Permanent Records’ Liz on Labels and Vinyl

permanent-records-liz-tooley-interview
Growing up in what she considered the “deepest depths of Missouri’s underbelly,” Liz Tooley spent her early years working in factories and saw mills. That all changed when she got a record store owner to come speak at her community college. Seeing it as a way out, she asked if his shop needed any help and after that, music was the only road travelled. Today she co-owns Permanent Records alongside her buddy Lance Barresi, and it’s not just their two stores in LA and Chicago with talks of a second popping up in LA, but it’s a label as well. So this woman was a great asset to this series, and Golden Mixtape is proud to dish with her about the store, the label and more.

Kendra: When someone walks into Permanent Records, what three words do you think come to their minds first?

Liz: Rare vinyl haven.

Kendra: Permanent stands out from a lot of other record stores out there because it’s also a label. What new things can we expect from you guys on that front in the coming months?

Liz: We just released a killer LP reissue from a band called Zipper. It’s a 70’s hard rock project from Fred Cole (Dead Moon’s front man) that’s a definite must have. Such a ripper! Coming up, we’ve got the new Frankie And The Witch Fingers LP right around the corner. They’ve been tearing up L.A. with their live shows and we’ve long sold out of their first record, also on Permanent. Very excited for this one!

Kendra: Being both a store and a label, there are more opportunities for employees. Would you say that makes it more evenly split when it comes to the men and women on the staff? I only ask because I’ve run into two record stores that only have men on staff, but have seen labels with more women working there.

Liz: We’re actually a really small crew. We run the label and the shop out of our Chicago location. We do a select few LPs per year so I wouldn’t say the label is huge by any means, but it packs a punch. I’m the only woman here, but we don’t look at gender here. It’s not a thing I like to address as I feel that I shouldn’t be treated any differently than any of our male coworkers.

Kendra: Have you faced any challenges getting to where you are because you’re a woman?

Liz: There are times where Lance is addressed as the owner, but I’m in a male dominated field in both ownership and customers so I get it. That will change with the younger generation of record lovers. I do secretly get a kick out of people talking to an employee as if he is the owner and then he refers them to me. Makes some older guys do a double take. Old school shoppers mostly. The younger generation (30 and under) don’t seem to care.

Kendra: As far as the store goes though, like a lot of stores you guys have in-store performances. What artist would you be honored to have come by?

Liz: We have tons of bands we are proud of over the years. Everyone from Melvins, to X to Meat Puppets, Kid Congo, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees and a bajillion others. I guess a big one would be someone like Iggy Pop or Brian Eno, but that’s legendary status and not too likely. It’s all relative though so how do you choose? I’d be stoked for a Dead Moon performance.

Kendra: Going off the idea of forever, if you had to make a mixtape featuring some songs that are permanent features in your life, what would be on it?

Liz:
T. Rex – “Metal Guru
David Bowie – “Width of a Circle
James Gang – “Funk #49
Neil Young – “Revolution Blues
Manfred Mann – “Traveling Lady

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