Part 246: Dancing Steve


RANGERS

RECORD STORE TALES Part 246:  Dancing Steve

One of our best customers at the original store was Dancing Steve.  I’ll get to why he’s named Dancing Steve in a minute, but I first met Steve when I started at the store.  Steve would come in or call looking for various cassettes (never CDs), and put them on hold until he had $150 or $200 worth, and buy them all in one shot.  That’s just how Steve rolled.  Normally we would never stockpile so much inventory for a customer for so long, but Steve spent so much money and was so pleasant that it was a special arrangement just for him.

Steve would call looking for songs.  I can remember putting a Gina Vannelli tape on hold for Steve, and I also remember him looking for Rod Stewart’s then-recent song “This”.  I found that song on Rod’s latest, the excellent A Spanner in the Works.  It was always so nice dealing with him, he was so friendly, and even if we didn’t see him for two months at a time, he was uber-reliable.

I knew Steve was a hockey fan as he would often wear a Kitchener Rangers hat or jacket.  What I did not know was that Steve was legendary among Rangers fans!  Steve often wrote (and I think he occasionally still does) long letters to the editor of the local newspaper, cheering on our Rangers and offering his strategic advice.

T-Rev and I found ourselves at a Rangers game one weekend.  I don’t remember the circumstances.  We may have got the tickets for free, but neither of us were particularly fans of the game back then.   The Rangers scored, the crowd cheered!  Then, T-Rev noticed some commotion in the seats of one corner of the auditorium.  To our left and down was a man in a Rangers jacket and hat, dancing.  It wasn’t a sophisticated dance, it was a bit of an awkward shuffle, in that big warm Rangers jacket.  The crowd loved it, cheering him on!   It was none other than Steve, our Steve.  I found out his actual nickname in town was Dancing Steve, because he had seasons tickets and rarely missed a game.  Steve would get up and dance any time something good happened: a goal, a power play, whatever!

To this day, I feel cool that a local legend like Dancing Steve was one of our earliest, most loyal customers.  In fact we didn’t lose Steve until 1997, when we discontinued carrying cassettes.  Steve didn’t make the transition over to CD.  He was crushed when T-Rev had to tell him we weren’t going to be selling tapes anymore.

I have been to a couple Rangers game since, but not seen Steve.  I know he still goes though, as I’ve heard tell that Dancing Steve dances on at the Aud.  I would like to dedicate this chapter to Steve, an example of a jolly good fellow if there ever was one!

TOMORROW:  Something exciting.

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11 comments

  1. Nice story. The Aud and Rangers shoulda hired him, or paid for his seat. Something, anyway.

    I had a friend in university who had milk crates full of tapes. Shunned CDs. I can respect that, it’s a choice. But cassettes sucked. I mean, if it had been a better format, it wouldn’t have needed replaced. That would be a tough stand to make, sticking with tapes…

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    1. Steve sounds like a sweet
      man & a cool customer.
      I actually liked the cassette
      & still do.I liked how you
      could find the exact song &
      play,rewind & play again.Too
      bad they disintegrate.
      I still have some stashed,John
      Waite,The Smiths,INXS.
      MM(oh yes she did)
      Only means of music
      in pres.situation is Much/.Countdown.One D oh yeah!

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      1. You do Not like
        the cassette tape.
        Can’t wait to get
        a nice set-up so
        I can listen to my
        CD’s & replace lots
        too.No,it was not
        a hurricane,but
        far more sinister.
        Time for a coffee
        & my Puddle of
        Mudd tape.
        Good name for
        that band.

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        1. Sorry to hear you have lots to replace. Thankfully the internet has made it much easier to find some of those old albums on CD. When I was working in the store we didn’t have that luxury in the beginning. Now sites like discogs make a lot of stuff affordable to have digitally, even if it’s hard to find.

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  2. We have a guy here in town who is affectionalely called “Dancing Bobby”. He’s a mentally challenged man who dances at the local class A baseball games and is very popular with the little kids. They’ll go down and dance with him on the platform above the first-base dugout, as does the team mascot.. He loves music and baseball. I think he and his brother (also mentally challenged) get free passes to the games, which is a great goodwill gesture by the ball club.

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    1. I’m glad to hear that BeeDee. If Dancing Steve had such an arrangement with our local Auditorium, nobody would know, because Steve’s so humble. He’d almost be embarrassed by it I think. But people like this are so much more important than the loud mouths you see at sporting events, don’t you think?

      Having said that, my wife had ice thrown at her while in San Jose, cheering for the Toronto Maple Leafs. I can only imagine what she said! Her dad shielded her from the rain of ice cubes.

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