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John Cardarelli made ‘Rock Dreams’ come true in New Jersey

Credit: (Picasa/Tom Cunningham)

John Cardarelli was remembered today by his family and friends in Hamilton Square, the same town where his “Rock Dreams” stores influenced a generation of disc jockeys both radio and club. You weren’t a customer at Rock Dreams, you were a friend and John took care of his friends.

He gave us his knowledge of what was happening both musically and technologically and gave us great prices on both. No matter what the bill came to John would always say “just give me this or that” and it would always be less. Most importantly he gave us all his friendship. You never knew who you were going to run into when you went into the store but you always ended up either talking or arguing music and you left with more knowledge than you came in with.

Tom Cunningham who hosts the “Bruce Brunch” on our sister station 101.5 The Hawk remembered John on his Facebook page saying ” Rock Dream Records, was more than just a store. If they had a pot belly stove in the place it would have been just like the old general store. Except a zillion times cooler.” Tom and I spoke about John last Thursday night on New Jersey 101.5 when I learned of his death as I began my radio show, which he always called in on after all these years.

Tom also talked about the influence John had on the Metallica “Master of Puppets” album.

“When his store sold a bagillion ‘Master Of Puppets’ albums Elektra Records came to John with the idea to feature him in their Metallica advertising campaign and it was a huge deal. That ad (it’s the one pictured right here) helped to solidify the store’s place as a very special retail destination. The iconic Trenton Makes… bridge never looked so good.”

Tom, Dave Hoeffel and myself went to John’s viewing in Hamilton Square and so many people were asking for the interview that I figured the best way to get it to everyone was to post it. If you’ve ever hung at a record store, waiting for your favorite album, or just talking music with the people who worked there, you’ll appreciate the conversation.

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Steve Trevelise is on the air from Monday-Thursday, 7 to 11 p.m. Tweet him @realstevetrev or @nj1015.

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