GETTING MORE TALE #573: Pawning Shit
You’ve met new contributor Aaron, and as he begins his story, you’ll get to know him a little better. But how did he enter Record Store Tales?
It’s a funny story, but I very briefly dated his older sister. We all “met” online – a local electronic “BBS” or “Bulletin Board System”. My handle was “Geddy” and his was “Capone”. He still sometimes calls me “Geddy”! He must have thought I was cool or something. I wasn’t even working at the Record Store yet when we first met, but Aaron/Capone was big time into music. He loved Guns N’ Roses. It was 1994, and Guns N’ Roses were still big news.
When I started at the Record Store, it was like the floodgates opened! Suddenly, via me, Aaron had access to all kinds of rare rock. His favourite band was Nirvana, and a few months later I was getting in rare CDs like Outcesticide and Hormoaning. We continued to bond over music, and started hanging out on weekends. He was known to complain a bit about my “80s rock” in the car…my response was always “the driver chooses the music”!
Most weekends revolved around music in some way. We’d hit all the major local stores: Dr. Disc, Encore, HMV, Sunrise, and of course my store. I remember one Sunday shift: Aaron had nothing to do that day so he just hung out at the mall during my shift. It ended up being a great idea. He helped out some of my customers when I was too busy!
I couldn’t even begin to guess how many discs we bought on those shopping excursions, but I remember a few. I got Japanese imports of Kiss Killers and Judas Priest Unleashed in the East, at the Sunrise records at Conestoga Mall. I can recall one afternoon of introducing Aaron to Iron Maiden. Their home video Raising Hell had just come out, which was to be Bruce’s “final” show with the band. They had a “horror magician” on stage named Simon Drake and we enjoyed that video quite a bit. “Do all their songs sound like this?” asked Aaron, who was more used to the detuned rock of the 1990s.
I have one memory that happened a bit later on, after Aaron had his daughter. A lady came into my store with a giant box of CDs and almost all were shit. I had to pass on most of them for a variety of reasons. It was mostly dance music. They were in shit condition, they were shit titles, and we had too many of them already. The lady didn’t care; she just didn’t want them. “Just keep them,” she said. She took a few bucks for the discs we could take, and left behind at least a hundred worthless discs.
Worthless to the Record Store, anyway.
We didn’t really have a specific policy at the time regarding what to do with the abandoned discs in this situation. The store could not sell them. I’m not sure if the Boss Man would have been pleased that I took them, which is one reason why I’ve chosen to wait 20 years to write Record Store Tales and Getting More Tale. Aaron and I took the discs to a Cash Converters store, which was a pawn shop on the other side of town. They were the competition.* It was funny watching the guy go through all the CDs I had passed on, checking the discs inside and not caring about all the scratches.
One thing Aaron owned that I did not was a Super Nintendo. I skipped the Super. My sister had the original NES and I had the Nintendo 64. Aaron and I had played WWF Wrestling on his Super Nintendo, and I quickly became addicted to the game. So together we dumped the box of junk CDs at the pawn shop, where I bought a Super Nintendo and a couple games. Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire was one, a great game that still rocks today. Unfortunately that Super Nintendo busted after two months. Rats!
At least we had fun. Whether it was watching shitty horror movies (Killer Klowns from Outer Space, The Stuff, Frogs), searching for rock and metal in record store racks, or pawning shit to buy more shit, we definitely had our fair share of fun. And that’s the long and the short of how Aaron fits into Record Store Tales.
* The Cash Converters outlet close to our store was managed by a guy that we named “Jheri Curl Man”.