I wondered what would happen to Big Al’s Record Barn. Al’s has been ‘closing’ for well over a year and it looked like it was going to keep on chuggin’ along. But with the death of owner Al Farleigh on April 30, 2014 due to complications from tonsil cancer, the future of the store is a bit murkier. Al’s son, Will, is hoping for a buyer to come along and take over the inventory.
So after reading Al’s obituary in the San Jose Mercury News today, I drove over just before they closed up. Joe, the old cowboy from Texas, was behind the counter, waiting for the last two customers to leave. Joe never divulges his last name and says he is not related to the Farleighs.
“She wants to keep it going, until something happens.” Joe said, referring to Al’s wife, Diane Farleigh. So far, it appears that the owner of the building has yet to find a buyer for the property, although I have no knowledge of that process. Which means Big Al’s will still be selling records until something happens, whatever that is. Joe claims no real insight into the future and perhaps, the store will continue for a while. A quick look around and there was plenty of inventory filling the bins.
According to the Mercury, Al’s service will be held at Santa Clara United Methodist Church at 1700 Lincoln Street in Santa Clara this Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 11am. The store will be closed this Friday and Saturday.
Joe asked me if vinyl was making a comeback. I explained that it was, and that turntable sales were also on the rise. There’s just one less person spinning records today.
“I’ll be around,” Joe said. ” I just keep doing it for Al.”