Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Memories Of Tower Greenwich Village, Part 1

The announcement of Tower Records closing soon brought back a whole lot of memories of the store I worked in for over 6 years. It was a great time in my life I will never forget.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I'll be writing different installments of my days at Tower in Greenwich Village. The first will be about how I landed at the store, nearly 22 years ago.

I remember the first time I ever walked into the store. It was early October of 1984 and I was job hunting in the Village. I had applied for a job at a place up the block and when I came out I saw the neon lights of the store on the corner of East 4th Street and Broadway. I walked in and I was blown away by what I saw. Loud music, TVs playing videos, neon lights everywhere. At the store's front desk, I saw a sign that said that they were hiring new personnel (because many of them were going to the new store opening at Lincoln Center). I filled out an application and I was interviewed right away.

I walked into the office of the man who was the assistant manager, a guy named Steve. He had all kinds of baseball stuff on his office walls, and I'll never forget the first words he said to me, "So, you're a Boston fan?" (I was wearing my Red Sox jacket.) "Yep, I sure am," I said. Steve was a big Cardinals fan, and I'll never forget his next line. "It will be good to work with someone who knows something about baseball." Right then I knew I had a fighting chance at a position. (I would also later discover that very few people who worked at Tower were sports fans. They mostly obsessed with music, and other things unrelated to baseball.)

The interview went well, but after a week, I heard nothing back from Tower. I had just about given up on them, when one day, I was out, and my dad came up to me late one afternoon and said, "Did you find a job today?" I said no, and then he told me that Steve had tried to reach me earlier, offering me the job. Steve had to leave for a long vacation, and I was going to be his last hire before he left. My father then assured him, "John will take the job!" And I was in. I'll never forget my dad saying to me, "Now you've got one!!" On Friday, October 19, 1984, I walked into the store for the very first time as an employee. And I was scared to death.

To this day, I've always believed that my dad's quick thinking, along with me wearing my Red Sox jacket on the day of the interview, were instrumental in me getting the job at Tower.

It would go on to change my entire life.

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