Q&A: Adam Hardaway discusses Rainy Day Record's 40 years

By Nikki McCoy on January 17, 2013


This Sunday, celebrate 40 years of records, skateboards, rock shirts and nag champa at Rainy Day Record's birthday celebration at The Brotherhood Lounge. We caught up with Rainy Day store manager Adam Hardaway to ask a few questions about working at Olympia's long-time record store.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: What's the best thing about turning 40?

ADAM HARDAWAY: To me, the best thing about turning 40 is that it gives everyone who has worked and shopped at Rainy Day and grown up with the store over all these years a good reason to reflect on what Rainy Day means to them, which is why we are having a party. It's for our extended family of longtime customers as much as it is for us. Rainy Day is an institution in our community that a lot of very different people love and go out of their way to support, which is why we have stayed in business for so long.

VOLCANO: What are some fond memories of time spent at Rainy Day?

HARDAWAY: My fondest Rainy Day memories are really all the times we've managed to pull off challenging customer requests, like when someone comes in and sings a tiny bit of a weird song that they heard somewhere a long time ago and they don't know any words, but we can still figure it out for them. Or when a loyal vinyl customer tells us they are looking for three specific records that we don't get in used very often and they all show up the very next week. I also really miss the old crew that worked at Rainy Day when I first started out in 2004. I still consider the people who worked at the store then to be major role models in how I approach my job to this day. I'm especially happy that Shannon and Chris are gonna be DJing at the Brotherhood party. Hopefully all the other folks from those days will be there too! 

VOLCANO: Why is Rainy Day such an institution in Olympia?

HARDAWAY: Rainy Day is important to Olympia for a lot of reasons. We keep cultural rituals like renting movies and listening to vinyl alive as a viable option for people who still love to do those things - even if those practices don't make us a lot of money. And I think that it is really grounding for people to have a constant like Rainy Day around to fall back on when times get tough or the winter days get boring. You always know that you can go to Rainy Day and find a new record to listen to or rent an amazing movie, and it's pretty cheap compared to other things you could be doing that probably aren't nearly as good for you.

VOLCANO: What's in the cards for Rainy Day?

HARDAWAY: A lot of what we do these days is helping diehard 20th century people - ourselves included - navigate the future that we all now live in. We are constantly finding ways to adapt and make subtle shifts in focus. We are doing everything we can to help folks who are interested in committing or recommitting to vinyl as a way of life, and we are also staying true to CDs, which are certain to be the hottest thing in five years. As long as Olympia and we stick together, Rainy Day is bound to make it to 50 and beyond.