Part 230: Nicknames


RECORD STORE TALES Part 230:  Nicknames

It’s true.  You may have a nickname at your favourite store that you don’t even know about!  Maybe you’re known for your surly manner.  Maybe you’re known for returning everything you buy, or a unique form of transportation.  Whatever the case may be, here’s a selection of my favourite nicknames from the record store days!

* Sadly, “Surly Brad” (who was actually a nice guy) passed away in 2011.


  1. Not just record stores we give nicknames to. I used to deliver Chinese takeaway and we had some names for customers too. There was “Smelly Dog Owner,” “The Stoners” and “Short Dressing Gown Lady.” I’ll probably remember more.
    My sister had some nicknames when she worked at a record store but the only one I can remember is Mr Generic.


    1. A friend of mine was just discussing nicknames at the coffee shop he worked. (“Brenda the Bingo Bitch” was one name he revealed. BBB for short.)

      In our store we saw so many stoners that we’d have to be more specific than to just say “the Stoners”. There were hip-hop stoners, pink floyd stoners, and plain old burn-outs. This does not include the crack heads. The last store I managed was located in the wrong part of town!

      Mr. Generic. I like that.

      Shoot! I forgot Messy Jazz Guy! Better add him.


      1. I think the Mr Generic name came about because he purported to know The Hooters and often stated the fact. Although he did meet Glen Tipton and KK Downing at the local golf course and got their autographs.


    1. He’s one of the guys I can’t talk about in too much detail, or at least would have to do so delicately. We used to think he was buying discs from Columbia House and then selling them to us to make profit. But no, he wasn’t buying them. He had some kind of inside connection with Columbia House and before too long the cops were in every week looking for him. Then he disappeared.


      1. I thought you were making a reference to coffee. Columbia House is a brand of coffee right? I was thinking he looked like the mascot or always walked around with a donkey.
        Working on a college campus gives you lots of nicknames too. We had Gallagher (like the comedian) and Fabio (because of the hair and the way he always walked in slow motion).


        1. I think maybe you’re thinking of Columbian Maxwell House coffee! Different thing though. Columbia House was owned by Sony and it was a music subscription service that died out in the 1990’s.

          Fabio…I’m sure he loved that one!


  2. Hahaha I took over my brother’s pool coupon run when I was younger. He said he called one of his customers Yoda and I’d know who it was. It was all I could do not to burst out laughing when she answered her door. A spitting image she was!


      1. Really? I had a nickname! I am so special! I BELONG!! Oh, I don’t even know where to begin, this is all such a surprise… I’d like to thank the Academy…

        That was only one box, wasn’t it? You know I still have about ten of those… I ended up keeping the ones that had tracks that didn’t appear elsewhere (like Interstellar Overdrive), or cool tag-ons for Daughter (like #25 Oslo where they go into Tom Waits…). Oh and I kept Toronto and Montreal because they’re “local.” I was almost at that Montreal show (if tix hadn’t sold out in a zillionth of a second)…


        1. I think you sent the Pearl Jam in two boxes. Kam might remember better than I do. He listened to many of those bootlegs that you sent it, decided which to buy. He made a list, kept it at work, sampled the discs. I ended up with one of them, because I loved the part in “Do the Evolution” where he sings, “I am George Bush and my son is an asshole.”


  3. The only nickname I remember that we had for a customer at a record store was Greasy Fred. He was tall and angular, slicked his hair back in a pompadour like Elvis, and walked in a kind of slouchy, loose manner. He was always looking for old rockabilly stuff.


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