#407: Summertime

SHIRTS

RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#407: Summertime

I’ve always been a summer guy.  I was born in July.  I don’t like the snow.  My spirits are stronger and moods happier in the summer.  Summer holidays were glorious days to be spent at the cottage.  The beach, swimming, new music, no school…plus my birthday.  My whole year revolved around July and August!

Working at the Record Store in the summer was fun.  The sun pouring through the windows, opening the door and letting the breeze in…it was wonderful.  Not to mention that, as a single male, I didn’t mind female customers coming in dressed for summer.

Of course summer wasn’t all peaches and cream.  It meant the return of the infamous “No Shirts, No Shoes, No Service” sign and its enforcement thereof.   I hated having to kick people out for coming in with no shirt, but it had to be done.

Me: “Hey, do you mind putting on a shirt in the store?”

Him: “Why, are you serving food here?”

No, it’s just that I don’t want to have to watch the bead of sweat dripping off your nipple ring.

T-Rev made a different sign.  His said:

Because highschool is free,
And Jerry Springer does not work here,
Shoes and Shirts must be worn in store.

But I don’t know if he ever hung it up.  I hope he did.

People with no shoes were just as bad, particularly the Barefoot DJ who tried to fight us for his human rights to walk around with no shoes on.  All I know is that I had standing orders to kick him out, human rights be damned.  You can do whatever you want out there, but inside the store where insurance companies tell us what to do, you gotta obey the rules!  (If a CD case fell off the shelf and broke, and he stepped on a piece and cut his foot, he could sue.  And CD cases fell of the shelf and shattered every day.)

Because we had these big glass windows, sometimes the heat in the summer would get to be too much.  It was like a greenhouse.  There was always a constant battle over the air conditioning level, and it seemed we could never arrive at a compromise that made everyone comfortable.  My final summer at the store (2005), it was so hot inside that I tended to leave the big overhead counter lights off.  It made it harder for me to inspect incoming CDs for quality, but it also kept me from sweating all over them.

Summer album releases were memorable.  Metallica’s Load (June 4 1996) was the soundtrack to that summer for me.  In store, in car, it didn’t matter.  Load saw a lot of store play.  I’m quite fond of Load, and I’m sure the fact that it was Metallica that could be played in-store had a lot to do with that.  The same summer, Kiss were out there on their reunion tour, and I had their You Wanted the Best live compilation (June 25 1996) to keep me company at work.

I expect summer 2015 to rock just as much.  I don’t know what my album for the summer will be this year, but Van Halen’s Tokyo Dome Live in Concert is a contender.  I’ve already shorn my mane to cope with the summer heat.

Still, when it comes to summertime, I truthfully think Sammy Hagar said it best:

“We made it through the cold
And that freezin’ snow is gettin’ old, hey!

Woo! Summer nights and my radio
(Ah-ah) Well that’s all we need, baby. Don’tcha know?
We celebrate when the gang’s all here
(Ah-ah) Ah, hot summer nights, that’s my time of the year-ow!”

Have a great summer everyone!

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37 comments

  1. A true trademark of authenticity for an old school record store is for it to be sweltering in the summer! Especially remember those stores where the vinyl was on the upper floor and a full 20 degrees hotter than the sun…an old painted over window barely cracked. You earned the record you found in those shops!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah! Summer rocks! I love all seasons, personally, but I love camping and hiking and drinking beers under the hot summer sun. Summer music festivals have become another reason to love the season over the past decade. Bring it on!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I worked at a place with no a/c. The men had to wear shirt and tie up until May 24 weekend. Then we could wear golf shirts. I always challenged the rule, and started breaking it near the end. Women did not have to follow the rule, and it did not matter if it got hot and sweaty out before Victoria Day weekend, that was his rule. I hated that tyrant for many reasons, but making a stupid rule that made no sense while sitting in his air conditioned office and micromanaging.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah. I didn’t think so. It reminds me of your bully post among others. I always vowed to treat any employees that I was in charge of with respect. I would think of how guys like that asshole operated and tried to do the opposite.

        That asshole told me one time he had a former boss as his mentor. I told him one time that guy would be rolling over in his grave if he could see how this asshole was treating his employees. I didn’t last long there after that thankfully.
        Making up stupid rules and having no good reason other than “That’s my rule.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It really is a shame that a guy that has as much musical knowledge and loves music as much as you do could be turned off from his job and music in general by bosses and fellow employees. Complete waste.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You are better off out of the record store, with a much better job. You are too smart and too highly educated for a retail job!!!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I was hauled into the office all the time because I wasn’t a ‘team player”. Team player actually meant ratting out my fellow employees because my old boss loved to hear dirt and throw it back at you. I refused to do that even though I had plenty of opportunity. If that is what a team player does, I’ll think I’ll play alone.

          Like

        3. Just my 2 cents, but I gave up a good job with more pay, and I am ok. I am happier now. The pay is not what makes you happy. It doesn’t matter to me if you dig ditches or cure cancer, as long as you enjoy what you are doing. I knew tons of people that had very high education levels, but couldn’t get a job in their field. I have a huge respect for retail workers because dealing with the public is possibly one of the hardest jobs in the world, and they usually make peanuts. I make way less than I did before, but my wife will tell you that it is better now when I don’t come home depressed and worn out emotionally. I would probably be under doctor care, dead or charged with assault against a certain tyrant if I had stayed.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Man I am 100% sure I would not be married today if I didn’t quite the store when I did. I was a mess. I hated my life towards the end. I hated being a slave to their clock. I hated the abuse by the public, and the bosses did not give two shits. “Suck it up” — I heard that too much. They worked me to the bone and I believe they knew exactly what they were doing in a very calculated way.

          That’s how I feel about it, and those who would argue about that with me are more than welcome to try.

          By every Sunday night I was miserable and just a wreck, waiting for Monday’s misery

          Liked by 1 person

        5. I always vowed to have employees try and work it out. Talk to each other and voice their grievances. At the monthly meetings the people that cried to the boss daily would not say a word. I would always look them in the face and say what bothered me. I brought a list to meetings and let my co-workers know what we could do take make this a better work environment. I included at every meeting talking face to face and not running to the boss, but that never stopped. Not one of my items got looked into, ever, so eventually like a good sheep I stopped saying anything at meetings. The last meeting I said something I told the boss that because I make good suggestions to try and improve this workplace and try and stop this petty squealing, but you never do anything about it. I stopped speaking at meetings after that.

          Liked by 1 person

        6. After what happened to others I stopped sharing grievances. I remember we were told, “I don’t think you get paid for Christmas.”. So T-REV called the labor board and asked. He was then taken aside by She Who Shall Not be Named and asked why he has to be a trouble maker!

          Because we want to get paid for our damned Stat holiday!

          True story and if they are creeping this thread then I invite them to deny it.

          Liked by 1 person

        7. I quickly became the number one sales person. I had the best numbers every month, and there was a lot of jealously. Instead of rewarding me with a “good job”, I got hauled into the office because I was stealing customers(they came to me because I was good at what I did so many customers would only deal with me), or when I got sick of the whining I purposely wrote up less customers to give the others a chance and was told I wasn’t writing enough up. I couldn’t win. Then the bosses decided to take any loss the department incurred from our bonuses, so the bosses bonus was better. Because we were salaried we had to work 50-60 hours and get paid the same as if we worked 40. They eventually had us working 1 night a week( so I was there from 7am-9pm) and Saturdays and then they stole from our bonuses. I am sure the labour board would have had a field day there.

          Liked by 1 person

        8. I had customers who only wanted to deal with me. Unfortunately this meant if they came in when I wasn’t working, they might have to sell their CDS to people who didn’t know metal. So the customer would say, “Mike gives me more.”

          Instead of being happy about the awesome metal stock, I’d be told that I cultivated annoying customers.

          Liked by 1 person

        9. I have a Wheel of Fortune Puzzle for people that may be creeping this site.

          THIS IS MIKE LADANO`S BLOG SO STOP CREEPING IT. IF YOU DON`T LIKE WHAT HE SAYS THAT IS TOO F_CKING BAD BECAUSE IT IS HIS EXPERIENCE AND I KNOW HE SEEMS LIKE A GUY THAT WOULD NOT MAKE SH_T UP. HE HAS EVERY RIGHT TO TELL HIS STORY HOW HE SEES FIT. IT IS HIS BLOG AND NOT YOURS. IF YOU DON`T LIKE HOW IT MAKES YOU LOOK, MAYBE YOU SHOULD LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND CHANGE YOURSELF. IF YOU WOULD RATHER CREEP HERE AND WHINE ABOUT POSTS FROM 15 YEARS AGO INSTEAD OF MOVING ON, THEN YOU CAN F_CK _FF AND GO BACK TO BEING THE MISERABLE TYRANT YOU KNOW YOU ARE.

          WOULD ANYONE LIKE TO BUY A VOWEL?

          Like

      3. Yeah. Metal is what drives people into music stores. Metal, blues, rock, jazz, funk, reggae. Often I can’t even trade in other genres. I will get(and pay) dollar for metal though because people that know metal will pay big bucks for it. Some dude that loves Maiden will want to collect every piece of music that band put out, sometimes buying numerous copies as they may have been different pressings, coloured vinyl, obi strip etc. You don’t know anyone like that do you Mike?

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        1. Nope not at all.

          We were encouraged to play anything except metal! Lol. The rules were we had to play one new release and four discs from four different sections of the store. The argument was that customers didn’t want to hear only rock, which is fine. But on a personal level, I was banned from playing Kiss and Rush in store. The only way I could get away with bands like Kiss, VH, Crue etc was to work a night shift after owners and bosses went home.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Independent music stores always seem to play awesome stuff. Chains always play the hits, which is stupid because the customers now that buy physical product are old dudes like me. The next time I am in a chain store and they are plying the latest good looking singer with a small amount of talent in a song covered up by technical wizardry and auto-tune, Ever since that horrible Cher song, auto-tune has taken over. I will voice my opinion. I get sick of hearing the same top 40 bullshit that all sound the same, so I often leave the store empty handed. It actually has the opposite affect on guys like me that would have been willing to spend the money.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope this summer is awfy good to you, Mike. I really don’t cope too well with the heat and all the high pollen shenanigans. The four days of sun we get each year is about all I can take!

    … and that Load album was the first Metallica album I owned. Bought the cassette way back when. 19 years ago!? Lordy. In fact, I’m surprised I never really got that into Metallica, cause I really liked that album. The House Jack Built, Until It Sleeps and King Nothing were brilliant and I’m fairly certain I threw them on quite a few mix-tapes. Might need to revisit that one actually. Maybe that’s my Metallica ‘in’.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Once your “in”, you won’t be able to get back out. I think it might be time to listen to other ‘Tallica albums. Perhaps 19 years has given you a new perspective. The S/T Black album is always a good ice breaker. Death Magnetic, RELoad, and even ST. Anger are all great if you prefer the newer, more commercially accepted Metallica. Another great one is the garage revisited or Garage INC.

      Like

  5. I like all the seasons that we get here. Summer’s OK (I do like the beach) but I do NOT like the heat. Anything over about 22C is too damn hot. And for that reason, as you’ve heard me rant before, I prefer the cooler temps of the other three seasons. Yes, even winter. I like winter! Bring on the snow, it’s beautiful! I go to the beach in the winter too, so it hardly matters.

    Anyway, a shirt and shoe policy seems a no-brainer to me. It just wouldn’t cross my mind to go into a store without a shirt on. But I know how weird people are, hence the rules.

    I like Load too. There’s actually not a Metallica studio record I don’t like (except maybe Lulu but that’s not really a Metallica record, right?).

    I don’t know if I’ll have an Album Of The Summer. I listen to so much stuff, it’ll probably be a collection of things, but we’ll see…

    Like

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