Friday, July 21, 2006

S/FJ has an interesting running record of people weighing in on record stores, their employees, and their sicko tactics to make any kind of money at all. I haven't read all of the entries but I get the feeling this is like a time-capsule sort of exercise: one day, record stores will be no more and Sasha's blog will provide a quaint remembrance of a time gone by.

At any rate, it should not surprise regular readers of Whilst (aka my friends and family) that I worked at a record store. This was during Christmas break, probably 1987, and my mom thought a job would cheer me up from the crushing depression I was experiencing due to a horrid bout with pneumonia and the funk brought on my heavy doses of my anti-convulsant. She was right. I can't even remember the name of the was across from the mall and not in it, of course there were no c.d.s, and I was the only girl in the shop. I have never looked as hip as my music taste and especially not that year with my big ole hair and blue eyeshadow. But I knew a lot and I impressed the boys at the store. The management, inspired by my sales, challenged the employees to hit a fairly high goal that Christmas. We would be rewarded with a FREE TAPE! We made it, and I got my first Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The store had Beastie Boys and U2 and even some Lone Justice (my GOD Maria - please get it together!!! You have such talent, dear!), but it was heavy on R&B, in keeping with the 'hood of its location's preferences. My favorite customer interaction was with the guy who was looking for a record that he could play whilst making love to his girlfriend. My various suggestions (Sade? Jody Whatley? Cameo?) were met with scorn and laughter. He finally admonished me that "you ain't sleeping with a brother worthy of you, baby" because "none of those records lasts NEAR as long as me!". I acknowledged that this was definitely the case...and I sold him a long-ass LeVert record and wistfully sent him on his way.

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