dave matthews band

Part 205: Dad Rock

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, and always a salute to the ones that are gone too soon!

RECORD STORE TALES Part 205:  Dad Rock

When Ashleigh started at our store she became the resident hippie.  Everybody loved Ash, she was one of the best.  I teased her a bit about hippie things, and called her Crunchy Granola. This was all done (and hopefully taken) in fun, because she is really a great person.  If you needed to know anything about Simon & Garfunkel, the Dead, Ani DiFranco or Dave Matthews Band, she was the one to ask.  She knew it all.

There was a generational thing between us, and I remember this was obvious when we were setting up a Father’s Day display.  We were looking for CDs and movies that “typical dads” would like for Father’s Day gifts.  I would say things like “Dads like World War II movies,” while she said, “Dads like Kim Mitchell.”

“What?” I said incredulously.  “Dads do not like Kim Mitchell.  My dad thinks Kim Mitchell is a girl.”

Ash gave me a patient look.  “Dads do like Kim Mitchell.  That’s what dads listen to now.”

“Cool people listen to Kim Mitchell,” I responded quietly.

I slowly absorbed all this new information.  Dads liked Kim Mitchell?  But Kim Mitchell was one of my highschool idols.  My dad  had no interest in doing his “Rock N Roll Duty”.  This must have meant that people of the Kim generation were dads themselves now…and had kids as old as Ash!  Jesus!

Kim’s dad is in this video!

A little later on, Ash start socializing with this guy named Andy.  At first I was skeptical of Andy because of his large gauge piercings and dreadlocks.  He didn’t talk much.

Turns out Andy was just shy.  Ash approached me one day.

“Andy thinks you’re cool.  He wants you to make a mix tape for him.  Would you be willing to do that?”

Taken aback, I said “Seriously?  Sure!  He thinks I’m cool?  What kind of music does he want on here?”

Ash paused.  She took a deep breath.

“Dad rock.  Stuff like Kim Mitchell and Van Halen and David Lee Roth.”

Once again, I paused to absorb all this new information.  Ash was with a guy who liked “dad rock”.  This was awesome.  I started laughing.  I gasped for breath, as my face turned red.

“Oh…my…God!  Andy likes Kim Mitchell!  You’re going to have to listen to Kim Mitchell with him aren’t you?”

“Possibly,” she mumbled.

“This is awesome.  This is awesome.  This is awesome.  I can’t wait to get started.  Seriously, I already have ideas.  Right on.  This is going to be an awesome mix tape.”

Good as my word, eventually I furnished a custom mix tape, with liner notes and carefully selected music to entertain and hopefully enlighten.  I wish I had kept a copy.  Unfortunately, I didn’t.  So in lieu of the actual track list, here’s the mix tape I would make today given the exact same circumstances.  Let me know what you think!

Side One:

Van Halen – Eruption, Runnin’ With the Devil

Kim Mitchell – Kids In Action

Max Webster – Hangover

Talas – NV43345

David Lee Roth – Shy Boy

Van Halen – Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love

Max Webster/Rush – Battle Scar

Rush – Tom Sawyer

Dream Theater – Pull Me Under

Side Two:

Rush – 2112 (Side One)

Kim Mitchell – Lager and Ale

Van Halen – Hot For Teacher

Rush – Subdivisions

Max Webster – Toronto Tontos

Kim Mitchell – Sudbury Saturday Night

This is not the last of Andy’s exploration of the greatest music of all time either…stay tuned for…

Part 206! Rock Video Night!

Part 182: Overstock

RECORD STORE TALES Part 182:  Overstock

In a way it was a nice problem to have.  We sometimes ended up with more CDs than we were physically equipped to store.  When we first opened we had plenty of space, and it seemed like we’d never fill it.  A few years later, we had so many discs, that the shelves were literally crammed.

I remember customers flipping through the discs, which would always seem to hit the floor, because the shelves were so packed to the brims.  They seemingly jumped off the shelves, startling people.  Sometimes, the Bargain Bin was so full, we had piles and piles of discs behind the counter waiting for space in there.  If they were good titles, you’d pull something crappy (ie, Mariah Carey) out of the bin to make room for better stuff.  You’d probably try to send this overstock to other stores too, but they usually wouldn’t want your crap because they might have had all the same junk in stock.

We came up with a few solutions.  One was obvious — we added more shelving.  That tided us over for a couple years.  Then when DVDs took off, we had to add more shelving again.  It felt like a never-ending cycle/struggle.  Sometimes you’d have buy 2/get 1 free sales just to relieve space.  Space became a major commodity.

The bigger problem, in my eyes, was storing stuff behind the counter.  That was a much smaller space, and we had a lot of stuff behind the counter.  You see, because we were a used disc store, we kept empty cases on the shelves and all the discs behind the counter, safe from theft.  Once you hit well over 10,000 discs, that tends to take up a lot of space.

Eventually we had a system of storing these discs in jewel cases, in big cardboard boxes on the floor behind the counter.  I tripped over these boxes frequently – probably at least once every day.  But before that we took an ill-advised misstep.  Here’s a tip:  Don’t ever store your discs in plastic baggies.  Ever!  The result of plastic rubbing on plastic is ugly scuffs.  In fact, some of the worst damage to a disc that I’ve ever seen was caused by us, storing the discs in plastic baggies.  Baggies are great for keeping sandwiches fresh!  Not so good for keeping discs in.

SAM_1717NEXT TIME ON RECORD STORE TALES…

The final Classic Quotes!