It’s my birthday today so I thought I’d share something special!
The Lost Intro
The original plan, and who knows, maybe still the final destination of Record Store Tales, was to publish a book. I had been working on the book, in spurts, and that’s where the first batch of Record Store Tales originated. The way it was taking shape, I had a number of chapters focused on childhood before starting work at the Record Store. When I posted it all online, Record Store Tales Part 5: The Dream Job was the transition point. In my original drafts it was actually Chapter 11. I figured for the online crowd I should cut to the chase more quickly. But the early chapters are still on disc, including a massive (5500 word) unpublished instalment titled “1986”!
Now, here’s a detail that I forgot about: my original nom de plume!
This is before I acquired the name “LeBrain” via my radio experiences. I remember that only a handful of people had read what would become Record Store Tales, including good ol’ Aaron at the KMA. Via my discussions with Aaron over my work in progress, I decided on the pen-name…Johnny Cock.
I don’t know how much influence Aaron had over that decision, but I can confirm that he must have known about and endorsed my use of the pseudonym Johnny Cock.
The working title before settling upon “Record Store Tales” was actually “Rock, Rock, ‘Til You Drop” (stolen from the Def Leppard song of the same name), though the phrase “record store tales” was already in the text. And, apparently I wrote an intro to the whole thing. So here it is! The unpublished intro to Rock, Rock, ‘Til You Drop by Johnny Cock, later to become Record Store Tales by Mike Ladano.
ROCK, ROCK, ‘TIL YOU DROP
Musings and Tales
Of Growing Up in the 80’s
And Running an Indi Record Store in the 90’s.
By Johnny Cock
Before we get seriously into the record store tales, I think it’s important for you, the reader, to know who’s talking to you. After all, I’m a real guy and these are real stories. Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty. I’m a bit of a narcissist, and I can’t resist talking about myself even though I’m no more interesting than you. I just think it’s important for you to know who your storyteller is before we get down to the serious business about working in a record store.
So, I trust you will indulge me a few chapters to just talk to you about what it was like growing up in Kitchener, Ontario during the 80’s, getting into heavy metal music, which evolved into managing an indi new/used record store in the 90’s. After all, context is always important. These stories are relevant in the sense that they happened to me, and my reactions are part of the stories, and to fully understand how I react, you have to know a bit about me. I’ve tried to make these introductory tales as entertaining as possible. I hope you can relate, and I hope you enjoy. It’ll be worth it, trust me.
You always wanted to work in a record store? Yeah, me too. That was, until I’d done it for 12 years. By then I had had enough. I had enough of Creepy Danny. I had enough of Crazy Eskimo Woman. I had enough of the Creepy Twins, thieves, bosses, Nickelback, crappy scratched up Dance Mix CDs that were over 10 years old, people throwing shit at me; I just plain had enough.
Now I am out, and I can reflect back with a certain nostalgia. I am Johnny Cock. This is my story.
“I am Johnny Cock”. Am I ever glad I changed that. Jesus!
Obviously, with the latest chapters under the Getting More Tale banner, I’ve gone back to using childhood stories as a major source of material. This has proven to be very popular even though they are sometimes only tangential to music. That’s one of the bonuses to posting the chapters online. I get the instant gratification of feedback, and I can mold future stories around it.
As for the rest of the lost chapters?
I think they’ve been lost long enough.