Wednesday, December 13, 2006

the demise of tower records

stopped by huc today for a meeting and saw the going-out-of-business sign across the street at tower records. i went inside to see what was left. mainly fixtures and fittings, e.g., for $250 a neon sign with an arrow and saying 'jazz & everything else'. i knew every corner of that store - where to find the soundtracks, and the old vinyl singles; the comic books and the music from israel. it was the same in the flagship store in london at #1 piccadilly. i knew where the lift was hidden, and in which corner of the basement i could find the captain scarlet videocassettes. now all that's left is what they could never sell. bands of which nobody except a cousin had ever heard. there were audio cassettes for a dime each. and, only in new york, a few kids' dvds in hebrew.

what did i buy? it was really hard to find anything. i left with some early works by kate clinton & suzanne westenhoefer, a chanukah cd including a song by they might be giants; two music dvds (the boomtown rats live in 1978 and one of the corrs to show d.), and the pete 'n' dud version of the hound of the baskervilles. if i had a job and some cash and a place to put it, i might have considered the neon sign (there was another lovely rainbow one in the window next to the asteroid-sized poster of diana krall going for $30). if it had not been a closing-down sale, if it had not been tower records closing down, the first cool record shop of my youth, i would never have bought any of this stuff. except, perhaps, the rats dvd. and, of course, the first chanukah collection i have ever seen that does not include the evil evil EVIL dreidel song. but that is a story for another day :-)

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