Browsing in a record shop, now that’s the way to spend a few hours. And, meet some great people at the same time. In fact, while my radio career was getting started, I worked at a very cool little jazz record shop in Wethersfield, Ct. called Integrity ‘n Music (it’s still around).
I just saw an indie film the other night for vinyl & CD lovers by Collin Hanks (Tom Hanks’ son) called “All Things Must Pass”. It’s a terrific documentary about the biggest of them all; Tower Records. It’s part love letter, as well as a truly fascinating tale and a delicious bit of music biz history. It’s all there; the humble start, the mighty expansion and the breathtaking collapse.
So, how could this company fail? Thanks to director Hanks we get the whole back story to this invincible, musical Titantic cruising toward it’s rendezvous with the big iceberg called the internet. We meet the charming founder Russ Solomon and his loyal and lovable staff as well as some very famous Tower customers like Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Dave Grohl (who used to work for the chain in Seattle). You’ll love their comments about hanging around Tower’s miles of CD and record bins. Whether it be the original San Francisco shop on Columbus, their giant store in Tokyo, the packed outlet in Austin or NYC’s uptown and downtown stores it was always a fun (and expensive!!) hang.