Counter Intelligence

The Last Bookstore

60 minsFirst aired 31 May 2019
Mark "Frosty" McNeill

Explore downtown LA’s final frontier for printed matter and one of the city’s finest sanctuaries for used vinyl.

The Last Bookstore is enormous – it’s a downtown Los Angeles emporium housed in a 22,000-square-foot historic former bank. Traverse the first floor and you’ll come upon one of the store’s most active sections, its record shop. Shop manager Henry Polk is quite familiar with the phenomenon of people entering this expansive space ostensibly to buy books but spending most of their time buying vinyl. Polk runs down a few of the tunes that regularly occupy the store’s stock – classics by Miles Davis, Leonard Cohen and Kitty Wells — and offers his personal picks of Holly Golightly, Throwing Muses and Chris and Cosey. He also recalls the time guitar god Jimmy Page came around politely looking for Led Zeppelin bootlegs.


Interview by Mark “Frosty” McNeill
Produced by Jordan Rothlein and Jeff Mao
Engineered by Tobias Jansen

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