over, gone, never coming back. Like you, I miss them. I would skip lunch and go there to buy vinyl. It is their fault I own six thousand records. I re-lived that experience, somewhat, when I lived in Princeton and went to the record exchange. That place will make the last stand.
It's happening all over. A local vinyl store called Missing Link
is closing in Indianapolis. The owner has some comments relevant to Agon members in the linked article.
I guess I need to get my eyes checked because I did see any mention of Agon members in that article.
Hello Guys,I'm a ex store owner who now just sells on line,as much as you miss the records stores us owner who have been priced out because of big business or super high rents ,miss people like your selfs.selling records on line just does not make it.the rent out here in CA is about 4000 dollars a month for about 800 sq feet.maybe I could pay the rent But what about eating.well take care and keep buying vinyl. JAMS MUSIC
Record stores do not seem to be the only ones affected. BMG Music Service/Columbia House is not accepting new members as of 12/23/08, and the whole outfit seems to have been sold by Bertelsman. I would personally interpret these actions as at least a major reorganization of mail order for this group, and at worst a move toward total collapse.
I got a coupon in e-mail this morning that even Borders was doing 30% off all cds and dvds. Their section, which used to be pretty good has gotten steadily smaller over the past couple of years. They're probably going to kill it altogether.
me too..I miss those days dearly when I used to live in LA. I remembered wandering around town from Long Beach (Bagatell used record store) to Tower Records in Torrance, to Pennylane both in Venice Beach and Westwood, Rhino Records on Santa Monica avenue, and back to Tower Records in the heart of Westwood looking for old & new LPs...Wondering if Aaron records on Fairfax or Record Surplus on Pico ave still there or not.
Cant' be giving this away, the bean counters must have conjured up this scenario already. I'm Sony/BMG and I want to eliminate all sharing of profits. If I can deliver my product without supporting manufacture of physical product, I don't need to package and transport it. I kill support through print ad and radio marketing relying only on the web. No physical properties such as CD stores are necessary, I've captured all revenues save for what I must pay the artist.
I deliver all content as downloads, give an option of album art download at a slightly higher price, it can be printed on an inkjet, then cook the books showing fewer downloads than were actual to the artist for percentage. It's dark, sterile and magical to corporate.
Remember, you saw it here first.
Tower was killed 99 cents at a time. Downloaded music was the major reason Tower closed up shop and this generation has itself to blame. They really could care less as long as they get their music, but think about this for a moment: When vinyl was the predominent medium people did not have the luxury to skip tracks with a remote control so one would be more likley to listen to the whole song they didn't care for, but then grew to love. Artwork was beautiful. Liner notes were bigger and easier to read therfore educating people about the recording session, who the artists played with, etc. Then the cd came and added the convinience of skipping a track you didn't like before it had a chance to grow on you. Liner notes are smaller which may not be as inviting to read, thereby keeping the user uninformed. Now with ipods people may not get any cover art or notes about the ablum at all.
Conviniece is causing the "dumbing down" of society.
This generation may not know it right now, but 20 or 30 years from now people won't remember the name of their favorite song, they'll just know it as track #3.
One more thing. The guy in Indy who had to close down his vinyl shop listed high gas prices as one of the reasons people stoped going to the store. Oh my god, give me a break. Does he really believe that high gas prices are one reason people are not buying vinyl??????
Yes sad... I remember the days after a concert at The Bottom Line I would walk around the corner and walk into Tower, walk upstairs to the Jazz section and peruse for an hour or so...
Remember the days when a new album was propped up by the counter with the 'now playing' sign, and it was playing over the speakers, sometimes you would buy on a whim, that is how you would sometimes find out about new music. That and late night aor stations. "Those days are gone forever, oh such a long time ago, oh yeah..."
I agree with Devilboy completely with his assessment of this so called generation,when it comes to music. This generation for what I see is slovenly,rude and crude also very ill mannered. I can't say how many times I go out to dinner and looking at this new generation I say to myself, don't you own any descent clean clothes or do they even shine their shoes? Instead we get hats on backwards with dirty feet in flip flops. So if you don't care about your own self when comes to cleanliness, why care about anything else Maybe I am being a little to harsh with them. Because when I do go to the Met I am seeing more young people. Unfortunately still in the same dirty jeans and hats on backwards,but at least their attending. Well back to the topic. I am hoping that stores like Academy records and Cd's and numerous place's that I peruse will be there for the long time coming.
I miss Tower too and agree with Devilboy. The Tower store here in Nashville Tn is greatly missed and has been replaced by FYE which leaves little to be desired compared to Tower. Borders seems to be reducing stock and the only game in town is a great indi store Grimeys. Many days were spent at the Tower store on West End checking out the new releases and finding those `lost` treasures that were just released. Great folks at Tower and the music selection was top notch. Myself,well I purchase online from the usual sources and shop at Grimeys but my heart and memories will always be with Tower.
Well, you probably are being a little too harsh. Each generation has a different value set from the next. Our parents didn't care for a lot of things about us. Being so sure that your values are the right ones is just ignorance or arrogance or both. (Ok, maybe I'm being too harsh!)
On a similar topic, though, I was saddened to hear an interview with Billy Corgan who said that he doesn't see any point in making albums any more. He thinks he/the Pumpkins will just release songs from now on.
Yes, he's playing to the new values. And I can't say whether it's right or wrong. I'm just someone who valued the long playing album format, and will be sad to see it disappear if it happens.
Tfkaudio: we all judge each other we just don't realize that were doing it.
The comment by Billy Corgan in the post above is really sad. If artists only release singles, there will be pressure to focus on what is likely to be commercially successful. Music will become more Top 40 oriented and formulaic. That's fine so far as it goes. Certainly there are many albums containing songs that are just "filler" to get the album out and meet contractual committments. However, there are also many albums that have hidden gems pushing artistic boundaries or just don't meet the commercial format. I'm always thrilled to find things on albums by my favourite artists that never see the light of day on most radio stations. Many of these are amongst my favourite tunes.
i feel lucky to have known tower and its people. tower's demise started long before napster and downloading. the internet itself put the world at one's fingertips, and as for our culture, music became less important.....store inventories dwindled for well over a decade, which was really their lifeblood, and the core customer simply stayed home, or stopped collecting music all together....the good news is that vinyl is now growing faster than any other entertainment software....not because its arguably better, but because its 'nuthin' but fun'.....it has been since i proudly played jan and dean on a g.e. wildcat.
Had a chance to do some vinyl shopping today. I picked up a mint copy on Argo "Evensong for ash Wednesday" and an Emi greensleeve with Batiz "Music of Mexico" for a total of less then five bucks. I sometimes on Carmine st in Manhattan to a store I used to prowl for Lps. This is the pony tail run establishment that are now trying their best to empty every one's pocket with the ridiculous price's their charging. I found Academy's prices have really come down in the past couple of years and charging very fare prices for Decca's and Emi.
As is often the case in life, you don't know what you've got until it's gone, eh? I used to spend (waste?) countless hours in the Tower here in Austin, TX. Several places to buy used vinyl here in town (thankfully) but Tower (along with Warerloo Records) always had a great supply of the cool reissues that were coming out in the 90's. And then, it seemed like overnight, they were gone. Oh, and I wish I would have gobbled up all the $12.99 XRCDs they blew out the door toward the end as well (which disappeared in about two days).
Tower in los angeles was a joke for the last ten years probably 20. The
Inventory was ok at best pushing new release crap from the big labels and the prices were not hot either
Virgin is mediocre too
Amoeba in los angeles smokes tower in every way....more product used product mor knowledgeable staff better return policy
It's the loss of arons and rhino Westwood that truly hurts...these stores were eclectic and had great prices on used stuff
aarons had the greatest prog rock section ever. i really miss strolling in there late at night, and leaving with a bagfull of jane or barclay james harvest.
Maybe if this guy in Indy didn't focus on just albums he would survive. Maybe sell pizza, have a few tanning beds, peddle some smut, maybe some used gear, that kinda thing. Just like in trucking, if you wanna own trucks you need more than one so if one is down others are generating revenue.
In fact I use to live in Indy and there was Howard's Hard To Find. He dealt in used vinyl back in the early 90's, I bet he has been long gone.
I was in The missing Link store a couple of years ago; not to purchase but to see what my lp collection was worth. Not much to the store owner so I auctioned them off on Agon. The store was located in a small house in Broadripple, the "hip" part of town.
The vinyl resurgence among young people was in full bloom; my daughter was part of it. But it was just a fad for my daughter who stuck with the ipod. which is not just a fad. For my kids the ipod is the way to listen to music as vinyl was to me at there age.
Audiomax Record Surplus is still open!!
Topless girls and a record store and beer might work fine
The real culprit is greed
Cd prices because of less overhead and costs should have gone done to $8.99 thereby beating iTunes
Napster should have been bought early on and turned into a monthly subscription for $20
Most CDs should be dual disc to give the masses video footage as a freebie to entice purchase. Dual disc option would be $10.99
Lp with dual disc for $19.99
Here is Los Angeles we still have SecondSpin, CD Trader (both on Ventura Blvd) and the awesome Amoeba records. But I do miss the 98% of CD/LP stores that are gone. But we have to get over it and move on. The old days ain't coming back. Record labels business model is over. The classic rock era is over. Brick N Mortar is over. CDs are over. Hey, if this economy keeps up - the #$%^ USA might be over soon.
Rhino Records demise in Westwood is sad (the store - not the label) - they supported live music - had lots of cool instore live shows - Ameoba still does. You can't get that on itunes.
I am a So Cal guy. IMHO: Ameoba in Hollywood today runs circles over the original Tower Sunset.
RIP. Not even missed.
PS: Aarons/Hollywood, Boo Boos/SLO, Pooh Bas/Pasadena, and Rhino/Claremont were the other places to seriously dig in LA and So Cal.
Poobah Pasadena is still around with new location on colorado blvd and is nice for vinyl
In Atlanta, try Decatur CD, it's no Tower but......
Thx for the tip--will check it out--I loved the hobbit house feel of the original Poobah--crammed to the gills with every time of music. Many fond memories of a mis-spent youth at that location!!!!!!!!
too bad for tower and us. shame on the record companies for not finding any decent music. lets say for a second that i was capable of making the music for a hit record. i would never be able to do it because I am not a cool person in hollywood. the company needs to hire more recruiters, and change back to their old ways, their successful ones, and completely do away with whatever they are doing right now. because they are producing nothing but garbage, as far as mainstream or rock is concerned. businesses like tower are just casualties of the watered down lameness. peode? get in those limos and start noticing the stars!
You are deluded! Tower Records was mismanaged, and a victim of greed. Not only from within, but from the record companies as well. The record companies thought that they could continue to command $18 for a new CD, even as the business was being stolen out from under their noses. And in turn, Tower continued to charge the record labels exorbitant prices for stock positioning, and advertising as their customer base disappeared. Another huge drain on Tower's resources was it's constant expansion. With each new store costing $10 mil to open, they continued to expand even as they struggled to pay their bills. It had nothing to do with an available lack of new musical talent.
Once a year I fly to Los Angeles from New Orleans with a fist full o' cash headed for Amoeba--this place is totally hip and packed with people enjoying the vibe of the store. The one on Sunset has a bigger New Orleans music section than the big local store in my city---New Orleans!!!
I will spend about 7 hours a day for 2 days once a year... and when I get home I look foreward to my return to Amoeba for another year!
The part that upsets me is the actual going out and strolling about town. While doing other things I always planned a stop into Tower Records to shop for my jazz CDs.
Granted I always waited for a sale, but when they had one I made multiple purchases. Good for me and good for them.
Now I'm left with J&R Music World in NYC, which is not bad but I always went to both stores and killed an afternoon or an evening investing in a hobby I love. And Tower was always open later than J&R, so I could leave my house later and still make it on time to browse.
My friends don't go to the movies anymore-they download whatever they want to see because they don't want to spend money on a movie, but they are missing the point.
Its' the going and sitting in a theatre and socializing with friends that makes the experience.
Now sometimes I walk out my door when I'm bored and I realize there is nowhere to go but back upstairs onto the computer because that's where everyone else is.
I agree with you Berzin.....so true.....I do miss Tower.
You should time your visit with the first Sunday of the month where the Pasadena city college on Colorado blvd. flea market usually has some great vinyl finds
Second what Audiohifilia says--oldest continuous swapmeet for music in LA
audiohifila--thanks for the info--i will do this in the future!!!
Amoeba la came through yesterday and found a $1 lee Morgan cooker lp original issue in the budget bin
I thought it was a longshot because looked beaten up
But after one cleaning, it sounds great and no loud pops or skips and little pops and little noise is very tolerable
I probably buy 10 $1-$2 items there per month and probably throw half away but even if threw 2/3 away it would be a good deal
I live in the Los Angeles area and I don't miss Tower at all. At the time of their closing they didn't carry vinyl at all. In fact the last time the Sunset store had vinyl was in the early 90's. They also didn't carry used CD's and the new CD's they had were priced very high. There are alot of used record stores in the greater Los Angeles area.
Find a Record Collector magazine and they list over 30 stores that carry used vinyl. I was up in Ventura county last week which is about 75 miles west of the old Tower records store on Sunset. They have 5 stores that carry used vinyl. One store carries vinyl only and will throw you out if you ask for a CD. I'm also not missing Sam Goody's, Virgin records, Wherehouse, etc, etc. I like the fact that the mom and pop stores are back to selling vinyl.
It's a great time to be a record collector.