RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
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!