Melodies & Memories is an independent record store that opened on Gratiot in Eastpointe in 1988. It is a sprawling labyrinth of records, CDs and memorabilia with a plethora of iconic items on display.
“Music-lovers look low and collectors look high,” explains shop owner Dan Zieja.
And there is a lot to look at. Concert posters illustrated by Gary Grimshaw and Carl Lundgren are for sale, as well as photographs by famed Detroit photographer Leni Sinclair. Other memorabilia, however, is for display only. It’s part of Zieja’s personal collection that has accrued over the years and includes interesting items such as Beatles-autographed baseballs and 3,500 vintage lunchboxes. No matter what decade you were born in, you are bound to find something of interest at Melodies & Memories.
“We’re like a pop culture museum. People find things here that they had as a child or remember from their youth,” said Zieja.
Lining the walls are albums autographed by such music legends as Prince, Michael Jackson, Queen and the White Stripes – and it doesn’t stop there. The walls themselves are scrawled with celebrity signatures. Eminem, Egyptian Lover (the hip hop/electro-funk DJ who played at the store earlier this month), Martha Reeves and Kanye West (who drew a teddy bear) are just some of the many musicians who have autographed the building. Aretha Franklin has also been known to stop in to shop.
“We have people from all over the world come here,” said Zieja. “If you see a limo out front, it might be the Temptations.”
Melodies & Memories boasts an impressive stock of new and used vinyl and CDs ranging from jazz and blues to rock and dance music. Several sound systems are always playing different music at the same time, but due to the unique structure of the building, they seamlessly transition genres as you work your way across the store.
Melodies & Memories is ready for Record Store Day this Saturday with boxes of limited-edition vinyl, free promotional giveaways and for the first time, they will be selling record players. Last year, a few customers eager to secure a specific LP camped out at 2:30 a.m.! Stop by the store at 3 p.m. for a special performance by Frijid Pink, a Detroit rock band that formed in 1967.
Even if you’re not quite ready to camp out for Record Store Day this weekend, Melodies & Memories is a musical destination worth checking out any time of the year.
Monday – Saturday noon to 7 p.m.ish
Sunday Noon to 5 p.m.