RECORD STORE TALES Part 19: The Rules
After a few years had gone by, there were too many damn rules to follow. There were so many, we literally had books full of them, with new rules being added regularly. It was pure insanity, because you had to remember some rule that was made (for example) 26 months ago. Not to mention if you dug far enough back, you could find rules that contradicted each other. It was like telling a dog to sit and come at the same time, you can’t do it.
One rule that stood firm was: “Thou Shalt Not Buy Product From a Sister Store“.
We had a complex structure of locations, but under no circumstances could a staff member buy product from a store that had a different owner. Their product was for their customers and not for us to pillage. But, when one of those owners who was a friend, sees the Iron Maiden First Ten Years box set come in, they call you to tell you. The rules meant nothing at that point. There were greater goals at hand.
This ultra-rare box was issued in 1990, as 10 discs, all sold separately. You could also get them on vinyl. I recall seeing a few of them, on 12″ vinyl, at my local Sam The Record Man (run by the near-legendary Al King) during one of my many teenage record store excursions.
CDs are my preferred format today. Collect all ten of the Maiden singles, and you could send away for the box that contains them. Obviously, a complete set is a rare find. This set came in complete, as is. I still have the receipt. I paid $135.99 on Oct 7, 2003. (With taxes, $156.39.)
It was worth every penny, but it was also worth the shit I caught for buying it from another owner. And did I get in shit for it!
At best, I was bending the rules. At best! I paid full price (no discount!), the owner himself rang it in, and he was happily on board with making a quick buck. He even personally delivered it to Kitchener. He could have simply said, “No”. He didn’t. Now, I take responsibility for my actions, but an owner has a lot more say in things than I do. I didn’t deserve what happened next.
A higher-up stormed into my store, pulled me into the office, slammed the door, and yelled. And yelled. And pointed a lot, and yelled some more.
It was a weird feeling. Here I was getting screamed at so much that the dogs could hear it 4 miles away, but also elated about my Iron Maiden find at the exact same time. It was like I didn’t know if I should be happy or pissed off! It’s like any time you see someone trying so hard not to smile.
I pulled it off. I also owned the fucking Iron Maiden First Ten Years box set!
Their big argument was “It’s a bad example to the employees”. But really, that wasn’t an issue. No employees knew about it — not one! — until they made a big show of it by yelling at me in store! The one that said I was a bad example, was the one who let the cat out of the bag.
I walked out of the office, head hanging, but then when out of sight, grinning ear to ear. Of course the two people who overheard the whole thing asked about it afterwards. Dandy Douche asked, “Do you think it was worth it? Would you do it again?” I said, “Absolutely. But next time I’m wearing a beard and a moustache, the whole disguise, and buying it in person!”
Unfortunately I never had the chance to do that. The Iron Maiden box set was one of the last big big items from my “holy grail list.” that came in.
Each disc contains two singles, plus an unreleased 10 minute interview with Nicko. One on every disc. They are called “Listen With Nicko!” parts I through X. Well worth the money, Nicko is friggin’ hilarious.
All singles included are complete (except Maiden Japan), plus a “Listen With Nicko!” bonus track. And again, you had to buy these all separately! On import! And according to the terms on the mail-in card, only UK residents could order the boxes to house the discs. Another thing I found interesting was that you had to mail in all ten slips in order to get the box. Whoever owned my box previously still has nine of his ten slips! (I am missing #9, “Can I Play With Madness” / “The Evil That Men Do”.) This can only make my box set rarer and more desirable to collectors.
DISC 1 – Running Free / Sanctuary
DISC 2 – Women In Uniform / Twilight Zone
DISC 3 – Purgatory / Maiden Japan
DISC 4 – Run to the Hills / The Number of the Beast
DISC 5 – Flight Of Icarus / The Trooper
DISC 6 – 2 Minutes to Midnight / Aces High
DISC 7 – Running Free (Live) / Run to the Hills (Live)
DISC 8 – Wasted Years / Stranger in a Strange Land
DISC 9 – Can I Play With Madness / The Evil That Men Do
DISC 10 – The Clairvoyant (Live) / Infinite Dreams (Live)
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And the old Nokia pics below: