Friends share a passion for collecting vinyl records

As records become increasingly popular, these three seniors connect over music


Baylen Monson and Leah Dresvyannikov


By Natalie Merley

Making a comeback from the past, vinyl records have come into full swing popularity with teens and young adults- many who are influenced into listening because of modern and contemporary artists. 

According to the New York Times, vinyl record sales have grown steadily in past years, however, it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that sales increased rapidly.  

Seniors Anthony Molinaro, Alec Forristal and Adam Budimlija have been friends for longer than they have shared their passion for music. It wasn’t until a year or two ago that Budimlija decided to hop onto the vinyl bandwagon, and Forristal and Molinaro eventually decided to follow along. 

All three friends have cultivated impressive collections. Molinaro has the largest at roughly 70 records, while Budimlija and Forristal have collections that sit around 40 to 50 records.

Each expressed his interest in collecting vinyls for more aesthetic purposes. Popular artists have begun to appeal more to their fans by offering unique vinyl album editions, expanding their ways of marketing. A Billboard report mentioned that Taylor Swift’s “Midnights”, the top selling album of 2022, was available in four vinyl long-play editions which had different covers and different colored vinyls. 

This artist appeal is another aspect that motivated these friends to start collecting records.

Mills Record Company is located at 4045 Broadway Blvd in Kansas City, Missouri. They sell records, books and other merchandise (By Maggie Wieland)

“[Vinyls are becoming popular] because of certain artists and people that are pressing vinyls more,” Budimlija said. “I thought that it would be cool to have a more physical version [of music].” 

Despite the aesthetics, the boys were mainly influenced by each other to start collecting records. Members of Molinaro and Forristal’s families were also an integral part of sparking this hobby.

“My parents had a bunch of records from Olivia Newton John,” Molinaro said. “Then, I went out and bought my own.” 

After he and his brother got a record player, Forristal’s passion for his music collection grew.

“My brother and I both had four to five [records] before we actually got a record player,” Forristal said, “We kind of have to get more now that we have them.” 

In the same report, Billboard revealed that nearly half of all record sales came from independent stores at 48%. These independent record stores are where Molinaro, Forristal and Budimlija choose to spend their money, namely stores in downtown Kansas City.

The trio’s most frequented stores include Mills Record Company, Josey Records and The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven. At the stores, they browse through various genres of music, including indie, rap, rock, metal and hip hop. 

Forristal explained that besides record stores, vinyls can be found in other places such as Barnes and Noble or online sites.  

“If it’s [a record] that you can still get and they don’t sell anymore, you can get them on Amazon or wherever they are available,” Forristal said. “There’s also a site called Discogs, it’s like eBay but for records.”

According to the friends, one record typically costs anywhere from $20 to $50. The price can depend on where you purchase the record, whether it is new or used and which album it is.  

Mills Record Company is located at 4045 Broadway Blvd in Kansas City, Missouri. They sell
records, books, and other merchandise (By Maggie Wieland)

For Budimlija in particular, getting a job made it much easier to continue this hobby. 

“I didn’t have a job when I first started collecting, so it was really small. Then once I got a job I started wasting my money on it,” Budmilija said. 

As their collections grew, the trio’s friendship strengthened. They may have different tastes in music and differing reasons for deciding to collect vinyls, but their similarities have connected them nonetheless. 

“We all just listen to whatever, but we will get into similar things,” Forristal explained. “Adam likes more [modern rap music] and Anthony is more into metal than Adam and I are.”

Even though each has their own individual music tastes, some artists have made their way into multiple of the friends’ collections. 

“We [all three] have similar artists we enjoy,” Budimlija said. “Anthony has a couple Mac Miller records and we both have Metallica records.” 

While the songs themselves stay the same, the way the music is composed and played with a record player differs from online forms of music, such as Spotify. 

The physical record offers better sound quality and authenticity, according to Molinaro.   

“I think people just enjoy listening to the actual [more physical version] of music, and getting the posters that come with vinyls,” Molinaro said. “It is more like an experience to have, and get lost in the music, instead of just listening [regularly].” 

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