Toronto record store owner is celebrating 50 years in the industry
Mike Waite, owner of Mike's Music, the one-stop-shop for all things vinyl, CD and DVD, is celebrating 50 years in music.
For the first half of Waite's career, he recorded his own music, produced albums for other bands, and worked at one of the first Sam the Record Man franchises (as well as many other locations).
Then, 26 years ago, he opened Mike's Music, a warm, inviting store for music and vinyl enthusiasts near the corner of Broadview and Danforth.
He's been sharing his love and passion for music with customers and fellow musicians ever since.
Now, he's celebrating 50 years in the industry.
“I feel fairly accomplished. I don’t know many people who’ve done the same job for 50 years,” Waite said.
His store has a wide variety of stock, offering every genre from rock, to contemporary, to jazz, to blues, to country, R&B, folk, indie, and more.
"On any given day, you will find Mike Waite sorting through some of the thousands of vinyl records in store, or casually chatting with customers on his favourite subject — music," said Trevor Rutherford, long-time friend and loyal customer of Mike's.
"Mike has lived and breathed the music industry for the last 50 years."
Waite once said two events triggered his “desire to play music." The first was listening to a Beatles record before it was released in Canada, and the second was seeing them live at Maple Leaf Gardens.
"The idea of being able to listen to music seven or eight hours a day, and discuss music and tell stories and hear stories, it's just a job I really love doing and I’m pretty good at it, too,” Waite said.
He said that even though he didn't get rich in the business, he's grateful to enjoy going to work every day.
"His shop at Danforth and Broadview is a common place for bands and musicians playing the nearby Danforth Music Hall and for local musicians to come dig for vinyl," Rutherford said.
According to Waite, his store was once frequented by the late Gord Downie.
"Mike’s shop is as eclectic as the long-bearded hippy whose name it bears," Rutherford said.
"The walls are adorned with signed photos, gig posters and awards (including a Juno). A mosaic of vintage lamps hangs from the painted copper ceiling. There are records everywhere and behind the counter, below the neon 'Mike’s Music' clock, is the man himself. Ready to greet you like an old friend."
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