This past Saturday, Eric & I went to may parents house after dining with my family for my mom's 73rd birthday. The Filipino Channel or GMA (another Filipino satellite channel) is usually on, so I end up watching (and 90% understanding!) really emotionally draining soap operas while Eric finds something to read or talks computers with my brother and brother-in-law.
After showing everyone this crazy photo from Sports Illustrated, he moved on to the Sunday paper. He read about Tower Records closing up shop. Not just the one at the mall, but all of them. It was just a matter of time I suppose, as Musicland and The Wherehouse have been gone for quite some time now.
I must admit, I haven't bought anything from Tower in a while, for all the reasons it probably went under - internet downloads, big-box store competition, Amazon. My last CD 'purchase' was actually at a Barnes & Noble because we had a gift certificate to burn through. Eric was going to Tower's Classical Annex, perusing Opera but he hasn't bought anything in a while either because they're so pricey. And it's just not convenient for me to go to Tower. The VirginMegastore or Amoeba are easier to access from where I live.
I remember going as a kid, perusing the aisles when records and cassettes made up most of the stock. I'd go with my brothers or sisters right before the school year started because they'd give away calendars and book covers. Not that I liked that kind of stuff (Nagel-esque), I still liked Care Bears and Smurfs, but hey, the stuff was free. I moved onto postcards when the calendars and book covers were no longer being offered.
As poor college kids (well, not really, we just usually blew the money on good food) Eric and his friends and I would go to the nearest Tower Records or nearby bookstore to walk off dinner amongst the aisles. Not a whole lot of buying, but there was a lot of looking and wishing to buy stuff. One midnight, I remember going with my brother to buy The Beatles Anthology 1 when it was first released. There was a small line and it didn't take long to get our copies. The year before that, we'd bought The Beatles Live at the BBC albums - he'd bought vinyl and the CDs and I just bought the CDs. He still hasn't opened them. But his collecting habits and our shared love for all things Beatles are a story for another day...
Tower Records will be gone, but not forgotten.