Posts Tagged ‘ record store clerk ’

I Hate Me, 829,073

Sinatra is a Father’s Day staple. People come in looking for a last minute gift usually settle on Sinatra, it’s safe. It’s a Father’s Day gift, the stakes aren’t that high. Phone call: young guy, woman in the background feeding him questions.

Yeah, this is Mario, I’m gonna be coming in for a Father’s Day gift, I want a Sinatra vinyl

Ok, we have a bunch of Sinatra records, new and used.

Yeah…but I want something rare (background chatter )..yeah, something really rare, hard to find.

We have a bunch of albums but nothing really rare, anything in particular?

(to woman in background) THEY DON’T HAVE ANYTHING RARE! (back to me) well, what’s the best one you got.

Well he’s got a lot of records, his career lasted decades, give me a song and I can work from there, or you can get a greatest hits.

(to woman in background) HE DON’T KNOW! …I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO…HE DON’T KNOW WHAT THE BEST ONE IS!… (back to me)Yeah, no we don’t want a greatest hits…we want, you know his best one…maybe we’ll come in, I dunno.

I hate me, part 884,032

It was a Friday night in October, this guy came in, 40’s, skinny, leather skull cap bandanna. Looked like a guy who I worked with on few Monster Magnet shows, but I wasn’t sure and I didn’t want to be a dick. So I gave him a “hey, what’s up”, and realized it wasn’t him. He started looking through the records by the back counter, “yeah, I got allllllll these records” and then proceeded to sing each band name in a quiet, tuneless voice, “Thu EEEEGULLLLLS……HALLLLIN OATSSSSS”, this went on for what seemed like hours but was probably less than a minute. “Yeah, you guys got turntables?….goooood ones, I don’t want no shit….I had a fucking Panasonic, they don’t make that no more….I’m not buyin’ one more record ‘til I get a turntable…AND fuckin’ speakers…I got all these…look at this” holds up a copy of ELO-El Dorado “LEISURE RIGHT CORSETRA, this is what I’m fuckin’ talkin’ about, right?!…I’ll come back when I get a turntable, don’t worry you’ll see me again”. And he has been back. Every week or so and goes into the guitar shop, picks up a guitar and serenades whatever customers are there and the poor bastard who works in the room. It’s mostly 70’s soft rock.

I Hate Me, part 865,119

Couple in their fifties looking through some used albums, didn’t seem like they were interested in buying anything, just seemed like they were killing time.

The woman saw a Fixx album

I saw these guy,

Yeah, they played Great Adventure

No…it was in New York at that jazz guys club

I saw a lot of good shows at Great Adventure…Pat Benatar…

Ewwww…she’s a skank, I like Sheena Easton

ugh….

yeah, The Fixx played that fat dead jazz guys club in New York…Times Square

Les Paul?…I saw him before he died

No, not Les Paul

He was great…I saw him before he died

No!.. it was BB King!…I saw The Fixx at BB Kings!

He’s not fat

But he’s dead

I Hate Me, part 876,008

[I haven’t written in a while, or more precisely haven’t posted anything. Figured I’d try doing it again, This piece was started last fall]

A woman and her adult son came in and I could hear them bickering before I could hear any actual words, just sharp murmuring. As they got to the used cassette section,

SON-Look at all these cassettes, I should go through mine and sell some

MOM-You need to go through that stuff and deal with it

SON-Hey, they call it spring cleaning not fall cleaning (when he said this it was delivered with a smirk)

MOM-YOU BEEN SAYIN’ THAT FOR FIVE YEARS!

SON-Maaaaaaaa!

MOM-WELLLLL!?!

SON-I’LL DO IT!…I said I’ll do it an I’ll do it!

MOM-WHEN?!?!

SON-Maaaaaaa!

Then they walked through the store and out of our lives

I Hate Me, part 745,942

Early evening at work. An older guy who looked like he’s a close relative of later day Gary Busey was walking down the middle aisle. He was gesticulating like a mad preacher and asked everyone he passed, “Where’s the cassettes?!? WHERE’S THE CASSETTES!!?”

I pointed to the wall near the back counter where we have a few racks of used cassettes, about 100 or so.

That’s it? That’s it?!…thats all the cassettes you got?!

Yeah, that’s it. All used cassettes, all $1.99

USED!?? You mean you recorded over these tapes?!?

No…they’re used…like used cds and used records

Oh used…I thought you said you taped over them

No… I don’t know how you thought I said that but no they’re not taped over

Ok let’s see what you got

(He was looking at the cassettes and yelling band names at them, maybe if they heard their names they would leap off of the rack)

Eagles!…EAGLES!!….BEATLES!! Goddammit I can’t see anything

(Then he grabbed his phone and started yelling at it)

Flashlight!…(nothing)..FLASHLIGHT!!….GODDAMN FLASHLIGHT!!.(still nothing)…GODDAMN!

He walked back to the counter

I CAN’T SEE A GODDAMN THING……so, I hear downloading is killing you guys…the music…bye

And off he went

I Hate Me, part 710,887

Old guy called the store. Bad connection or a speaker phone, maybe both:

Do you buy records? Cause I gotta lot of classical, they’re good.

I’m sorry we’re not buying classical records right now, we have a lot and they don’t sell. You could try Princeton Record Exchange, they used to buy them.

Prince Tom’s Record Exchange? Who’s Prince Tom?

Nononono..no it’s Princeton…PRINCETON

…Where is this Prince Tom at?

…no..no..uh Princeton…PrinceTON…like the college and the town…not Prince Tom, PRINCETON…The town has a record store

…Are you saying Prince Tom Exchange? I’m not looking to exchange records with this Tom fella, I just wanna get rid of ’em

….no…uh look..it’s Princeton..P..R..I..N..C..E..T..O..N…Record Exchange…it’s a record store..they buy and sell records

Oh..Princeton…that’s too far away

And then he hung up

I Hate Me, part 729,810

A busy-ish Friday night at work, one of the first warm evenings we’ve had this year. Right on the verge of “yes, we should turn the AC on” but not quite there yet. Thick and warm, check. Doors open and fans not doing shit, check. Are you a fat guy so naturally you always want the AC on, check. While I was pondering this quandary a guy brought in a small stack of records, “you buy records?” Yes. “I have a few, can I borrow the hand truck?” Sure. Sixteen moving boxes later he was done. Out of sixteen boxes I only ended up buying 250, it was a tough slog going through them and I really wasn’t paying attention to much else. A woman came up and asked what we were playing, it was an album by Linton Kwesi Johnson who is a British reggae dub poet. I didn’t put it on so as I was going thru the faulty rolladex of shit in my head to figure out who it was:

Uhhhhh….mmmm….uhhhh…reggae guy

(Did I just fucking say “reggae guy”, aauurrghhhh!)

Reggae Guy?…that’s his name?

Uhhhh…no…it’s….uhhh…LINTONKWESIJOHNSON!

I blurted it out and I’m sure the way it sounded made even less sense then “reggae guy”

……thank you…. (and walked out of the store)

I turned the AC on


I found this album in the collection with a great cover by Jim Flora