcore. My ultimate favorites I always go back to are Bad Brains, Leeway, Cro-mags, and Suicidal Tendencies. My current heavily rotated bands have been Lizzo, Choir Boy, Tops, Both Worlds, White Reaper, Blondie and Fuzz. My music taste is super all over the board so it really hard to choose a few! Thank you for letting me be apart of this!