Part 315: Character Studies

HAMMOND ORGAN

RECORD STORE TALES Part 315:  Character Studies

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m getting closer to the end of the line with the Record Store Tales.   These are some bits and pieces I had lying around that I never managed to make full stories out of.  Below are four memorable characters from the Record Store days.  It’s funny how even 20 years have gone by in some cases and I still remember these customers.

1.  Richard the Indian.  I don’t like making racial jokes, but Richard the Indian (nickname applied by himself) liked to make them, and always about himself!  Richard had a First Nations Status card, which he had to present to us to be exempt from the Provincial Sales Tax.  He used to joke at the front counter about his barely-working Discman:  “This Discman must have been made by Indians, it already broke!”  He was a nice guy, but I always felt like I couldn’t laugh at that joke!  You know what I mean?

2.  “Oops There It Is” Kid.  This kid came in every week for a year, looking for the song “Whoomp! (There It Is)” by Tag Team (except he couldn’t say the name right).  Being a kid, he wasn’t allowed to spend money, so he could never buy one of the albums we had.  Then one day, we got in a whole bunch of cassette singles on clearance, including “Whoomp! (There It Is)”.  It was a buck or two.  You should have seen his eyes when we finally got a copy in that his mom would let him buy!  I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a happier kid.

3.  Hammond Organ Man.  I think this may be the same customer that I referred to as Jaded Rock Guy.  The reason he was also known as Hammond Organ Man was that he refused to believe that one of our store managers even knew what a Hammond organ was (even though she did).  I don’t know why that’s so hard to believe.

4.  Johnny.  This guy was a burn-out from my old highschool.  He was in the same class as the store owner.  In mid ’94 he was always coming in asking, “When is the new Cult out?”  We hadn’t seen any release dates at all, but every week he asked the same question.  “When will the new Cult be out?”  Finally my boss answered him, “Next week,” just to see what Johnny would say.   His eyes went wide.  “Really?  Can you hold one for me?”  My boss told him he was just kidding, but he stopped asking about the new Cult album.  Then when it finally came out in October  ‘94, he hated it!  He bought it from me new and sold it to me used.

13 comments

  1. It’s amazing the characters that you remember from the old retail days. I never worked in a record store myself but we had our share of characters at the local 7-11 I’ll tell you.

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  2. As a former character from a local record store near me—I can relate to this—–my first 8 bucks from my paycheck-(scary, when I think of the huge percentage in income that was at the time!) went to a L.P.— and it was week after week for a couple years.

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