I was watching the football games at Professor Thom's today when my friend Adam broke some bad news to me. He saw a sign in the window of the Tower Records store in Greenwich Village that said, "Going Out of Business Sale."
After watching the games, I went to E. 4th and Broadway (pictured) and I did indeed see those signs.
Tower Records is going out of business.
I knew that Tower had some really serious financial problems, but there was hope that the chain would survive. But they were purchased by a liquidation company and have begun selling off the remaining inventory.
I was really sad to see the store I worked at for six years, from 1984-1990, closing its doors. I have about ten million memories of my days there, and most are really positive. I met some great friends there (including my late friend Joyce), some of which I am still in contact with.
I'll never forget the in-store appearances, the celebrities I saw come into the store, being interviewed by TV and radio when the Beatles CDs were released in 1987 (I was pop/rock CD buyer then). It was six of the most memorable years of my life.
Tower was founded in Sacramento, California in 1960, and quickly expanded throughout California and the West Coast, with the Sunset Strip store its most popular. Tower opened their Village store in 1983, and it was a big hit from the day it opened. It eventually became Tower's flagship store. I was hired in October 1984, as a rock floor clerk, and I eventually moved up to supervisor, pop/rock CD buyer, and night closing manager. (I was there for the fateful Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.)It was such a cool place to work in most of the time. (Although I hated doing inventory, as I had to get there at 6 AM for three straight days!)
Tower overexpanded in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and ran into mega-financial problems in the late 1990s. They sold off their Japanese and European operations to try and stay solvent, but it was just postponing the inevitable. The Internet also was a big reason Tower's sales plummeted, as it has effected many retail operations in a negative way.
For more on the end of Tower, check out this link: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003221956
A part of my past is disappearing, and I can't help but feel sad it is going away.
I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Tower Records.
Coming Tuesday: "Memories Of Tower Records Greenwich Village."