Part 127: O-{+>

 

RECORD STORE TALES PART 127:  O-{+>

Around the summer of 1998 or so, we just got the internet at home.  I immediately found it to be an excellent source of both music purchases, but also music information.  For example:  I did not know that if you wanted to type out Prince’s symbol name using regular characters, you could just type O-{+>.

I’m not a fan of O-{+> although my cousin Geoff has seen him live a few times.  I respect the man, and I respect his prolific output, big time.   But we were always sitting on tons of his stuff, some of it had been there for years.  Not so much the hits, more like Emancipation.  Chaos and Disorder.  The Gold Experience.  Come.  They might be great albums — I don’t know.  These discs had been there so long that their price tags were faded and had to be remade to be legible.  And we had buckets of them.

Anyway, we had so many discs of O-{+> that he took up two rows.  I decided for fun to re-make his header card with his symbol name instead of Prince.  He wasn’t going by the name Prince at the time, just O-{+>.  A lot of people would come into the store and ask about his name change.  “What does it mean?”  “Has he gone crazy?”  It was a conversation starter.   Seemed like a harmless enough thing to do.

I came in one day and I noticed the header cards were changed back.  I asked the girl who was working, what happened to the ones I made?

“Oh, I meant to tell you.  [Head office person] was in and she saw them and changed them back.”

Figures.  We literally could not do anything different.  It sucked.  When I talked to that person later that day, I asked why she changed the header cards?

“Because we have a hard enough time trying to sell Prince as it is!  Why make it harder to find it on the shelves?”

Well…no offence, you obviously know better than I do…but I would think the two rows full of his discs filed under “P” with his face on them would be the first easiest way to notice his Royal Highess!  Trust me…finding O-{+> wasn’t the problem.  Nobody wanted those discs once they found them!

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8 comments

  1. I guess Prince just isn’t big in your town. He has a huge following. I knew several people right into it, deep into the obscure stuff, collecting it ALL. I definitely heard my share of his stuff through other people and I always liked what I heard. Don’t own any of it myself.

    As for your boss changing the cards back, can you say you were surprised? You shouldn’t have been. Every story you tell about these people says they weren’t gonna let something like that happen.

    Also, if hey weren’t selling, why not just bargain bin them and let them go?

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  2. Well dude, I guess that last question actually calls for a lengthy blog on bargain bins and how we made things way, way too complex for ourselves! Because with 20/20 hindsight the poor kids we hired were so confused. It must have been really hard for them to understand let alone explain all the different policies we had for filing stuff where.

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      1. Me too! More posts about bargain bins please! Don’t know much about O-S:>? but his albums do seem to be charity shop and bargain bin regulars down my way… especially Emanicipation (I think anyway, is that the big orange one?)

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        1. Bargain Bins it is.

          Emancipation was the big orange one. Within weeks of its release, we had dozens come in. “Used”. Cough cough. We were paying $3 a pop at one point.

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