We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. “Bill” Strange and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. “Bill”, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Simple. When I started Dr Strange Records Records in 1988 I was waiting tables at a local bar n grill and going to Community College. I was already buying records (punk) and figured, “why not get a few and sell to my freinds at fair prices”. Those records later turned into buying t-shirts and patches and stickers and more and more each month. My main goal was just to pay rent and buy pizza ANYTIME I want. That was, and still is to a great amount, my goal 33 years later. Basically, if I can pay my bills and eat and live I’m happy. I’m pretty simple and have realistic goals.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am only here because of a long and loyal fan base. i still have some of the same customers since starting in 1988. I’ve always been taught to “treat others the way you would want to be treated”. It’s really pretty simple. Be good and fair to people and they will respect that and continue to come back. Many of my “customers”, the regulars, are now friends of mine and I, and my beautiful wife Quicksand, will often hang out and just have fun. The record store has become a “safe-haven” for many people who have hard a hard time in life. It’s a great place to escape.
Challenges? god yes! It took me about 6 years of doing the mail order [that’s how I started] before I made ANY money. But I loved it and working those 10 to 14 hour days never seemed like “work”.
For me my business and at times life is all about putting round pegs in square holes. I just force it. You have to make it happen and don’t get discouraged. it it head on!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My best friends are friends that I’ve had since grade school and throughout high school (I graduated in 1983) and we all still keep in touch and still have the same interests. So I’d say, going to see some bands play and for the most part just hanging out, having some drinks and talking about all the stupid crap we did. We are all big pranksters!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh man, that’s easy! My Mom and my sisters. They have always been more than supportive of everything I’ve done and were, and still are, so proud of me. I am who I am because of my family, Star Trek and punk rock
Other: Be sure to watch “LiveStrange” every wed’s and friday at 4:00 Pacific. It’s like QVC for Punk Rock but with drinking and stupid jokes and sound effects. And at times guests and bands will stop by for the mayhem.