Monday, June 15, 2009
The End of an Era in Music
The last Virgin Megastores in the United States have now closed. With them, and the recent shuttering of the remaining Tower Records' stores, goes a piece of our youth. It represents an unbelievably unceremonious end of an era in the music business. As someone who is just entering the industry, the landmark occasion, if you can call it that, carries a heavy significance. My early adolescence through my early adulthood was marked by frequent trips to the record store...The Wiz, Tower Records, Coconuts, and later on...Virgin. As I developed a stronger interest in music, and more importantly, the ability to drive, these trips became part of my weekly routine. Other kids were playing sports or whaling away on a Nintendo controller...I was at the record store...especially after the advent of the in-store listening station. What a concept...you could listen to the entire album BEFORE you bought it! I don't know if the digital revolution represents progress or not, but ITunes and others should wake up - the thirty-second sample does me absolutely no good whatsoever. Nothing will replace the experience of spending a couple hours in the record store, meticulously calculating what my next incredible music purchase would be. At one time, my dream was to open my own record store. In crafting that fantasy, I tried to think ahead of the curve; to figure out how I would make my store bigger and better than any that had come before. Little could I know then that it was a pointless endeavor. I was chasing a dinosaur, an old relic, a memory of an era near its end. Oh well...guess I'll dream in digital now.