It's easy to miss Left of The Dial Records in downtown Santa Ana. The shop is tucked away on French Street, indicated by a sidewalk sign and mini-mural. Walking up to the store, live music wafts down from band lockouts located on the second story of the building. Inside, owner Geoff Leamon sits behind a counter and fiddles with a turntable. Leamon is soft spoken, but once he starts pulling out rare releases his eyes light up and his stoic persona gives way to youthful giddiness.
He's currently fascinated with a private press from an elderly gentleman named Bob Pratt, that features song titles like "Young Chicks Look Good To This Old Man." Leamon admires the album and says with a chuckle, "It's so funny and incredibly interesting to me that somebody said, ok, this guy needs to make a record."
In addition to random pieces like Pratt's, Left of The Dial also carries an extensive prog section along with pop culture gems like a 1959 original press of Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace." Given his Slowdive t-shirt, it's not surprising he keeps well-stocked '80s alternative and post-punk sections as well. Leamon takes pride in his eclectic inventory, which is refreshing in Orange County's punk rock terrain. He also shares that owning and operating Left of The Dial is his dream gig, yet the store owner nearly called it quits in early 2014.More »