Born and raised in the United Kingdom, brothers Anthony and Steve Beeby have owned and operated their old-fashioned record store, Boho Records and Rags, in Newhall for around three years. The storefront offers a wide variety of records, CDs, cassettes, music memorabilia and even Boho-style clothing and jewelry pieces sold by Steve’s wife, Ingrid.
Before opening Boho Records and Rags, Anthony held a wide range of positions across various fields of work after moving to California in 1979.
“I was the resident DJ at a place called the Crush Bar for 14 and a half years,” Anthony said. “Pretty much from the inception of the club after about the first month, I went in with the DJ who started it, and I was there ever since. I basically became the resident DJ. I also did a lot of record industry and movie industry rap parties and that type of thing, but mostly club work. I was also in construction. But the whole time, I was always a record collector. I’ve been collecting records my whole life, since I was a child, a small kid. I would always purchase records. In the late 70s [and] early 80s, I would ship records to the U.K., certain 45’s, rare items that people were looking for in the U.K., and I’ve just massed all these records… My brother and I were selling stuff online in the early days of Ebay. We carried on doing that up until three years ago.”
The Beebys decided to open the record shop as a way to sell some of the thousands of records they had kept in storage units. They opened the store in Newhall off of Railroad Avenue, mostly because of the cost in comparison to other areas throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
“I like this area because it’s kind of the center of town,” Anthony said. “It’s like the center of everything, of [the] Santa Clarita Valley. And everybody kind of knows this area because of Main Street and stuff, so it’s a natural fit for us.”
Boho Records and Rags buys and sells nearly every genre you can think of, from rock to soul to punk to classical, and everything in between. “We like to have a little bit of everything,” Beeby said.
The storefront also provides two listening stations so you can ensure your records are of good quality before purchasing. But since the onset of COVID-19, Boho Records and Rags has faced many of the ups and downs that all businesses have had to deal with.
“Obviously [it impacted us] a lot, because we ended up closing for almost 12 weeks. When we reopened, it was tough, I’ll be honest with you. We were really busy like the first few weeks we were open, then we closed for one day for July 4 weekend. We opened on the fifth and we were dead. And we were dead right up until two weeks before Christmas,” Anthony said. “I honestly believe it had something to do with the stimulus. When we reopened after the 12 weeks, I think people needed to get out and get some normality, plus they had a few dollars in their pocket from the stimulus, and they spent money. As soon as it ended, we died again. And I think when they started talking about releasing more money for stimulus a couple weeks before Christmas, bang! We were hit again. We were really busy. And, touch wood, it’s been busy ever since. We haven’t stopped down since Christmas, it’s been terrific.”
The best part about operating a record store for the Beeby family is meeting the various customers that come in to shop. “All the years I was a DJ and working with the public and stuff like that, you know, if you don’t like people you’re not going to do it. And I like people,” Anthony said. “I don’t like everybody, but I do like people. You meet some interesting people, you really do.”
Boho Records and Rags is always looking to buy records from those wanting to get rid of part of or all of their collection, in any record sizes or genres. You can call to make an appointment and learn more about their COVID-19 procedures for buying records on their website, bohorecordsandrags.com.
Their website also includes information as to how to clean your record players and records, virtual tours of the store, and customer reviews.