The Punk Vault

The end of Sound Idea

As a huge fan of music and a record collector, good record stores are some of my favorite places on earth. Every time a record store I liked closed, I would always get sad and I still am mourning the losses of various stores I used to frequent. When I got an email today from Bob Suren of Sound Idea, I felt that same kind of sadness but this time it was for a store I never stepped foot in, only purchased records from through the mail from time to time and also sold records to on my label. The email he sent is as follows.

The current economic climate has made it impossible for me to run Sound Idea Distribution and the Burrito Records label as I’d like. Rather than compromise my vision, I’m putting it all to rest. Here’s some information that might concern some of you.

SOUND IDEA DISTRIBUTION: No more mailorder or wholesale effective immediately. All my bills have been paid and all trades have been completed. If you think I owe you something, please get in touch. If you have a credit slip, send it in for a refund or merchandise. The web page will remain online for about a year with my contact information. For your wholesale needs, I suggest Ebullition. For mailorder, please try Dr. Strange.

SOUND IDEA STORE: Last day of business is Sat. Oct. 18, 2008. Everything will be on sale really cheap and a lot of stuff that I can’t take with me will be given away.

SOUND IDEA EBAY STORE: The stuff in the Sound Idea eBay store will remain available. Same product, same prices, same service.

SHOWS AT SOUND IDEA: All cancelled, but I am working with a group of people to start a new all ages venue in the Tampa area. The new venue will get my P.A. system, some of my furniture and the remainder of Sound Idea inventory to sell at gigs. Locals, keep your ear to the ground for details. It’s up in the air now. Touring bands, we will be ready for you by December 2008.

SOUND IDEA ZINE LIBRARY is being left in full to the folks starting the new venue.

SOUND IDEA NET RADIO: Last broadcast is Sat. Oct. 18, 2008. Broadcast will remain online until at least Sat. Oct. 25, 2008. I’m going to miss doing the show. It has been my favorite part of Sound Idea for the last year or so. I have a bunch of episodes in the can that won’t get posted online. If anyone is interested in the unheard episodes, get in touch and I can put them on CD for you.

BURRITO RECORDS: All future releases on Burrito Records have been cancelled. Most of the remaining Burrito stock has been shipped to Ebullition, who will be selling it very cheap. The folks starting the new venue in Tampa will also have select Burrito titles for trade. Bands, if you want your masters or original art back, get in touch.

BURN BRANDON ZINE AND BURN BRANDON RECORDS: Locals, if you want to keep this going, it is up to you. You will still have access to my photocopier.

It’s a lot for me to think about and I am still figuring out some of the details. I’m getting out of the music business but I’m not getting out of music. I’ll see you at the gigs and in the record bins. I do not want to fall behind on new music, so bands and labels, feel free to keep me up to date. My phone and fax will be disconnected in late October 2008, but I will keep my PO Box and email address.

I would like to thank all of the wonderful mailorder, wholesale and store customers who have been a huge part of my last 15-plus years. And I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of my peers, especially: Al Quint, Maximum Rocknroll, Havoc Records, Grand Theft Audio, Ebullition, Dr. Strange, Alternative Tentacles, Get Hip, MCR Company, Prank Records, Tankcrimes and Six Weeks.

Thanks for reading,
Bob Suren
PO Box 3204
Brandon, FL 33509-3204

In the “music business” Bob Suren is a rarity. His Sound Idea store has been a staple of punk rock for a long time now. He had very old school mentality of all the good traits of the early punk scene and applied them to his business model. He had a great store with great prices, he was totally upfront and honest in all his dealings, he sent items promptly, and he was extremely supportive of “the scene”. Not only did he have a store, but he’d put on shows in the store and had a zine library in there. Bob also had a label, Burrito Records, which put out some pretty good records including some great reissues of obscure but legendary Florida punk bands F, Roach Motel, and Hated Youth. If it wasn’t for him, few people would have heard the great You Are An EP by F without paying a ton of money for an original copy.

The punk rock scene is suffering a great loss with Bob Suren’s exit from the music business part of the scene. I hope people appreciated everything Bob did during his years in it because he’s one of the good guys, a rare breed that I’m sorry to see have to go.

Thank you Bob for making punk rock a better place with what you did, I wish I would have been able to have made the trip down to Florida to experience it all in person before it was too late.


  • Definitely was a good source of cheap records. Sad to see a mailorder operation like this one go by the wayside. But at least he’s going out on a high note and didn’t flame out and leave a lot of other distros/label in flux. Good job Bob.

  • Thank You!! I got to see MDC with Mickey at Sound Idea. Yeah, I was the the 45 year old guy there.
    Hope you come up with something else. One of the best times I’ve had.

  • Sound Idea what the best spot in all of Florida. I was there for the best and worse shows including the last show. It’s a shame Sound Idea wont be around anymore.


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