Rest in peace to drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died tragically at age 50. The B-side “Have A Cigar” (originally from the 1999 “Learning to Fly” single) is a Pink Floyd cover sung by Hawkins, later appearing on the album Medium Rare.
Rest in peace to drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died tragically at age 50. The B-side “Have A Cigar” (originally from the 1999 “Learning to Fly” single) is a Pink Floyd cover sung by Hawkins, later appearing on the album Medium Rare.
RECORD STORE TALES #952: Hackers
The internet (otherwise known as the “information superhighway” or “the weeb”) was just beginning to enter public consciousness in 1995. Hollywood struck while the iron was hot with Hackers, a pretty shitty movie starring Johnny Lee Miller, Matthew Lillard, and Angelina Jolie.
I saw Hackers in the fall of ’95 at a drive-in. It was so bad that when the film broke partway through the movie, I didn’t even care. “I want to see the rest of the movie!” complained my girlfriend in the other seat. She was mad; she didn’t want a refund, she wanted to see Hackers. They eventually got the movie back up and running, for what it was worth. We mocked the corny dialogue about “14400 BPS modems” and terrible visuals. “That isn’t what the internet looks like!” She was right.
The only lasting impact the movie had was its CD soundtrack, which was still in demand six months later. Featuring the Prodigy, Orbital, and Underworld among others, Hackers was popular with the growing electronica crowd. It was also hard to find used, and expensive new.
As discussed in Record Store Tales #795: A Case for Security, CD theft was a major issue for local stores in the mid-90s. There was a roving gang of thieves called the “Pizza Guys”* who ripped off CDs from major chains and then sold them all over town. The cops were aware of the situation, and instructed us to keep buying from them so they could collect evidence. We followed their instructions and they had pages and pages and pages of information on these guys. What they sold, where, and when — and what ID they were using.
Nobody liked dealing with those guys. They were rude, and drew attention to themselves with the massive amounts of new releases they were selling — multiple copies. They were cocky and got bolder week by week. But not as bold as the rookie employee dubbed “The Boy that Killed Pink Floyd”.
He wanted the Hackers soundtrack. He wasn’t willing to pay new prices and he had his name in the computer for a used one. Then he got a bright idea. He didn’t “ask” the Pizza Guys for a copy. He just made it really obvious that he wanted one.
One day when we were buying CDs off the Pizza gang, the kid asked, “No Hackers in here, eh?”
A few visits later, the gang was back. Entering the store, one of the leaders smiled, nodded and simply said “Hackers!” He had somehow acquired a copy, and even acknowledged the request. I don’t know how our kid didn’t get fired for that one. The boss was not impressed! He finally got his walking papers after special ordering an expensive Pink Floyd CD single, deciding he didn’t want it, and putting it on the shelves to sell as a used item. That was the end of the Boy Who Killed Pink Floyd!
*Because they served up hot slices.
RECORD STORE TALES #895: Toxicity
I get it. I understand why people are surprised. When a guy like me boasts about owning about 4000 CDs, you kind of expect certain things. Surely, one of those 4000 CDs has to be so-and-so, right?
I’m fond of the saying “better late than never”. There are always a variety of reasons for missing an important band in my collection. Sometimes a band’s image turned me off. That was true of Skid Row for a year or two. I couldn’t get past Rachel’s nose chain. In other instances, they weren’t what I was into during a younger phase of my life. But on a couple of occasions, I avoided bands because they reminded me of people that I didn’t want to be reminded of.
I’ll give you an example: The Boy Who Killed Pink Floyd. Even if he didn’t burn me out by playing Floyd every single shift, he was such a shitty worker. It took me years to finally take the plunge on Pink Floyd. But I did, and I have most of the albums now. Certainly all the critical ones and then some. I mean, I even own Ummagumma!
So, better late than never. I have my whole life ahead of me to keep discovering your favourite bands that I haven’t got to yet.
Recently, I really discovered The Band. It started with “The Shape I’m In”. The local radio station changed up the songs they repeat every year or two. Thanks to CanCon, there’s always at least one Band song. Several years ago, they used to spin “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” frequently, but this year it’s been “The Shape I’m In”. And suddenly I was grabbed like never before.
Maybe it’s that I’m not feeling in the best shape myself, mentally and physically. Robbie Robertson’s lyrics weren’t written about someone like me, though. “The Shape I’m In” was written for the late Richard Manuel, singer and piano player. As I often do, I googled the track and read up. Richard Manuel’s tragic life story struck a chord with me. Drugs, alcohol, and ultimately suicide. Every time the song came on the radio, it inspired me to read a little bit more about Richard Manuel, The Band, and the rest of their members.
I watched a bit of The Last Waltz on YouTube and was absolutely blown away. The vocals! The musicianship! The keen lyrical throwbacks to a time before we were born. It transports you! This is what I love in music! What took me so long?
The most toxic person in my life at the Record Store loved The Band. I don’t know how often we listened to them at work, but I began to strongly associate The Band with this person. I couldn’t look at a picture of Garth Hudson without a feeling of this person’s presence. For some reason poor innocent Garth Hudson became the face of The Band in my loathing mind. It really is unfortunate. Some of you will read this and say “pffft, snowflake.” We each respond to stress according to our strengths and what I dealt with at the Record Store drove others to quit when I just kept going as long as I could.
I didn’t know a lot about The Band, and I remember having a conversation with this person about who their lead vocalist was. I assumed Robbie Robertson, since he was a big solo star in Canada in the late 80s. I had no idea that they had three main singers, and my impression was that this person thought less of me that I didn’t know. Either way, our conversations didn’t make me want to listen. You attract more bees with honey rather than vinegar. This person was vinegar to me.
On one of the Taranna trips with Aaron, I found Music From Big Pink (remastered) at Sonic Boom for $7.99. It had “The Weight”, so I bought it. Still, I only played it a couple times and then put it on a shelf. It didn’t connect. Yet.
Suddenly it’s 2021 and “The Shape I’m In” is speaking to me like nobody’s business. I pulled out Music From Big Pink again, ordered a reissue of Stage Fright, and put The Last Waltz on my wishlist.
It’s not just Richard Manuel. Yes, something about his voice is sweet and weary and powerful at once. Rick Danko’s voice was also very special. The high notes! Wow. And Levon Helm? Watching him drum, he was so physical! And singing so expressively all the while. As for Robbie Robertson, the best word I saw used to describe his guitar playing was “stinging”. That nails it! But I owe the deepest apologies to Garth Hudson, whose inventive multi-instrumental wizardry is key to the sound of The Band. Mr. Hudson, I am so sorry that I used to associate your visage with this evil person in my life.
Still, it’s Manuel’s story that I find myself reading most. So heartbreaking, but his struggles are common with so many people. I empathize. Or maybe it’s just the fact that he was from Stratford, just 30 minutes away. In fact he’s buried there and I thought maybe it would be cool to visit his grave this summer.
People can be toxic, and they can poison the things you associate with them, but here’s the cool thing. Toxins can be worked out of the body. Finally, it is time: no more toxicity with The Band. I welcome them into my heart. They are now becoming part of my being, and that’s the best part.
A sequel to Getting More Tale #795: A Case for Security
GETTING MORE TALE #874: Impossible to Display
Shoplifting accounts for over a third of inventory shrinkage in retail.* At the Record Store we had numerous strategies to combat this, as discussed in prior chapters. An alert staff can stop a staggering amount of theft, but the last line of defence for us was a magnetic security tag system. Trying to lift a de-tagged item would set off alarms at the store.
Cassettes, one of of our lower-cost items compared with CDs and box sets, were protected with a single magnetic strip hidden on the seam on the shrink wrap. These had to be de-tagged magnetically with a device — they were single use only and the tag left the store with the product after being disarmed. Each tag cost five cents, and that added up. Higher-cost box sets were protected with multiple tags hidden on the edges of the packaging. CDs, which also carried significant cost but were the majority of our store, were protected by a double-edged sword. They were housed in an unbreakable and re-usable plastic longbox, with the magnetic tag stuck to an inner edge. These tags never had to be disarmed. You just removed the security case with a special key and set it aside for re-use on fresh inventory.
Cassettes were checked weekly to re-secure loose tags. We kept a close eye on everything and everyone. Combined with good practices, the security gate at the front of the store prevented a lot of theft. Still, there were certain items that were unfortunately hard to both a) protect properly and b) display properly at the same time. Unusual packaging made some albums difficult to stock on the shelves with the rest of the catalogue.
Although we weren’t equipped to display records, we had no problems when Vitalogy was released on vinyl November 22, 1994. We sold the five copies we stocked on the first day. It was the CD release two weeks later that caused us grief because we ordered those en masse.
The CD release of Vitalogy came ensconced in a miniature cardboard book-shaped package. It had the same dimensions as a normal CD case, just flipped upright on its short side. You could put them in a CD security box no problem, but T-Rev discovered a weakness in its design. Because it was thinner and more flexible than a standcard CD case, you could with a little effort force it out of the security box without unlocking it. This meant we couldn’t safely stock it out on the shelves.
Instead, the boss man set up a small box under close watchful eye at the front counter. He placed the Vitalogy CDs in it, with every fifth copy turned 45 degrees so he could easily count how many were in there at any given time. If he knew that he had 20 copies in the box, but suddenly only counted 19, then he would see if anyone in the store was carrying one around to purchase it. Eventually we just put it back in the security cases, assuming nobody would be as inventive as T-Rev in trying to get one out.
The original CD release of Pink Floyd’s p·u·l·s·e had a unique gimmick. The oversized cardboard shell contained the 2 CD album in a book-style case, plus a flashing light gimmick powered by two AA batteries in a hidden compartment. When the CD was reissued without the light and space-consuming batteries, it could fit in a standard size CD security box. However the full-on, limited edition original was too large to be stored in our shelving. Once again we had to put them at the front counter, this time stacked in a pile.
What I remember most about the “pile of p·u·l·s·e” is that flashing light. However many copies were in that heap at the front counter, the lights flashed incessantly. You could not turn them off. Once you purchased the CD, you could remove the batteries from the inside. Safe in their shrinkwrap on our countertop, they just flashed and flashed away. Never in synch. No two copies were ever in synch. I guess it might have depended on how much juice was still in those batteries. Copies of p·u·l·s·e flashed for years without a battery change.
Although cassettes were being slowly phased out, we still had to carry certain big releases on the format. In 1995, Michael Jackson still sold impressive numbers. Enough that we carried one cassette copy, which once again, was packaged in such a way that we couldn’t display it on our cassette shelves. Unlike other doubles, which sometimes came in a “fat” double cassette case (like Phantom of the Opera) or two normal cases packed together (like The Song Remains the Same), Michael Jackson’s HIStory came with the two tapes face up, side by side, in a cardboard box. It was dimensioned like no tape shelving system known to man.
Too cumbersome to take up valuable front counter space, HIStory was deigned be displayed without fanfare on a shelf behind the desk. To buy a copy of HIStory on cassette from us, there were only two paths to a sale:
My solution was clever. I had just acquired a computer program that enabled me to create perfectly formatted cassette J-cards for my tape collection. I used it to print a sleeve that said “MICHAEL JACKSON – HISTORY – 2 CASSETTE SET – ASK AT COUNTER”. I put that in an empty tape case, and filed it with the rest of the Michael Jackson cassettes. It took forever but it must have sold eventually! I don’t know if I was responsible because it didn’t happen on my shift.
We had a cramped little space and we made the best of it. Given that we were constantly battling for every square inch, any time an artist came out with something that was impossible to display, it created a unique little headache for us!
* The other 2/3rds are largely staff theft and errors.
GETTING MORE TALE #672: “The”
In the spring of 1996, the Record Store chain expanded to its third location. This was a life-changer for me, as it was my store — the store that I had been assigned to manage. I spent eight years at that location, and that’s where most of Record Store Tales came from. Myself and a young employee who was obsessed with Pink Floyd stocked the place. It took weeks to manually clean, input and price thousands of used CDs. We had fun working in a closed store away from the public, but the used CD stock we opened with was very monotonous. It was just overflow crap from the other stores; a lot of the same-old-same-old.
When training the new young Floyd fanboy, the Boss told him, “When you enter a band’s name that starts with ‘The’, skip the word ‘The’.” This makes sense for three reasons:
It’s pretty logical.
This worked especially well with Fugees and the young guy’s favourite band, Pink Floyd. Both artists had a “The” in their name in the past. You don’t call them “The Pink Floyd” but it was certainly possible you’d see something when they still had the “The”. Dropping the “The” on our header cards kept things simple.
The young fella got it, but followed it a little too closely.
One of his header cards said simply:
“What is this one?” I asked and he showed me a CD by The The.
I told him to change it to The The, but he didn’t get it. The Boss told him to drop the “The” on every header card. But the header card didn’t make sense without it. He wouldn’t change it, so I did it myself.
It seemed pretty clear to me then, and still does now. The name “The The” just doesn’t make sense on a header card when it’s just “The”. Tell me I’m wrong.
I was at Sunrise Records the other day, where I found The Best of Sword on CD.* I eagerly put it under my arm, since I was missing the three previously unreleased bonus tracks. (In case you didn’t know, Sword recently reunited and are recording a brand new studio album.) But guess where I found the CD? Or, rather, guess what two bands were filed together under the same name?
Sword is from near Montreal, Quebec. The Sword is another band altogether, from Austin Texas. They both play heavy metal but are nothing alike. In this case, there need to be two header cards, and one needs the word “The”. It’s another rare exception. The Sunrise store should have made these two header cards:
But clearly nobody who worked there knows enough about either band to see this.
A customer who enjoys The Sword could be very disappointed by picking up The Best of Sword. Likewise, a fan of Sword might have thought the live Greetings From… CD was a reunion CD by the French Canadian metalers.
This is why it is critical to have staff who know music. It’s the kind of proficiency that in our insta-knowledge internet era, most people don’t maintain anymore. Proper header cards were a problem when I was managing the old Record Store too, and it was the same root cause: It’s hard to find staff who know and care about this stuff. And it’s not impossible to learn it. The truth is, if I were a young The Sword fan today I would already know there was another band called Sword, because I would have stumbled upon their albums and looked them up on Wikipedia.
You could take this header card business too far, of course. Just as you don’t need both “Pink Floyd” and “The Pink Floyd”, a record store doesn’t need two Queensryches or two L.A. Guns. But you do need two Swords…with “The” and without.
* Here I am nitpicking about proper filing of header cards, when I should be complaining about the mistakes on this Sword CD. Right there, on the back and inside covers, is a massive typo: “Get It Whole You Can”. Inside, the liner notes make the classic “there/their” screw-up. Can’t believe nobody caught these before they went to print, but there it is.
The most brilliant mind in a generation has gone. Stephen Hawking’s impact will be felt for generations more.
You may be familiar with A Brief History of Time, but are you familiar with Hawking’s musical debut, “Keep Talking”?
Pink Floyd used Hawking’s voice in their 1994 track from The Division Bell. Please enjoy as we remember the great Stephen Hawking. Rest in peace.
GETTING MORE TALE #621: Bad Axes
Ever have extracurricular activities at work? Do you enjoy them?
We had very, very little at the Record Store. In 1995, the mall had a bowling tournament. Different stores faced off against each other. The Record Store had to take on the ladies from A Buck Or Two, a bargain shop. We had a lot of fun, and I cannot recall who won, which means we probably lost.
We did have annual Christmas parties at the Record Store, and for a while we even had summer parties. There was nothing else though that would have qualified as an extracurricular activity, unless you count endless staff meetings. I know some places have team building events, like going to an “escape room”. That sounds like fun, unless you don’t like your co-workers.
The best work event I had the pleasure to attend was Jan 31 2009, right after Jen and I married. I received four passes to go see the Toronto Maple Leafs from a private box. My boss and I went, and of course I had to bring Jen. It was fantastic! So much food: nachos, chips, prime rib, chicken, sushi, ribs, wings, everything! On top of this, it was Dougie Gilmour night, and they raised his number 93 to the rafters. I didn’t even know who Doug Gilmour was. But the Leafs beat the Penguins and Sidney Crosby. Good thing; the rest of the season sucked!
Our work is doing a team building event this Friday, which unfortunately conflicts with Star Wars, but that’s life right? We all voted, and for our event we are going axe throwing! How metal is that? Fortunately I do like all my co-workers, so I’m not worried about any errant axes headed my way. The establishment is called Bad Axe Throwing. By that I hope they mean I’ll be like a bad ass, not that I will be throwing axes badly.
Knowing my teammates, we’ll be laughing as much as throwing. I’m looking forward to it, though the timing is shitty. This will be the first Star Wars Saga* opening that I’ve missed since Return of the Jedi. No big deal; it’s only a movie and I’ll see it soon enough.
Axe throwing is just so metal! With that in mind, here are five awesome tracks involving axes.
1. KISS – “I Love it Loud”, because of Gene’s axe bass.
2. KICK AXE – “On the Road to Rock”, because they have axe in their name.
3. PINK FLOYD – “Careful With that Axe, Eugene”. Not metal, but good advice.
4. HELIX – “Axe to Grind”, from my home town!
5. THE SWORD – “How Heavy this Axe”. Really fuckin’ heavy!
Note: This tale is from 1996 and does not reflect current tech.
GETTING MORE TALE #504: Waiting
The store that I managed for the longest period of time was opened in April of 1996. The format was 95% used stock, about 5% new. It was fun being a part of the cutting edge in retail.
When we opened that store, we were inundated by customers who had never heard of us before. Every day for months, somebody would wander in who had never been in one of our stores before. It was cool. We were different, and we wanted people to know it. We were eager to promote our special features and strengths, such as our listening stations and reservation lists.
The reservation list caused a lot of confusion among new customers.
Here’s how it worked. Let’s say you’re looking for a CD that is hard to find used – Pink Floyd’s The Wall. That one was expensive brand new. Usually it ran for about $33.99. Customers would much rather pay less, so they put themselves on our waiting list. At the time we opened, the waiting lists were for that store only. We didn’t have the ability to share our waiting lists with other branches yet. This was still a massive improvement over the old system: a notebook with phone numbers and titles written in it. (There were lots of names and numbers with the title “any Beatles”.)
The list operated on a first-come, first-served basis. If you were the very first customer to put their name in for The Wall back in April ’96, then you would get dibs on the very first used copy that came in. If you were second, you’d get the next shot at it, and so on and so forth. What seemed to confuse my early customers the most was “Where do these used CDs actually come from?”
There was no magical land of used CDs. There was no massive warehouse from which to pick and choose copies of The Wall in various conditions. There was no place from which to order used CD stock like you could with new. If there was a Used CD Magic Wonderland, then it was in your basement, because the only way we received our stock in those days was via the customer. If a customer came in and traded a great condition copy of The Wall, then congratulations – the first person on the waiting list received the first call.
On down the list we went. If the first person no longer wanted The Wall (a frequent occurrence) then we’d go down the list to the second person. We would phone each customer and give them a week to pick up their CD. Unfortunately most customers who no longer wanted the CD never bothered to tell us, so it would sit there for a whole week before we could put it back in the hopper. We wiped out our entire waiting list for Last of the Mohicans (Soundtrack) with just one copy, because none of the reserved customers wanted it anymore. There were five names on that list, and then suddenly none!
So: reserve a CD, and we would let you know when one was traded in. This doesn’t seem like it should be hard to understand, but apparently for some it was.
One upset customer came in about two weeks after reserving a rare CD. “Is it in yet?”
I checked. “No, it’s not in stock, but since you have a reserve for it, we’ll call you when it does show up.”
“When’s that going to be?” he asked.
“Hard to say,” I responded, trying to answer his question. “Whenever someone trades one in, which could be tomorrow or it could be next year.”
Then he bellowed, “What do I have to do to get this thing to come in?!”
Sometimes, I just didn’t know what else to say.
“You don’t have to do anything,” I said, not sure how to explain this further. “Somebody will get tired of their copy, or just need the money. If they sell it to me, you’ll get a phone call right away.” Then, feeling a little snarky, I added, “Unless you know somebody with a copy that you can talk into trading it in to us.”
There was actually one nearly-surefire way to guarantee a used CD would come into stock. T-Rev discovered this, inadvertently. Somehow, any time either of us bought a new CD that we’d been hunting for, suddenly a used copy would show up in store. Sometimes on the same day. This happened more than once! I was there when it happened with a Primus CD he was looking for. (Wish I could remember which one.) It was eerie.
Everything has changed today, obviously, and now you have access to the world’s inventory from your PC. It’s hard to imagine there was once a time when you (gasp!) had to actually wait to find a used copy of The Wall!
RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#367: Greatest Hits 2
A sequel to #364: Greatest Hits
The last time we talked about greatest hits albums, I listed seven reasons that die-hard fans usually shun them. Readers came up with some of their own, and also arguments to defend greatest hits albums. I usually advise fans to buy key studio albums rather than compilations, depending on the person. Yet I still own a few hundred greatest hits albums. There have to be good reasons.
And what about you? How many do you own? What are your favourites? Why did you buy them? I asked myself those three questions too. #1. I don’t know. #2. There are many, but Double Platinum and Killers by Kiss are up there. #3. Let’s talk about that in depth…I broke it down into seven points:
1. There are some artists that I barely know. Neil Diamond or Kenny Rogers, for example. There might be a handful of songs I like, but not enough that I have heard to take the plunge and buy an actual album. Or, I know it’s an artist that I don’t want many albums from. I have a feeling that I only want one or two CDs, so one of them is usually a greatest hits. I collect a lot of music, but I can’t collect everybody. Sometimes I’ve done the research to know that I need one or two CDs and nothing more.
2. Exclusive tracks are often dangled as bait. But sometimes greatest hits albums are stuffed with exclusive radio edits and remixes that aren’t obviously credited. Kiss’ Double Platinum is one such album. Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits had a number of special edits of songs. Collectors like myself often look for such versions. They make for an enjoyable way to hear a familiar song with a slightly different slant.
3. Artwork. Younger folks might not understand why this matters, but I come from the age of physical product. With some bands, you don’t want just the music. You want all the album covers too; they are sometimes as important as any other aspect of the music. Iron Maiden is the first, obvious example. I own several Iron Maiden greatest hits discs simply because I wanted to own all the Eddies. There is a certain satisfaction in viewing them all lined up in order.
4. Historical importance. Some greatest hits albums are just historically important. Best of Van Halen Volume I for example – even if I didn’t buy it for the two new songs, I would have wanted it for the significant role it played in breaking up Van Hagar! You might want to own Their Greatest Hits by the Eagles for the fact it’s the top selling hits album of all time.
5. Sometimes, I actually do listen to greatest hits! Sure, not often by comparison. But if I’m in the car with the Mrs., she might prefer a Deep Purple greatest hits set to a 5 disc version of Made in Japan. I own ‘em, so if they’re good I may as well play ‘em. Also, If I’m going somewhere and I only have an hour or so to listen to music, a greatest hits album often scratches whatever itch I have.
6. Gateway music. My entrance into the world of Thin Lizzy was one CD (Dedication: The Very Best of).
That point is the most important one. Using a greatest hits album to delve further in the discography is such an excellent experience. My first two Deep Purple’s were greatest hits. Now my Purple collection is of a prodigious size. I don’t even know how many I have. 100 maybe? More? And it keeps growing!
My first Floyd? Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd. My first Rush? Chronicles. First ZZ Top? Greatest Hits. See where I’m going with this? These are bands that, today, I am still collecting. I still buy whatever’s coming out. Which brings me to my last point.
7. Personal history. I’ve developed a relationship with some of those greatest hits albums over the years, even if they have been superseded by better ones. Something about the familiarity, I suppose. But even though all my first greatest hits albums were on cassette, I still went and bought CD copies of them all. In some cases, vinyl too!
What are your favourites? Does it bother you to own multiple copies of the same songs? If your favourite band came out with a greatest hits album tomorrow, would you consider buying it? Let me know!
RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#350 The Year in Review / Top Five of 2014
Another year come and gone! Am I older and wiser? I think so, musically speaking anyway! It was a great year for music (and a baffling year too, hello Scott Stapp and Phil Rudd)! Narrowing down my favourites to a Top Five wasn’t all that difficult once I thought about it. There were some clear contenders so it was more about sorting out the order. I’ll save the Top Five(s) for last.
I lost two friends this year, both of whom went way too soon. Both had moved out of town long ago (one out of the country), but we recently reconnected via social media. Warren was the guy who helped get me started on this crazy journey of writing, being the first to publish me. George, an old friend from childhood, helped me discover Kiss. Both left this earth in 2014, and the world is sadder for it. Rest in peace boys.
That aside, my proudest writing achievement was finally finishing the Record Store Tales. I had so much fun sharing those stories over the years. I took my time ending it; I was having a good time. But I knew there were people who wouldn’t like it; that’s happened before. Again I’ll apologize to the two who complained, for any offence I caused them. These two guys were friends from the store, but neither had really expressed any support for what I was doing, and I don’t think they particularly liked it. I never had anything bad to say about either of them, but I get that they might not like things I had to say about their friends; I totally get that. I also get that they had different experiences at the Record Store than I did. That’s fine. I want to be clear that my experience was mine alone. I cannot speak for anyone but myself. (Interesting footnote though: Back in Part 170, I mentioned that our accountant Jonathan used to talk about who he trusted at the store, and who he didn’t. One of the people he never trusted was one of those two guys, because of his personal friendship with the higher-ups. Just a footnote.)
Anyway, I don’t want to focus on the negative. I did some rough calculations and by reckoning, the number of Record Store Tales that were negative towards the store was only about 16%.
So! Onto the lists! My Top Ten Favourite Record Store Tales of 2014:
Part 258: Uncle Meat
Part 264: Garbage Removal Machine
Part 265: A Nightmare on Cocknuckles Street Redux: Special Edition
Part 269: CD Singles (of every variety) featuring T-Rev
Part 270: Star Trek vs. Star Wars
Part 281: People of Walmart
Part 285: Chinese Democracy
Part 289: Tom’s Frozen Beater
Part 319: The Musical Crimes of LeBrain (by Mrs. LeBrain)
Part 320: End of the Line #2 (The Last Straw)
And my of course Top Five Abums of 2014:
As an added bonus, I also found my Top Five Albums of 2004 among my journals! For shits n’ giggles, here is a “bonus” installment of Record Store Tales for you! And Happy New Year to ya!
BONUS RECORD STORE TALES Part 350:
Top Five of 2004
5. BRANT BJORK – Local Angel
4. PEARL JAM – Live at Benaroya Hall: October 22, 2003
3. THE KILLERS – Hot Fuss
2. THE HIVES – Tyrannosaurus Hives
1. MARILLION – Marbles
Stay tuned for more Top Lists of 2014 in the days ahead!