Regina document store proprietor Dave Kuzenko established a thriving hub for new music admirers

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Dave Kuzenko in his report retail outlet, X-Ray Data.Liam O’Connor/Handout

In 1971, 15-yr-previous Dave Kuzenko designed his way from the pastoral Manitoba local community of Niverville to see the nascent British metal band Black Sabbath at Centennial Concert Corridor in Winnipeg, some 43 kilometres north through Provincial Trunk Highway 59.

It was a frequent excursion for the teen. In the summer of 1970, he had attended the Gentleman-Pop Festival, headlined by Led Zeppelin, and the Competition Convey concert, showcasing the Grateful Useless, Janis Joplin, the Band and much more.

“I would go to concerts in Winnipeg, and afterwards I would discover out Dave experienced been there as very well,” reported Debbie Colley, the archetypal interesting more mature sister to a brother coming of age. “I had no strategy how he obtained there. I suppose he hitchhiked.”

Attendance at the fabled Sabbath concert would later on grant Mr. Kuzenko almost godlike status amongst his good friends and buyers who congregated at Regina’s X-Ray Data, a treasured, lengthy-working hub for sounds and social interaction that he owned and operated.

“The retail outlet was the love of his everyday living,” Ms. Colley reported.

Mr. Kuzenko, a sociable Queen City icon and a champion of regional tunes, died unexpectedly in Regina of all-natural brings about on May well 25, according to his relatives. He was 67.

In addition to running X-Ray Information, he co-started the Regina community radio station CJTR-FM and was a common on-air columnist for a time on CBC Radio Saskatchewan. The title of the CBC software, The History Bin, was in align with his perception in the electric power of vinyl.

“They’re enjoyment to seem at, they are enjoyable to participate in, they have a different audio than we constantly listen to from the CD sound,” Mr. Kuzenko explained to a CBC Radio interviewer in 2017. “You’re far more concerned when you’re listening to information than you are just sort of banging out stuff on your personal computer or your mobile phone or regardless of what.”

He started what his spouse and children known as his “dream career” in 1987, when he opened an outlet of the Information on Wheels chain at the Scarth Road Shopping mall in downtown Regina. His initially buyer was 15-year-aged Derek Petrovitch, who grew to become an staff of the retailer as nicely as a lifelong mate of the operator.

“He was pleasant and open, and manufactured a place of discovering records for people,” explained Mr. Petrovitch, who even athletics a tattoo of Mr. Kuzenko on his leg. “If you required some thing he would go the added mile to get it.”

Or not get it, as the scenario could be. Todd Kowalski, bassist with the Canadian punk band Propagandhi, was 14 several years old when he questioned Mr. Kuzenko for an album by the British pop band the Smiths, only to be handed a history by the American hardcore punk band Minimal Threat rather.

Mr. Kuzenko took a curatorial approach to promoting documents. Not only did he company the songs nerds with rare imports, he groomed new followers by supporting them locate their future favorite artist. “He would guidebook us,” Mr. Kowalski reported. “I experienced hardly ever heard of Slight Threat, but Dave understood us youngsters. That band turned out to be a person of my favourites at the time.”

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Dave Kuzenko, left, and former personnel and prolonged-time buddy Derek Petrovitch.Handout

Mr. Kuzenko went impartial and altered the name of the keep to X-Ray Data in the 1990s. In addition to marketing new music, he offered live performance tickets, posters, T-shirts and really hard-to-find British magazines this sort of as Kerrang!, the bible of steel new music. In the pre-Net age, his storefront window was a information board total of flyers for local gigs. “If you preferred to know what was heading on, you looked at that window,” Mr. Petrovitch claimed.

Mr. Kuzenko fostered a neighborhood, his retail store a protected harbour for underground tunes in unique. “It was pivotal to Regina at any time acquiring a punk rock scene or a metallic scene,” claimed Skip Taylor, executing arts co-ordinator for the Business of Saskatchewan Arts Councils.

Mr. Kuzenko opened his retail outlet at the dawn of the digital age and had outlasted compact discs to get part in the current vinyl renaissance, all the though moving X-Ray Information to different Regina places as essential. He survived not by basically peddling data, but by recognizing that a local record store was an escape and a necessary hangout – a funky library for the songs soul.

The long run of X-Ray Documents is now in limbo. The store will be open up on weekends in June to obvious out present stock.

“There is just no separating Dave and the shop,” explained Mr. Taylor, formerly a income and marketing rep with Common Tunes. “It was his and he was it.”

David Michael Kuzenko was born in Winnipeg on Feb. 25, 1956, one particular of three little ones to Canadian Pacific Rail station learn William Kuzenko and homemaker Jean Kuzenko (née Laye). His father was a hello-fi aficionado who indulged in all the latest residence-stereo innovations, from in-wall speakers to encompass-audio methods to reel-to-reel tape decks.

“We were being uncovered to tunes from the get-go,” said Ms. Colley, who regularly turned her tiny brother on to the most up-to-date 45s. “We were being compelled to consider piano classes, but we have been all horrible at it.”

Rising up in Niverville, he commenced gathering records at the age of 10. When not listening to tunes, he attended lessons at Steinbach Regional Secondary School.

Right after high university, he moved to Saskatchewan for a technician occupation with the Amok Mining Organization. His profession in audio began in Saskatoon in the early 1980s, initial as a disc jockey at the University of Saskatchewan’s radio station and then as a nighttime jock with business station CFMC-FM. Throughout the night, DJs had been freer to veer from the playlist hits in favour of programming their possess audio.

“Dave explained to me he did not treatment if he sold shoes in the course of the working day, just as long as he could play his information at evening,” his close friend and small business husband or wife Ron Spizziri stated.

In his late 20s, Mr. Kuzenko opened the Regina franchise of the Ontario-dependent Record on Wheels with Mr. Spizziri (who owned the Record on Wheels store in Saskatoon). The retail store emphasised alternate audio and artists not normally signed to major labels. “We will be playing a great deal of this distinctive music in the shop,” Mr. Kuzenko instructed the Regina Leader-Submit in 1987. “We want to expose Reginans to this thrilling type of music.”

The two partners sooner or later break up amicably, with Mr. Kuzenko buying sole possession of what was by that time X-Ray Data. “I continued to appear following his publications, however,” Mr. Spizziri mentioned. “Dave had an aversion to paperwork.”

Mr. Kuzenko played a important position in the founding of the city’s CJTR-FM and was an on-air presence as perfectly. The station went on air in 2001, but only immediately after years of setting up, elevating revenue and dealing with one existential disaster just after one more. “Many of the early organizers acquired discouraged and walked away,” reported Rick August, a single of the station’s founders and a former host and programmer. “But Dave was a person of a group of incredibly focused volunteers who caught with it.”

Mr. Kuzenko saved himself recent on the new new music of the working day, even as he arrived at the age of becoming termed “Grandpa with the ponytail” by his two tiny grandsons. Although he was winding down towards retirement this year, he was regularly at the rear of the counter until his dying.

According to his relatives, he however experienced the wallet he carried close to as a teenager. In it was the Black Sabbath ticket stub from 52 many years before.

He leaves his sister, Ms. Colley his daughters, Ivy Kuzenko and Anastasia Kuzenko niece, Shawna Hicks and two grandsons.