I’m a huge Jack White fan. Over the last decade I’ve seen him live – solo or with his bands – around 10 times. And no, I’m not tired of it and I’ll probably go many more times. It had become a joke with my friend – now husband – that we would go to Nashville together to go to Third Man Records. Flash forward to a wedding and honeymoon in Tennessee.
The first time we went – yes I’ve been more than once – was in 2012, only 3 years after it first opened. Back then it was just one room with so few customers you had to ring a door bell for someone to come and open the store for you. Which was pretty cool. It was already it’s yellow/red/black self with African masks and stuffed animals on the walls.
Flash forward to 2015, it was busier, we didn’t need to ring the bell anymore and we bumped into Ben Blackwell. The shop is now three times its size, there are listening stations, mechanical monkeys, an analog – of course – photobooth and a recording booth. And even more records for sale.
We make our visits to the store an event, we spend time in there, we indulge in the photo and recording booths and some knick knacks because yes I need yellow and black matches. It is not just a store, it’s an attraction, you don’t just pop in. That is also due to the location as there is nothing else around…
Now as for getting there… in 2012 we didn’t have a car and we walked from downtown bus station. Which is a good 25 minutes walk with absolutely no shade and in August it was an interesting experience… but it is doable if you don’t have a car. Though… are there Ubers in Nashville?? So ideally get there by car, it’s quick and easy and air-coned. And let’s face it, it is not in the nicest neighbourhood for a stroll. There is a big car park just across the road as well.
So is going to Third Man Records, Nashville worth it? There is actually two levels of questions here.
Is it worth going to Nashville to go to Third Man Records if you’re a Jack White fan? Well, yes. Because Nashville is great and you should go regardless. But obviously if you’re a fan, it really is a cool place and not just a store. My aim is to see a band in the blue room.
Is it worth going if you’re in Nashville but not necessarily a fan? Well, yes. There are so many records to get, not just Jack White’s. And the recording booth is just great be you a singer, a musician or if you just want to record a message on vinyl like in the old days. Plus the analog photobooth will make you look good, there is just something about a less sharp, less focused photo quality.