Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tower Records, R.I.P. (for the last time)

I came across this article about Russ Solomon, the founder of Tower Records finally stepping away from the retail counter on one of the No Depression blogs.  I still have two Tower Records bags I use to hold new sponges under the kitchen sink.  I spent A LOT of time at Tower in Boston (at the corner of Mass Ave and Newbury Street.)  They were almost always a friendly bunch, especially when they were relatively unchallenged in this area.  (I also frequented Newbury Comics around the corner, but Tower had more Jazz and World Music.  They had a greater selection of CD singles, too.)  I still recognize a few of those Tower people at shows around this area and at other music shops.

That Tower location's street level floor used to hold a bar I frequented in high school and college (when IDs were something few asked for and fewer carried.)  It was a deep dark place with a long wooden bar and a mirror behind it that ran the length of the bar. They had solid wooden booths that were shaped like church pews.  It was ALWAYS cool in that space when it was broiling outside.  That location holds a Best Buy now.  (I was in there recently looking at TVs.) 

What does it say about a location that one frequents it for decades?  When I was separated on my way to divorce, I walked into that Tower and took the escalator to the second floor.  There, standing like a statue, was a Goth Guy.  I asked him "What are people reading now to stay informed about new music?"  (Almost no new music during my married period; several Gregs ago.)  He showed me 3 magazines (which I subsequently subscribed to) that pushed me just like I needed to be pushed at that time. I still have some of those magazines, and I continue to follow many of the artists I initially read about in those magazines.



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