December 14, 2018

Robert Plotnik, ‘Bleecker Bob’ of Record-Store Fame, Dies at 75

For nearly 50 years, until it closed in 2013, the business that Mr. Plotnik began with a fellow record collector, Al Trommers, drew rock fans and performers to its quirky selection. And although it originally specialized in oldies, it soon switched its focus to the cutting edge, helping to popularize emerging musicians by sales and by word of mouth.

“Without him it’s unlikely there would be the Ramones, Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, New York Dolls, so many acts now so well established in the music firmament but 40 years ago just whispers,” the critic Roger Friedman wrote on the website Showbiz411. “CBGB’s and the Mudd Club were where you heard the music, but Bleecker Bob’s was where you held, felt it, saw it, listened to it, bought it.”

Customers emerged from local clubs and coffeehouses and lingered in the store until 3 a.m., or as long as the mercurial Mr. Plotnik would indulge them.

“I used to cut school and hang out in his store until he threw me out and banned me,” Harley Flanagan, a founder of the band the Cro-Mags, wrote on Facebook. “I remember being mad at him for a long time because of it, but the truth is he just felt that I should be in school and not cutting school. As I got older I realized he was actually a really good guy when he wasn’t screaming at people and kicking them out of his store.”

Robert Edward Plotnik was born on Aug. 28, 1943, in Baltimore and raised in New Jersey. His father, Jack, was a cabdriver. His mother, Elsie (Robinson) Plotnik, was a homemaker. In addition to Ms. Kitzer, he is survived by a daughter, Alexandra Plotnik.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/03/obituaries/robert-plotnik-bleecker-bob-dead.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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