Since a group of guys pooled their record collections in 1981, Real Groovy has been a mainstay of Auckland’s cultural life. Many a record collection has been assembled – and traded in again – via these racks. A famously extensive jazz section, acres of vintage rock, and substantial global, dance, rap, metal and alternative sections meant that Real Groovy has always championed a diverse counter-culture, a proper underground crossroads for music nuts. Their listening stations have always been popular, and up until recently were one of the last free and unpoliced spots for local gig flyers and posters.
Across a series of upper Queen Street locations, passionate owners and staff, and through numerous battles with the ebb and flow of the local economy, Real Groovy (“Groovy” for short) is a much-loved Auckland institution, and is the record collector’s destination of choice. The offbeat, the cult, and the scratched, worn, beaten-up but unmissable – all could be found here.
By 2020, it had reigned in some rock & roll excess (at one point it was importing thousands of used records from St Louis, USA to their unlikely store beneath the Salvation Army) and found a more petite HQ near the top of the hill. As long as Auckland city has a music scene, there’ll be a Real Groovy somewhere.
Image Credit: Real Groovy Records