End (Press 0)


This weirdo used to come into Whizz and would buy every copy of Saturday Night Fever soundtrack that we had. I think Whitney used to mess with the guy and put some copies in the dollar bin. The guy would dig through all the dollar records and freak out when he found one for a dollar instead of the 5-8 dollars Whitney typically charged. Once the guy found a copy of the Staying Alive soundtrack in the back room and it had a dead bird smashed on the front of it. He brought it up to the front and asked me how much I was. I hope I gave it to him for free. I can't remember.

about 12 years ago an employee at newbury comics confused ray charles with little richard. that made me sad.

Someone had attempted to gnaw through the plastic security case (a HARD one, not like the ones that Rocks Off/Goner use) on a copy of Master P's Ghetto D.

Another time, someone suceeded on gnawing through the case (so we never found out what they stole).

i've seen worse at newbury comics. far, far worse.

I was working at Princeton Record Exchange, probably 1999 or somewheres, and this guy Jon and I liked psych stuff, but weren't the kind of weirdos that that kinda music sometimes attracts.

Anyway, there was this guy that was middle-aged and all he ever wanted was if any original-pressed Michigan psych ever came in, which it did now and again. Specifically, SRC's 1st record with a promo poster in it.


So, on th 320947 day, he asks and Jon leans over the counter and says "SRC fucking sucks." The guy backed up and fucking clocked Jon in the face as hard as he could.

bazooka joe:

Thanks Mike. That story won't be topped!

Because the only jobs I ever had from 1984-1997 were in record stores, I have too many to remember. In the "Thieving Category" there was the infamous CD Thief at Peaches in the Fall of 86. He was stealing so many CDs that home office in Miami offered any employee catching him a $500 reward (this was when CDs cost about $20 each and weren't made in the USA).

Well, one day Gail, the young black mother who worked the cash register, SHRIEKED "AH SEE YOU!!! STOP! STOP!!!" and this totally nebbish guy drops a stack of Steely Dan CDs he had sliced through the plastic covers to get. He runs out the door and the assistant manager Carl runs after him. I run after Carl. The guy gets in his car and takes off and Carl and I look at each other like, "FUCK!" and right then like it was an episode of CHIPS, this total East Memphis foxy lady squeals up in a convertible and says to Carl, "GET IN! Let's get him!" So they follow him to his house and Gail and Carl got the $500. Carl said the hot mama was high as hell and talked the whole time about how she had always wanted to "chase a criminal".
Crystal Lake:


George Elder witnessed my marriage license in Rocks Off, he asked if he should sign his "real name" as opposed to "the Lord". That's not really stupid though, if you know George.

That story fucking rules.

Thanks. ha ha, I totally thieved those props!!!

Does the fact that I show up every day count?

I almost forgot that I worked at Midnight Records the day it was raided by the RIAA, the FBI and the NYPD. We got padded down, questioned, all that nonsense.

They had us all in individual areas, seeing if we would tell the same stories, like it was a mob shakedown or something.

This one guy had me and this guy I worked with there named Dave for an hour and a half trying to convince us to do something else with our lives. "Go back to school, why are you working here?" We would say "We have degrees, sir...." He didn't get it. Like we wanted to work there or something.

The best part was when they were cuffing JD, the owner, it was weird. He was hamming it up. If anyone knows him, it's funny. He's in his mid-fifties, French hipster guy who looks like JJ Burnel mixed with Hugh Cornwall...

He was saying "We're peaceful people! We're music lovers."

What a weird day.

the day it was raided by the
What the hell for?

Also from Peaches 1986:

When "Paul Revere" started getting played on black radio, the kids started coming in asking for "that tape by the Beaslie (sic) Boys" Say it like, "Tha BEAS-lie Boyahs". It was pretty cute. It took me about two weeks to figure out what they were looking for.

Midnight Records was a den of iniquity with their blatently advertised bootlegs in Goldmine. I wondered if they ever got nabbed.

Also from Peaches 1986

There's a Peaches in NOLA on Gentilly Blvd.......if you move here tell them you gots 'spearence!

I wonder if the manager deals coke from the stock room like at the Memphis one? I got 'spearence ignoring that. Also, I have 'spearence setting up the manager's payola scams with the record labels to help chart records (pre-Soundscan)! Gimme job!
Jack Stands:

Freewheelin' Franks wasn’t a record store, per se, but he did have records from when he used to rep for MCA. Mostly rock n’ roll posters, stickers, t-shirts, and Grateful dead paraphernalia.
Anyway, he used to sell these huge tapestries, and hang them out on the front porch. After a while thieves figured out they could take a running start, grab ‘em as they ran past, and keep on going. That is until Frank started lining the backs of them with treble hooks.
One day, some kid fell for it, and we heard screaming in the parking lot. He wasn’t hurt bad, but Frank took him inside, put him in the bathroom, made him strip down to his underwear so he wouldn’t bolt before the cops got there.

I think we just need to start a thread over in the Memphis section with "Hilarious Retail Hijinx" after that one, jack.
Jack Stands:

I did work at Waves once. But they didn't have records. And most of the people that came in were stupid.

Cats Records Memphis, Park Ave, 1991:

Cats (home office: Nashville) opened a location in what they thought was "the college area" but is really just another borderline hood. They celebrated with a grand opening featuring Dokken's George Lynch and "Lynch Mob". Well, they simply had put "Lynch Mob" on the sign outdoors and on the day of there was a confused biracial crowd wrapped around the corner of Stage Stop denizens and neighborhood Ice Cube-adoring thugs who assumed it was the "Lench Mob". It was BRILLIANT.

I remember hanging out w. my older cousin watching his George Lynch instructional guitar videos. Very hot stuff.

umm...Record Store Retardation?
Kim's on St. Marks. Roughly a year ago.
Thuggish Rougish attempts to steal Snapple from the cooler.
Thuggish Rougish gets popped by 6'7" African 'Security Guard.'
Security strongarms him to the counter as Thuggish keeps proclaiming "Yo doh't touch me! I paid for this bitch! I paid for this Bitch!"(I couldn't tell if he was calling the African man a bitch or the Snapple)
Store clerk informs him that he's not under arrest, just banned from the store and 'we have to take a polaroid.'
Thuggish (who incidentally could have burned holes in the wall w. his crackcocainelaservision)actually holds the Snapple up next to his very sincere smile and poses.
The polaroid doesn't work and they tell Thuggish to leave.
He does so all the while saying 'see I told you I paid for this.'

I worked at Sound Warehouse/Blockbuster Music in the mid-nineties when Mystic Stylez hit. People were constantly stealin' that and Biggie, Tupac, Bone Thugs, and Wu-Tang all the time. This crazy older chubby guy named Jeff was determined to catch some black kid in the act. He had his eye on this one kid for awhile, and as the kid left, Jeff asked him to come here loudly from across the store. The kid kept walkin, so Jeff started chasin him down. The kid was almost out the door - past the alarm sensors without activating them - when Jeff's fat ass tackles the shit out of him and they both crash into the door. They called the cops and the kid's mother. The cops searched him and didn't find a thing! His mom was screamin about suing the store. That Jeff fucker was nuts.

Eventually, when the old man from Select-O-Hits would drop off the Triple Six Cds, we would just lock em up behind the counter and sell em if people asked for them.
Theresa K:

when i was a record store clerk (in the 70s) at morning glory music in isla vista (home of the first kinko's), nothing interesting happened. but it was a hippie neighborhood and there was an air force base about 30 minutes away and there were always airmen coming in to browse. they had pedestrian tastes, these particular air force dudes. i always played sparks "everybody's stupid" or "this town ain't big enough for the both of us" when they came in, hoping they'd hate the music and leave, or get the message and leave. to be an equal opportunity snooty clerk, i played sparks for the hippies too. record store employees have so much more fun these days!

however, whenever i visit car city records in detroit, there's ALWAYS a crack head coming in with a garbage bag full of records he's stolen from either a house nearby or from the store, and usually, the garbage bag will break in the store. seen this twice. i've been told by employees about the gun shots through the window. happy i missed that incident.
Whiskey Bent:

Working as the receiver for Sound Warehouse when Blockbuster bought it and being told we had to wear khaki pants with blue polo shirts tucked in with a belt. And......my five years worth of posters & crap up and around everywhere had to come down even though it was the BACK-FUCKING room! I gave them my three-week notice the next day (three weeks before the new changes were to be effective).

The F.B.I. raided a record store near my area that my friend worked at a few years back. Apparently the guy made almost all of his money off the bootleg C.D. bin, which he would make himself in back of the store. Kinda weird.

I'm a Morninglory veteran too - summers of 83 and 84.

When I worked at Streetlight in SF, there was a guy who used to come in - from San Jose or somewhere south - who was one of the world's biggest Jim Reeves collectors. He looked and dressed a lot like Liberace. Jim Reeves, for christ's sake! Who cares?

Then there's the guys - always guys - who you could tell wanted you to be impressed at their eclecticism. Like, "Look at my varied tastes! Frank Sinatra AND R.E.M.!" It seems normal today but things were different then. So my fellow clerks and I would amuse ourselves by trying to think of combinations that actually would impress us with their incongruity - like, say, Throbbing Gristle and Roger Whittaker, or Napalm Death and Anne Murray. Hey, those might be some good mashups.

When working at Amoeba, there was a mad jazz vinyl thief on the loose. Not vintage jazz vinyl but the expensive Japanese reissues. He eventually was busted and the poor, embarrassed guy (black and about 45 years old) had shoved at least 20 albums down the back of his pants.

I used to work at a place called Flipside Records (R.I.P.) here in Kalamazoo.
I could probably fill a small book with awesome stories but...
One time this crazy borderline albino burnout who looked like Bob from Twin Peaks came in to the store (faded denim jacket, long white hair, stubble and all). He was looking at lame used rock tapes and talking to himself, sometimes at me. Somebody changed the in store music to some 8th generation gangsta rap for a customer to listen to (in the days before listening stations).
The guy stops what he's doing, listens for a moment, then turns slowly to me a says (in a very deliberate, measured tone):
"The word...is white boy...motherfucker."
Then I think he just left.
Theresa K:

finnark - are you from santa barbara?? or did you go to ucsb? i worked there in 1975/76

EVERYONE who brought their old albums into Memphis Comics were always embarrassed bc their beat up copy of the white album always had stems and seeds stuck in the gatefold -- yuppies w/o record players going "gosh, that must be dried lettuce" and dumping their beat up vinyl.

one guy brought in his collection of cassettes in a duffel bag and when he unzipped it, cockroaches started crawling all over the counter. he acted unfazed but there was no way I was gonna look at his crap.

all we had was a cassette player, and one of my bosses, Kendall, insisted on listening to Van Morrison all the time, with a little Dylan on occasion. at the time, I didn't "get" Dylan, and hated Van, but now I actually like to hear Tupelo Honey etc. with no turntable, I never heard most of the classic albums folks were looking for, but I sure knew em by their covers -- could spot a Medusa, It's A Beautiful Day, or Badfinger album (each of which would sell IMMEDIATELY for $25-40) from a mile away... luckily at Shangri-La we had a beautiful Bang & Olafsun record player so I could eventually check out the used stuff.

still miss Robert Palmer (NYT critic & author) and his sidekick Randall Lyons coming into the comic shop with TONS of promo cds in the late 80s and raving about the Yoko Ono box set etc...

and when the Mummies came to town, it was near the end of my Memphis Comics tenure -- loaded them up on as much "discounted" stuff as I could w/o getting caught.

why oh why didn't I ever take home the circa-70s Huggy Bear & Kojack action figures? Kojack even came with plastic lollypops!

Robert Plant would come into Midnight when he was in NYC to buy up any Love/Arthur Lee or Moby Grape bootlegs he can find. Never said anything about the Led Zeppelin boots all over the place.

Frank Whaley was a big rockabilly reissue guy.

Robin Williams bought a 3 disc Eric Clapton interview and BB King rarities, proving once and for all he is a total douchebag.
rock n roll baby yeah:

"Yeah we got Butthole!"

This is by far the most entertaining thread I've read in a while.

My friend worked at Great Escape in Nashville. When Johnny Cash was in the hospital with that throat thing and everybody thought he was gonna die, June Cash came in to Great Escape and bought every J.Cash record they had. People at other record stores in Nashville claimed she bought all theirs too.
John Cusack:

Man, one time when I was working at Championship we were listening to Nuber Four with a Smile and Marie DeSalle walked in. Shit!! Barry, Dick and I were freaking out. I was like "I guess I should turn it off" and she was like "you shold turn it up". A couple days later I banged her.

one customer came up to the counter with a 45 and, pointing out the large jukebox hole, said "this one's broken, it's got a hole in it."

another knucklehead asked to listen to a 45 and nearly broke it trying to put it into the cd player.
hollis brown:

I used to work at a place called Flipside Records (R.I.P.) here in Kalamazoo.

R.I.P. Indeed. I remember Flipside being all about the Rap cassette's. I'd be in there digging through the stacks and there'd always be some young black kids in there asking to hear some rap tapes.

One time at Flat Black and Circular in East Lansing my roommates and I set up a stake out. We had some cd's ganked from a party we threw and knew from the selection that they would be pawned. So we set up shifts in FBC and sure enough caught the fucker red handed with a bunch of our cd's.

Cat's midtown circa 1992ish
Area Cool Guy Consumer w. long blonde locks, backwards cap, and shades approaches the counter and requests if 'you guys got that song that goes (and he begins singing in the most cliched stoner voice)"Bein with you girl is like being alone, how ya like gettin stoned!"

My favorite mentally challenged customer was at Raven Records (R.I.P.) in Knoxville. He likely had an Asperger's diagnosis as he worked making some good money at TVA. But his obsession was this band called the T-Balls or the Thunderballs or some shit. They were a 60's clean cut instrumental rock-pop band. Does anyone know the band I am talking about? He was the cutest guy and would drop mad $$$ on that band and Bill Black Combo records.

The guy backed up and fucking clocked Jon in the face as hard as he could.

do you know how many times i've wanted to do that to smug record store fuck holes? about as many times as smug book/thrift/guitar store fuck holes! booya!

There was a classic "Love Is Hell" cartoon titled ' How to Be a Surly Record Store Clerk' back in ye olden days. It was on the money.

when i worked at memphis comics, i sold a hundred dollar bridget bardot record for one dollar, because it was scratched and looked shitty and i thought the decimal point was missing.
at a different record store,i bought a jackson brown cd from someone because i thought it was a hot item.
those were very dumb things to have happened.
bazooka joe:

You're the best record store clerk ever!
Useless Eater:

One time at Flat Black and Circular in East Lansing my roommates and I set up a stake out. We had some cd's ganked from a party we threw and knew from the selection that they would be pawned. So we set up shifts in FBC and sure enough caught the fucker red handed with a bunch of our cd's.

That's awesome.

Man, Flipside was fucking hot with the down and out peoples. Vicki, aka Dingleberry, was 300 lbs of woman who would screech "you got a qwaaatah!" at you wherever in town, but inside the store was especially nice. She'd always be in there drinking Neal's coffee and smoking everyon's smokes. I heard from reputable source that she was in one of the other video stores in town and she was making a weird noise around the corner from my friend Joe. Started to stink in there so he went around looking for the source and found bloody to the max pad lying on the floor by some Goofy tapes. He looked around the store and saw Dingleberry smiling at him with that crooked ass grin.
eric o:


odds are it's the T-Bones your boy was #1 fan of.

YES! Thank you so much. I will never forget this guy--he was really roly-poly and talked a mile a minute about THE T-BONES. Adorably annoying. I felt guilty getting annoyed by him.

I once had a middle-aged white lady yell at me for not knowing the name of this new country song that had been getting played on the radio. All she knew was that it had the word "angel" in it. After I helped her look at every country cd in the store & clicked around on the computer for her for abour 25 minutes...she got angry & said that I shouldn't have this job because I don't know anything about music. I told her that the country music she listens to is "crap" that's why I didn't know. She told my manager & I got bitched at a bit. I HATE stupid people looking to buy music. I have since learned to tell them fucking retards to call the radio station that they heard it on.

You should have sold her that Ween country album.

You should have sold her that ....

Poco's Greatest Hits CD
hollis brown:

You should have sold her that Ween country album.

one of the first jobs i got in portland was at a border's in the music department. i would always have these cracker ass portland types come in and ask about this blues song i heard on NPR. "it said something about baby," they would say. i would just go grab any disc of one of the Fat Possum guys and say, "this is it." they'd buy it no questions asked.

i also sold the admiral david robinson(sporting a cliff huxtable/mateen cleaves style sweater) some denison/kimball trio. told him they were some hot chicago players.
eric o:

i'm sure the admiral would be too nice to complain.

I worked at THE worst record store in Montreal. There was one island rack with CDs on each side. One guy asked me if we had any Rush. I went over with him to the far end of one side of the island rack, and showed him that the "R" section continued around on the other side of the rack. Just goes to show Rush fans are the dumbest.

I met Angela Davis at Amoeba in Berkeley and sold her the Bessie Smith box set...she was incredibly cool and I was definitely star-struck. The other cashiers were mad she came to my register.

at the store i used to work at, we had a regular customer who was this severely learning disabled dude in his mid-twenties with a REALLY bad stutter. he'd frequently call the store right before close and sing or spell out tunes or albums that he wanted and then we'd have to try and decipher what it was that he wanted. a typical call would go like this:

me: "hello, discount records. how may i help you?"
dude: "d'you got-d'you got-d'you got-d'you got.....B. X. Z. M. N-n-n-n-n-n."
me: "boys II men? yeah we got that. I'll hold it for ya at the counter."
dude: "K." click

the best one, though, involved some "singing" on his part:

me: "hello, discount records. how may i help you?"
dude: "d'you got-d'you got-d'you got-d'you got.....goes like 'G'me g'me that NYEEEEEAAAAAAA. G'me that NYEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHH.'"
me (thinking fast on my feet, using the force, getting lucky): "white zombie, 'thunderkiss '65', yeah we got that. i'll hold it for you."

another sweet interlude with this dude involved him getting really excited by some speedy west and jimmy bryant that i was playing in the store. to show his enthusiasm for the hot pickin' he began gallopping around the store as if he was riding a horse, complete with imaginary cowboy hat waving and reign snapping. god bless america that dude was awesome.

also noteworthy were his repeated purchases of the Tag Team 'Whoomp, There It Is' cassette...
hollis brown:

the above post reminds me of the "special" people who would frequent the listening stations at the border's where i worked. these people would have hours of fun, some dancing, some singing along. some had certain genres they would flock to and some were all over the board. my favorite was a guy who sported a thick blond jewfro. he'd have like three cigarettes stuck in various spots in his hair. that's where he kept em. in his hair.

There was another "mentally challenged" guy who came into Flipside Records who LOVED shopping for clothes. He would look through our discount T-Shirts and then put them "on hold" for weeks on end (until he got his disability check).

Here's my recollection of our meeting:
Guy: "Hi, how are you? My name's Harvey."
Me: "Nice to meet to you, Harvey, I'm Matt." (we shake hands)
Harvey: "Do you remember that guy who jumped off the top of the
Rickman House (halfway house located on the opposite corner)?"
Me: "Um, yeah..." (realizing something's about to maybe go wrong here)
Harvey: "That was me." (later verified this)
Me: "Well, uh, glad to see that you're alright."
Harvey: "Thank you, thank you. (pauses) Sometimes I have fantasies.
Do you want to hear one?"
Me: (to myself, "Goddamnit...")
"Sure, Harvey, go ahead."
Harvey: "OK, there's a bathroom that's painted all black, and in it is a
black bathtub filled with black paint. And in the bathtub is a
black dog who's eating the black paint. And Led
Zeppelin's "Black Dog" is playing in the background...
And sometimes I wear women's clothes."

I was always glad to see Harvey after that day.

I nominate that one--best one so far.
Jack Stands:

Then there was the Great Ice Storm of '94. The giant tree in front of Franks fell onto the house/shop. Power was out in that neighborhood for almost two weeks. Frank (the owner) still drove out there. I lived next door (literally could roll out of bed, walk across my yard, and be at work - yet I would still manage to be late some days), and Frank was banging on my door.
No one was driving, you see; in Memphis, even a few flurries is cause close down the city. No one would be coming in. Frank, I suspect, was more interested in getting the tree off of his shop, but wanted me to move all of the t-shirt racks, belt buckles, cassette tapes, etc. out into the parking lot.
"Sell somethin'!" he would holler. I was the only one around.
He wanted to make sure everyone knew he was still open. I think it only got up to 30 degrees that day.

best post for 7/28 goes to matt dorbin

that harvey story is priceless. so awesome.

i, one time, had to call the cops because there was a mentally ill (but kinda hot) lady in the back of our store doing stretches and aerobics and what-have-you on the floor. she came in all in regular clothes and then stripped down to some jennifer beals Flashdance looking get-up and got to it. we tried to get her to leave, but she wouldn't, so i called the cops. after they escorted her out, the one cop stops and the counter and says, "up top looks like a girl right? down below, alllllll choad, bro."

pre-op flashdance tranny aerobics by the latino cassettes.
bazooka joe:

there was a mentally ill (but kinda hot) lady


did i mention (s)he was a pre-op tranny? a brother is fucked. clearly. LOL.

Another special customer at yet another record store job (Cats--Knoxville 1987) was Colin, an Asian guy with a really awful underbite that caused him to slur and slush his words. The worst thing about Colin is that he adored the following bands: The Boys, Bronski Beat and Depeche Mode. Except in Colin parlance these bands were "Sle Boysh, Blonshki Beat and Depelsche Mode." It was pretty funny and charming (though obviously untranslatable on the Goner Board--you just had to be there).

oh don't worry. it translates.
paired with down below, alllllll choad, bro." ...nuff said

Wait! You inadvertantly reminded me of the band that he loved the most...THE BROS. Use your imagination for the way he said it. Just remember: Slush and slur.

hollis brown:


i never knew it was "pronounced like cross" Bross?

Maybe Colin was pronouncing it better than us snide record store assholes after all.

This crazy guy came into the store and went straight for the Rush records. Blond fine haired big nosed 38 year old in shorts and a red tank top. Had never seen him before. Sorta Geddy Lee lookin'. I all of a sudden heard him WHOOOP! and he came running up to the counter with a copy of 2112.

He was all like, "This is the most fair and best price I've ever seen on this record! Do you know how much this record is worth?"

I bit. "How much is that record worth?"



"Yeah. Do you know what they did? They took Ayn Rand's philosophy and they put it on a record for everybody to hear!"

"Is that why it's worth $2000?"

"No, it's worth $2000 because they didn't make very many of them."

He still didn' buy the eight dollar bargain. Next time I saw him he had a giant black eye and two teeth knocked out.

All time weirdest:

"When I was 12, I broke all of my mom's Neil Diamond's records. Now I'm finally going to make it up to her."
(Hands me something like 25 Neil Diamond records.)
"So you're going to give them to her?"
"No." Pause. " She's dead now."

No discount.

More!! MORE!!!

"I like Yes. They're so positive."
The Driver:

Not dumb, just disturbing -
1. Happy House (gone) in Toronto, used to attract most of the nuts that ended up in Alan Zweig's "Vinyl", but by far the one I least wanted to be in a room with, was the dude with the cancer kazoo that really really wanted to talk shop with his fellow "collectors". Worse, his taste in music was pedestrian, white, 1960s.
2. Sonic Boom, currently features a customer, that has pissed his pants (literally) nearly every time he's been in. Except for the time he dropped a load.
eric o:

"great to meet a fellow collector." - jeff jensen.

Shit Eric, I'm surprised you havent any stories yet. Seems your location would be ideal freak-zero.

I once looked through this huge dollar bin of crappy vinyl and found The Gun Club's "Fire Of Love" and The Trashwomen's "Spend The Night With". Happy that I had picked up something sort of decent (although by no means mindblowing) after digging through crate after crate of mold infested records, I happily took the records up to the front counter to give the guy my two bucks. The owner, a crusty old R. Crumb look-a-like, took one glance at these, shit his pants, pulled out a pricing guide, and proceeded to stamp $30.00 on both records. After around 15 minutes of me bitching about how he should price his records before he put them in the dollar bin, and that I don't shop at record stores to help owner's find collectible vinyl they overlooked, he finally gave them to me for a few bucks a piece, just to get me out of the store.
dutch hercules:

its gotta be Blink 182.when i was at FYE in Crossraods Mall, lookin for a Dune dvd.. guy at counter was playin " all the small things" . man, i hate the shit outta some Blink. Also, when people talk real loud in record shops about bad or overplayed music, i cant tell you how many time i would walk into a record store and some dipshit is ranting about the new Live cd or The Doors live at Mackinaw Island 1969..or anyone who raves about "Zeppelin". Manfred Mann Live..in your f*cking mind!!!
dutch hercules:

Shit Eric, I'm surprised you havent any stories yet. Seems your location would be ideal freak-zero.
yea.. whats the worst request youve gotten so far..? lemme guess..Surf Punks...Serf Punks (medeivel Surf Punks..?) The Witty Family?

jeff jensen is cool. we were at the same wedding 2 years ago. him in a brilliant nudie-style WHITE suit, total embroidery, and me in a hot pink/black hooker dress. both of us dressed entirely outside the crowd. mutual appreciation society.

Ask Jensen to see his embroidered tribute to Kansas City (or is it the entire state of Kansas?) wool scarf. He is definitely one of those people where the mundane takes on some kind of fabulous sheen. But don't tell him that too much. Off topic. Back to the record stores.
eric o:

i got some stories from Shangri-la, but nothing like y'alls. best was carla thomas thumbing through our Memphis section and singing every big song on the albums. She said folks had always taken her records thinking she could get more, so she never had her own stuff. We gave her some of her own records. Kinda sad, but she was verrry sweet.

and sam the sham telling stories about his buddy that was in a promo shot repro that we had... we gave him that, too.

The worst one was this native american taxi driver guy with a jerry lee lewis record... i can't even describe how annoying that guy was. having to babysit these people just because they're in the store is excruciating.

also at shangri-la, pre-full-on record store, i had some hookers who wanted to trade "favors" for time in the flotation tank... that was unusual (i declined.)

and, uh, the worst customer "kept my car in storage" and is in storage himself now... won't go into that. he wasn't a bad customer, though. just ended up scary as hell.

I love the Surf Punks.

hookers in flotation.
slush and slur
...this threads got wings
red eyed willie:

"Can I trade an eighth of meth for these two cassettes?"

When I worked in this record store here called The Underground I used to get more crackheads during the day than customers. They never had money but always thought they could offer low-grade street drugs in exchange for their favorite gangsta rap CD.

Happy that I had picked up something sort of decent (although by no means mindblowing) after digging through crate after crate of mold infested records, I happily took the records up to the front counter to give the guy my two bucks. The owner, a crusty old R. Crumb look-a-like, took one glance at these, shit his pants, pulled out a pricing guide, and proceeded to stamp $30.00 on both records

Did this happen to be a record store on the road to St. Petersburg Beach? This guy basically has all the vinyl unpriced and after you dig and dig and dig he goes through the guide and prices everything at top value even if it is in shit condition. He is the laziest shit. The counter there is stacked with records that people have probably left there after storming out aghast. I know I laughed and told him he was insane. He just shrugged.

There was the time that the homeless black guy who loved to listen to Queensr˙che on the store's turntable was air guitaring so fiercely that a bottle of whiskey fell out of his pocket, and shattered all over the 25 cent 7"'s. He proceeded to shout at his non existent buddy for breaking his bottle.

That was about the time we instituted the "zero dumbasses policy" and things started to get really combative around ye olde whizze.

"Can I get a discount? I'm in a band." Russell Simmons
Jack Stands:

"Can I get a discount? I'm in a band."

I use that everywhere I go.
Jasper de Wilde:

Great thread and Black Jack's story about Harvey is the best thing I've read this year. I don't go to record stores anymore. In my region we've only got lame cd stores. Last time I went to a record store was in Grunnen. It was Platenworm and the place is closed now, so I order evrything on internet now. Sad, sad, sad...
Last time I bought something in a shop, I was looking for a portable radio/cassette player. I also have a really bad stutter sometimes (luckily I'm not severely learning disabled like the last stutterer mentioned) and when one of the salesmen came up to me and asked if he could help me, I tried to tell him I wanted thee portable radio/c..c...c.c...c...c.. etc.
I just got stuck at this damn cassette-word and I couldn't get out of it.
A friend of mine started laughing and the salesmen started to get embarrassed, turning red, acting nervous and stuff and it only made things worse.
The more uncomfortable the guy got (he propably saw some doc about stuttering and learned to keep looking me in the face, but seeing his uncomfortable position it only made the situation uglier), the harder my friend started to laugh and I still just kept trying to pronounce "cassette".
In the end (this all took about 5 minutes) my friend was literally shaking on the floor laughing his ass off (you know how it must look, he also kept on hitting the floor with his hands, no self-control anymore, total hilariousness), the salesmen tried to interrupt me and said "excuse me, I have to go to the toilet" and I was still stuck at the "C".
We left the shop without any purchase, but we had a great laugh (again) afterwards. I just wish it happened in a record store, so I could make a contribution to this thread.
hollis brown:

"Can I get a discount? I'm in a band." Russell Simmons

didn't happen at a record store but when i was a college radio geek i journeyed up to grand rapids, michigan for their stations festival. guided by voices was headlining and i had arranged to interview bob pollard for my radio show. cibo matto was also there and russell simmons was drumming with sean lennon on bass. i was sitting around a keg talkin to bob and metioned that his labelmate, russell simmons, was ther. he went into a drunken rage saying he was gonna kick "that fat fuckers ass." when GBV finally hit the stage i was standing next to "that fat fuck" and in between every song, pollard was berating simmons. calling him out, calling him fat, saying "hey everyone, russell simmons from def jam is here." "russell come up and stage and get your ass kicked." "that asshole came to our town and disrepected our women."

it seemed funny at the time i guess.
franchesca innocent:

dumbest shit thing in a rec store would have to be myself.

Did this happen to be a record store on the road to St. Petersburg Beach?

Yeah, same store. You from the Tampa Bay area? Bannana's Record Wharehouse is another great one.....you spend all day looking through what amounts to The Smithsonian Institute of common classic rock records, find 5 good things that are marked for a couple bucks, and as soon as you get them to the front counter it's "hey wait a minute, lemme look these up really fast". Like you're pulling a fast one on them by trying to buy merchandise for the listed price. It's mindblowing. I've actually walked out of there feeling like an employee who just dug up all the good punk records.

No good Bleeker Bob stories? We used to go into the LA store just to see if he was there, going off. Once saw him berate an employee so bad (for paying too much for used stuff) even the doberman he had behind the counter stopped and stared. The employee ( a 20-something male) had to run out of the store so no one would see him cry.

My dad lived in St. Pete for awhile (got hitched to a former Weeki Watchee mermaid and now lives in fucking BROOKSVILLE) and I would pillage the thrift stores and record stores on visits just to have something to do in between beach time. The record searching was beyond ridiculous for the reasons mentioned above. I didn't even try to go through that Banana's place after it became obvious that it was the glorified home of 15 copies of Journey's "Escape" and Boston.

Admittedly, I pulled some fast ones on a few customers who dug up some gems that my dumb bosses have underpriced that I wanted. Payback's a bitch.

Here's another area specific one for the Wisconsin folk: Ever go into The Exclusive Company and have Time Bomb Tom (pre-Cafe glory days) bitch at you if he found out there was a show going on that night, and you weren't going to make an appearance? I remember being 14, buying CDs, and The Queers happened to be in town the same night.....me and the girl I was with got a Mike Ditka-style speach about how we need to support the local scene....apparently it didn't dawn upon him that there might be a parent waiting in the parking lot for us who probably didn't wanna stay in town for da show.....what a guy.

I have a friend who used to work the vinyl section @ Kim;s on St. Marks who tells me that a few years back Kool Keith would come into the store w. his plastic black Elvis wig on and sunglasses and one time inquired 'you guys got the new Kool Keith album?' Not really knowing what to make of it he just replied 'Yeah man we got your album.' I think that's pretty cool.

Honestly, the dumbest question you can ever ask in a record store gets asked all the time and goes something like this....'

"Hey....how long have you had this Moby Grape record?....do you think it still be here in "X" days?"

how the fuck should I know? If I could predict the future sales in my store I would be much richer than I am right now....
eric o:

or... hey, this mono copy of sargent pepper is pretty beat up! you think you could come off the 1.99 price?
Cleopatra Sabbath:

D.R.I.'s monumentally awful record "Four of a Kind" for 30 dollars

Theresa K, my Santa Barbara period was a bit later. 1981-83, before I moved up to SF. Worked at a little stereo store called Audio World and also was part-time board operator at KTSB. Lived in IV although wasn't a student.

My greatest moment probably came at the Info Desk, where we bought stuff and answered questions, at CDs of Austin, which later changed its name to ABCDs. A yuppie couple came in and they were embarassed to even ask, but they finally blurted ot out:

"We're looking for that song by the guy that wears a suit." No shit. Only clue.

So I looked at them, sized up the age/clothes, etc., and thought to myself, "These have gotta be KGSR listeners" (so-called 'adult alternative' station in Austin). This was aroung 1991-92, so I first though of that Don Henley album - is it End of the Innocence? - where he's wearing a dark jacket and white shirt. Nope, that's not it, but I can tell I'm getting close...so I look at them, think about KGSR, think about what kind of crappy records we'd been selling lately, thought about how the artists were dressed on the covers, and then it hit me:

"Steve Winwood!"


Today, proudly, I am a librarian.

I would have guessed David Byrne.

I should point out since I birthed this thread that Whitney of Whizz Records wrote an excellent zine about this subject many moons ago called "A Month of Sundays." Interspersed with descriptions of (you guessed it!) working at a record store for a month on Sundays 12-6, were descriptions of--like-- every Joe Tex record. The two sections really worked well together. It was a thing of beauty, I kid you not.

i woulda guessed Robert Palmer
Mark Beef:

while I have never worked in a record store I have frequented them enough to hear some good junk now and again...this story is one where I went into a semi local chain called Zip's, about 6 years ago, to drop off some flyers and a local celebrity anchorman was at the counter having this conversation

Anchorman "the song goes 'She'll chew you up and spit you out' Do you know that one"
Clerk "uh, yeah that's 'Maneater' by Hall and Oates"
Anchorman "huh...so let me get this right, Hall AND Oates. That's their name?"
Clerk "uh...yeah"

here's said anchorman's website

dan gerous:

The dumbest thing I've ever heard in a record store is the sound of CD's being broken by the fat, long haired, SRV loving lunatic behind the counter. He'd just start breakin shit...GOOD shit. Iwas browsing one day, knowing it was just a matter of time. Sure enough, there he goes. Turns out one of the CD's he broke that day was Refried Dreams. I asked him why he does that and he said if the used CD's don't sell within a month, he breaks 'em. Good guy.

I also knew a dude who worked at the same store and he created an entire section of noise/experimental/weird stuff. After he quit, I noticed that section disappeared and I asked the manager, "What happened to all that stuff Brian ordered?"

"OH yeah....all that shit is down in those crates. I'll sell you everything for $300." I didn't have the money at the time, or I probably would have. There was ALOT...worth WAY more than $300 for sure. Then next time I went back they were gone....hmm

Raven Records 1992:

We were really into the Only Ones Peel Sessions CD and played it at least once a day. Our middle aged,always-too-nice-to-us boss/owner never said a word but would slam his office door if we put it on. One day he couldn't take it anymore, threw open the door and screamed at the top of his lungs (the store was packed):

Jack Stands:

There was this short, latter-middle-aged fellow who worked as a security guard for some porn movie theater. He knew Frank from back in the day, when Franks was a head shop, but would only talk to me. Short, skinny, darker hair, and hard plastic glasses circa 1983.
He'd come in and talk about all kinds of stuff, and change subjects really fast about music, shows he'd been to, people he almost beat up, cars are stupid nowadays, how much is that Zeppelin ashtray, did you see David Letterman when that one guy was on it, what kind of gun do you have, he got sick eating at Shakey's once....
Total non-linear, and he would talk faster as he got excited. The best part was when he'd really hit his apex of subconscious dump, he would insert a "woohoo" into every sentence.

When I used to work at Tower Records, I was putting up a huge sales display one day. It was in a Rotunda in the middle of the store. Some guy walks up to me and asks where the cds are. I was a bit confused as he'd passed the entire rock floor of hundreds of thousands of cds to get to where I was. There was no other way into the store than the front doors. "What cds?", I asked. "Any", he answered. Odd.

eric o:

i love going into Kinkos (24 hours, right?) and asking if they're still open.
Jack Stands:

Around '92 or '93, Ardent Studios put an add in the Memphis Flyer during the now-defunct "Crossroads" music event (Memphis' attempt at a SXSW) saying something to the effect of "Come By And See Us!"

For funzies, I went in and asked about the free Record Deal they were offering. The receptionist seemed puzzled, but she had Jody Stephens come out and meet me in the lobby. When I asked him about it, he asked if I had a tape to listen to. I said "No, but we've sold a lot of t-shirts".

Shangri-La circa Andria, Bomar, Sherman, and myself:

We had this giant man in his mid 40's, completely bald, straight dressing, and obviously afflicted with something (mentally). Somehow, he had an astounding knowledge of (and taste for) left-field noise and drone. To say that he did not look or act the part is an understatement. He would walk in and blurt out his wants in a disturbing, staccato tone.


Being on the cusp of the Internet age, I'm not sure where he was getting his info...he even knew about upcoming releases. Maybe he slept on a mattress of Forced Exposure catalogs or Revolver update faxes.

God knows I was sleeping with those Revolver faxes. Memorizing them, certainly. Clever little fuckers, Bob and Chas. Anyone know where they are now?
eric o:

El Bobo is running thangs over there. Revolver still has the best record descriptions. Forced Exposure has gone from completly obtuse to just tuse descriptions of electronic music i can't imagine anyone wants to hear.

Miles and I were working a Saturday afternoon at Shangri-La when we noticed this alterna-grit, or "Arkansalternative" character acting erratically across the street, to the right of the Huey's parking lot. He was about our age, scrawny, with a dirtball goatee and wild eyes. He would walk in one direction, then double back, and so on. We were both muttering "don't cross the street, don't come in here" to ourselves when he fixated on the "Open" sign and did just that.

The man was high as hell on meth, crack, something of that ilk, or was enduring a psychotic hangover/comedown from something of that ilk. Sweating profusely and with there's-nothing-behind-them-but-they’re-still-crazed eyes, our exchange went like this (Miles ducked into the back, when the "back" was up front, I was stuck behind the counter):

"Dude, it's hot as hell, can I take my shirt off?"

"Please don't do that."

"Man, I was just asking a question."

"I was just answering a question."

He fidgeted about for a minute, picked some things up, put them down - it didn't appear that he could concentrate on anything for more than a few seconds. Plus, he kept trying to find some conversational meeting ground.

"Uh, dude, did you go to that rave at 616 last night?"

"Nope." (at that point, 616 had been closed for at least three years)

“Why not?”

“I don’t really go to raves.”


He looked at the magazine rack, and of all things, picked up my zine (The Cimarron Weekend - we had about fourteen readers, and this guy was most certainly not one of them), flipped around for a second, and said to himself, "Fuck, no way can I read THIS shit right now."

He then emptied the contents of his wallet and pockets all over the counter, and with no rhyme or reason, started sorting through about 30 - 40 scraps of paper, change, and receipts.

At this point, I was trying to move him out the door. My body language and looks were in that mode.

"Dude!! I'm just trying to get my shit together!!"

This was sort of aggressive, so I asked him to leave unless he was planning on buying something, and if what was spread out all over the counter was any indication, he was not.

He storms out the door with a trailing "Fuck this place!" I locked the door, and we then safely watched this little slice of Midtown Theater:

1. Lays down, shirt off, in the Huey's parking lot.

2. Walks into Huey's.

3. Almost immediately bolts out of Huey's, backwards, waving his finger at someone inside the doorway.

4. Runs up to the cop car that had just pulled to the light - driver’s window (won't this get you shot?) - and has some sort of conversation with the cop, who, oddly, DRIVES AWAY.

5. Lays down in the Huey's parking lot AGAIN, then climbs on top of the dumpster. Jumps down and disappears.

Oh man, do I have some stories.

One time Joe (my boss, nice guy) let me close the store but told me "Don't play my drums or smoke my cigars" so what did I do? DAMN RIGHT! PLAYED HIS DRUMS AND SMOKED HIS CIGARS! The i took the money the store made that month and went to Atlantic City and blew it all on craps. Bummer

Ha, then this other time Rex Manning came to do an in-store thing, Ya know. Like sign some records for old ladies or whatever. And my co-worker, Corey was totally obsessed with him. So she made Joe let her bring him his lunch even though Berko was suppose to do it. So she went in and took off her panties. then Rex thought he was such a stud and just said "Rock N Roll" Corey got real upset and left. It was funny as shit.

Rex later banged Gina and punched AJ. "SAY NO MORE, MON AMORE"

Heh, Then I later found out that the money i blew in AC was gonna go towards Joe buying the store off of the suit owner Mitch, But since he didn't have it he couldn't. But luckily Mark got this idea and went on TV since the TV cameras were there from when this dude Warren (who we later found out wasn't really named Warren) brought a gun in the store. So, Mark told the world via TV about this big fiesta we were having to raise money. DAMN THE MAN, SAVE THE EMPIRE

Then later that night Berko and his band played this killed 90s alt rock song called "Sugar High" but at the last verse Berko made Gina sing it. It was rad.

Did you eat paint chips as a kid?

eric o--

tell bob mc that kristin young sez "hello and god bless cas walker" for me the next time you get a chance. thanks.

i love going into Kinkos (24 hours, right?) and asking if they're still open.

when the drive-thru person asks me "anything else" I love saying "oh yeah....can you make that to go?"

years and years and years ago when i lived in olympia, i used to hang out at this used record store and drink beers with the manager and spin records. adrock from the beastie boys strolls in with ms. riot grrl herself, kathleen hannah. at the time, he was married. i laughed, pointed and said "haha, you're 'the other woman' ". i am sure she thought i was dumb.


That dickhead DJ James Lavelle, y'know the wigger dude who does that shitey UNKLE thing with that twat from Radiohead, and is apparently the hippest thing since sliced titty, has asked a couple of really daft ones while in the store I sometimes worked in down Portobello Road:

"Who did a song which goes, 'Allow me to introduce myself ...?'"

And even better

"Who did this song Louie Louie, then?"

Also, sorry to disappoint any David Holmes lickety-lick fanboys, but he doesn't actually hunt for 45s himself, he pays someone to go out and break-hunt for jhm!

Another funny 'un ... Massive, tattooed, hairy biker dude comes into the shop and asks me "Got any Twisted Sister?"
I ask the boss, the sarky bastid, who's up a ladder behind me, putting some books on a shelf ... He laughs, calls downstairs to the other owner, "Hey, have we got any Twisted Sister records?!", laughs again, and then comes down the ladder, spotting the dude ...
Boss's smile is replaced with very serious look, and a contrite "I'm very sorry, we don't appear to have any Twisted Sister records in stock."
Cue much laughter ...

There was a time when some annoying Scandinavian Beatles nut came in, was going thru a box of their 45s, and said "Would you take Ł10 for this copy, as the single is a little scratched to pay Ł11?"
The boss said "Give me the record", snapped it over his knee, threw it in the bin, and said "Now fuck off out of my shop!"

Now that's class ...

i laughed, pointed and said "haha, you're 'the other woman' ".

I think that's the funniest thing I will hear all day.

i was in newbury comics once and they were playing a jets to brazil cd. one song starts and a clerk says "i have to go. this song makes me cry" and leaves the register.

from working at tower:

dude asking if he could pay for his cds in gold. he then whips out a ziplock bag full of dirt that he claims it's "gold dust"

getting this call:
dude: hey do you have [some rap thing] on cassette
me: yeah. want me to hold it for you?
dude: yeah
me: ok what's your name?
dude: i can't tell you my name put it under my codename "firearm"

great question from a mental casualty
"who sings that song 'hey hey we're the monkeys'"
me: "styx"

someone left an absolutely filthy pair of briefs on the floor. i mean really nasty. guy had a fucking party in those things

ever so often someone would beat off in the porn section

every week or so right before closing this dirtbag freeloader would show up. he always had plastic bags full of free newspapers with him. he would go from register to register looking for free stuff. douchebag never left when we closing and had to be chased out every time

crazy shoplifting guy having to be carried into the back room by two security guards

that's all i can remember at the moment

I just found a copy of Come Clean by the Dwarves on the display rack in the children's section.

Not dumb but funny.

Too bad it wasn't Blood Guts and Pussy.
Mitch Turdstain:

Silver Apples record for $150

when i was in 7th grade and bought my copy of dirty deeds i asked the clerk "why are these peoples eyes blacked out with these bars?"
he smugly chimed in with "so people like you will ask questions like that".
way to suflex a 7th grader asshole.
bazooka joe:

I have no idea why I don't have a story for this thread. I feel like such a poseur.

That's cause you're "part of the problem".
Jasper de Wilde:

I've witnessed the most wicked things in record stores, but I dont know how I must translate 'em to English and still keep 'em funny??
dutch hercules:

D.R.I.'s monumentally awful record "Four of a Kind" for 30 dollar
dang, i love that album!! but not for 30 bucks.

Sorority girl in line in front of me noticing the 7"s - "What are these?"
and upon looking inside - "OH MY GOD! Little baby records!"

Any given sat/sun. at WowsvilleNYC tourists would come in & say in New Jersey accents:
"who buys records anymore??!! George (yelling out the door of the store) It's an ANTIQUE store!!! Who wants antique records??? Good luk with that!"

One half was records, one half was cd's.
michael bateman:


I found that record with Big Star's Radio City and a bunch of psych records at a thrift store in Florida...all DJ promo copies.
lawdy clawdy:

I have no idea why I don't have a story for this thread. I feel like such a poseur.
just make one up! that's the glory of the internet!

Sorority girl in line in front of me noticing the 7"s - "What are these?"
and upon looking inside - "OH MY GOD! Little baby records!"

That's awesome. Whenever I would give any of my old band's 45's away to girls, they would invariably say: "cool, hey, hook me up with a record player for this!". Sure thing. Also funny: giving a local venue owner a 45, and having him say "nobody listens to records anymore, bring me a tape". Like a cheap dubbed tape is more legit than a record somebody actually paid to press.

You should snuff the venue owner!

Let's see if I can tell this right...
Cat's records Chattanooga, about '84 - '85.
A woman came in asking for some top forty hit that was a duet between a white lady and a black guy.
My friend Billie found her the single. But there was a problem.
"I don't want this! It's got a...(whispers, forcefully) NIGGER ON IT."
We're all kind of unsure how to proceed. But Billie has a brainstorm. She goes and finds the lady's album. Whites only! Problem solved.
The lady left the store so happy, she gave Billie a hug and everything.
bazooka joe:

dexter fishpaw:

You wanna cookie?
Jerkin You Off:

this girl asked me one time if i hade any coke and i was like no. then she's like i mean coca cola and i again say no. then she's like i'll jerk you off if you have some coca cola and i'm like well i'll buy some then. and she's like it's too late.
razor shines:

I worked at THE worst record store in Montreal. There was one island rack with CDs on each side. One guy asked me if we had any Rush. I went over with him to the far end of one side of the island rack, and showed him that the "R" section continued around on the other side of the rack. Just goes to show Rush fans are the dumbest.

razor shines:

a "Best Buy" edition of David Bowie's "Diamond Dogs" selling for $59.99.

I met Angela Davis at Amoeba in Berkeley and sold her the Bessie Smith box set...she was incredibly cool and I was definitely star-struck. The other cashiers were mad she came to my register.

was it around the time she wrote this book?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0679771263/sr=8-9/qid=1150833058/ref= pd_bbs_9/104-4758967-1411101?%5Fencoding=UTF8
its one of my favs...
le chev:

I was in a record store that I won't name when I noticed a Melvins 5" record with a $100 price tag. I asked the cashier, who could barely conceal her contempt for me, if she thought that was a little steep. She replied that it was a science experiment...
cultural ambassador:

I was in the now defunct Soundwave CDs when one of the local TV weathermen, Dick Stoddard, came in. He was looking for a particular jazz song, but didn't want to purchase an entire CD's worth of material. He just wanted the one song.

"I can't find this anywhere for download on the internet," he said. "Is there any way I can just get the one song."

"You can buy the CD and have that song and 17 others," replied the clerk.

"But I just want the one song! I don't want the rest of them. I can't find this song anywhere on the internet and it's the only one on the CD that I want."

"Sorry, you have to buy the whole CD," stated the clerk. "We don't have that song in a CD single."

"But," started the weatherman, "I just...well, what's your return policy?"

"For you," replied the clerk, "I won't accept any returns."

Dick walked out of the store in one hell of a huff.

Best thread ever. Brings back a flood of memories from the ten years I spent working in record stores. Thank you to whoever revived it, a thousand times over!

I was in a record store that I won't name when I noticed a Melvins 5" record with a $100 price tag.

was it the melvins floppy?

"OH MY GOD! Little baby records!"
are you sure that wasn't windy?
le chev:

It was the one that came out on Slap-a-Ham. I believe they were both Flipper covers...

was it the melvins floppy?

The floppy was an 8"
the scandalizer:

I have tons of great stories from my years behind the counter at Spinables in Ottawa. I'll try to summarize some faves:

-very calm, soothingly slow-talking, slightly challenged gentleman (super skinny, mustache, glasses) comes in looking for Englebert Humperdinck lp's. I show him the section, and he proceeds to tell me that it's his anniversary, and his wife loves "Blue Spanish Eyes", and is that song on any of these records. I find it, and he proceeds to stare me straight in the eyes and sing almost the whole song to me in a quiet voice. Finishes by telling me that he's "a romantic guy"! He made my day.

-Insane young lady comes in (Stagger Lee- you'll remember this) and is just nutso, experiecing a schizophrenic episode, wild-eyed blabbing on and on. Immediately I'm at a loss on how to diffuse the situation, her energy is just bouncing off the walls, it's kinda busy, and i'm trying to handle the store's business... Then she starts to take off her clothes, customers are watching (and I'm supposed to be in charge, but I'm sorta paralyzed...) Nothing I say can change the course of action here. My friend (Stagger Lee) simply walks calmly to the door, looking at her and nodding pleasantly. Magically she just followed him out, still blabbing on, he came back inside, and she was on her way. I don't kow if my description can do the episode justice, it was just so random...

I wish I had a better memory... I could compile a novel with the characters in that place...
saint sarah:

"Do you have this song, it goes 'ooooooh baby I like the way you do it to me and make me hot'?"

"Are my classical records worth a lot of money?"

one of my co-workers brought a crossbow into the store one day and was shooting arrows into the walls through the cd's. this same guy also had a really heavy acid trip at one point where he stayed in his room all night and came up with some mathematical proof that Steely Dan was the most perfect music ever made.

can we turn this thread in to a book somehow? these stories are phenomenal!

When I worked at Strawberries Records in Boston in the 80s some guy came in and pissed all over the Farrah Foster posters.

My friends were moving their store's location in the early ninties, and during the move, they caught an employee in the warehouse of the old location, jerking off all over a Samantha Fox picture disc.
le chev:

95% of cashiers at record stores, are condesending pricks and cunts that can suck my fucking toes. That's why I never feel guilty about mailordering shit... Oh No! If I buy shit through the mail constantly, and enough people do, that means somebody who knows tons about music, and isn't the least bit humble about it might be assed out of a job!!! The world will sail off of its orbit!!!

We also used to have this cat that would come visit our Strawberries store. He used to walk along the tops of the records. One day he was walking along and decided to take a shit... right on top of the Steely Dan section! We had taught that cat well.
bazooka joe:

Alberto and Memphis Mike.


In Milwaukee, there's this used record/book store run by this crazy pack rat lady that I think even lives in the store. You can go there at any unholy hour and knock on the door and she'll come unlock it and let you in. Once we went there at like 3 in the morning and were looking through her records. There's stacks of shit everywhere, so it's a real pain in the ass to look through everything, plus most of the records are beat all to hell. But I find a couple things and bring them up to her, and she starts looking everything up in a price guide and doing all this math on an adding machine. She had a friend there who was just kinda standing next to the counter, he had a big curly fro and was wearing Elvis shades. He kept trying to convince her to cut me a deal, like, "C'MON! These guys are MUSIC LOVERS! They love MUSIC! Help 'em out!" and she kept doing all this adding machine stuff, saying "I just don't know if I can do it. I can't go that low" blah blah blah. And then, "C'MON! Give 'em a deal! They're MUSIC fans!" I finally ended up getting an ok deal. The best part was, the whole time, this guy had been drinking from a small bottle. As I was checking out, I got a closer look at it, and I shit you not, the man was drinking fucking AFTERSHAVE.

I really got to get to steppin' on some of my record store stories some day.

So there's this guy around town named Dickson, who has mild autism. He's totally familiar by name with anyone who's ever worked in a record store here, or anyone who has ever taken public transit. If he recognizes you and catches you in his field of vision, it is a surefire guarantee that he will talk at you for a solid ten minutes.

For a few years, I'd try and dodge Dickson, run to the stock room, whatever it took to avoid eye contact. But after awhile, I learned to embrace it; Dickson'd talk about training for the Special Olympics and Operation Trackshoes and Van Halen, and I'd just make myself comfortable.

While I learned to actually enjoy his banter, my co-worker became more and more hardened in his absolute hatred for the guy; absolutely no patience for him whatsoever. My co-workered would just start muttering horrible shit under his breath whenever Dickson made his daily drop in to the record store. Then my co-worker decided to start fucking with him.

Dickson walks in one Thursday afternoon. Store's totally empty.

"Hey Jackson," my co-worker says, without looking up from the free weekly on the counter.
"My name's Dickson. Not Jackson."
"Yeah, whatever Jackson."

I look at my co-worker like, what's up with the Jackson, and he just smirks and goes back to reading his concert listings.

Next day, Dickson comes back. A few lunchtime customers in the store.

"Hey Jackson."
"My name's Dickson. Dickson. D-I-C-K-S-O-N. Not Jackson."
"Yeah, whatever Jackson."
Dickson's visibly upset, getting flushed with anger, but eventually gets his temper under control and starts talking at me about Alice In Chains at length.

Saturday afternoon, the store's crowded. Dickson comes back.
"Hey Jackson."

He throws a fucking shit-fit.

"MY NAME'S NOT JACKSON!!! MY NAME'S JACKSON!!! MY NAME'S NOT JACKSON!!!" He starts hucking cds all over the place, banging his fist on the counter screaming his mantra over and over again.

My co-worker doesn't miss a beat, and unviels his masterplan. "That's it, Jackson. You're banned. Out." He pushes him out and locks the door...and that was the end of Jackson.

"One student at a time"
A Memphis classic

"OH MY GOD! Little baby records!"
are you sure that wasn't windy?

Sorority girl in line in front of me noticing the 7"s - "What are these?"
and upon looking inside - "OH MY GOD! Little baby records!"

uh, you little turd, I have never been, nor ever will be a SORORITY girl. that's insulting.
Jack Stands:

skank police:

Can I add?

tard guy: "I want Robot Plumbers!!...Dickted to Luff!!"
(he also wanted Alice n' Change)

Little old lady with boom box and cassette trying to jam it in upside down: "I bought this and I can't stick it in the sau-nie (SONY)...see, I can't stick it in the SAU-NIE!! You!! You help me stick it in the SAU-NIE!!!"

I still say these things all the time.

"That's it, Jackson. You're banned. Out."

Miss Strange:

More odd, than dumb but anyway: Working at a Sound Warehouse in Chicago in the early 90’s, we had this one probably homeless guy who would come in about once a month. It’s likely that he had served in Vietnam. The guy didn’t wear regular clothes. Instead he draped himself in burlap sacks (that he incidentally received for free from the coffee store I also worked at) Layers & Layers of them, around his feet too. He has some form of multiple personality disorder or schizophrenia, as different people knew him as different names. Usually he was known as either Jerome or Otis (I knew him as Jerome)
Jerome would usually special order about 10 old soul cassettes at a time. Despite his lack of clothing he always had plenty of cash for tapes & the occasional walkman. He was always very polite & courteous. What’s even stranger is that after paying for his order & placing his next special order list, he would step over to the trash can & open up all of the tapes, throw out the plastic case & liner notes & tuck the tapes one at a time into a different fold of his burlap ensemble. As Otis, he was often seen, acting somewhat nutty out on the street somewhere. Sometimes, standing in the middle of a side street staring up at the snowy sky & laughing. If you live or have lived in Chicago you've probably seen him.

"Would you like a bag?"
"No asshole, I wanna walk around carrying 20 fucking records, do you think I live in the store or something?....sweet goatee....."
skank police:

Jello Biafra tearing our manager a new one because she put an original copy of Frankenchrist with the H. R. Giger Penis Lanscape poster in it, up on the wall above the counter for $40. He was ranting about the insert Alternative Tentacles put in all the new copies, that could be sent in with 50 cents for a poster, the entire purpose of which was to prevent used record stores from over estimating the value of collectible punk records and, of course, as a fuck off to capitalist censorship and conservatism....blah, blah, blah. She was visibly embarrassed, but did not take it down for a few days, even when certain employees confirmed what he said... then she slammed CD keepers around for the rest of the afternoon. I also later saw Jello kicking the shit out of a newspaper vending box because it ate his...yep, 50 cents!!

Another manager once prank called the store from the back room..."Um, yeah...I'm looking for that song that goes 'Plug it in, plug it in...".

Jello had nasty breath...
Jack Stands:

Another manager once prank called the store from the back room..."Um, yeah...I'm looking for that song that goes 'Plug it in, plug it in...".

That's fucking hillarious.
skank police:

A large retarded girl broke free from the pack on the weekly record store field trip. She ran past my husband, Jason, who was placing the Monday morning order, head down at his computer. She gets to the back room, and has just enough time to pick up a pen and start scribbling on the wall before another employee comes around the corner from a different direction, "Excuse me, may I help you...?", the girl drops the pen and runs back the way she came. Jason and Arwen close in on the wall to see what she wrote..............."OOF!". That's it.
Matt Muscle:

i traDED bateman a half of an egg and cheese
sandwhich for a son of mississippi flight
NAACP 105 seven inch yesterday.
he totally got ripped.
bazooka joe:

Can I add?

tard guy: "I want Robot Plumbers!!...Dickted to Luff!!"

that wasn't a tard! that was... JAPDOG!!!
a cobb:

prevent used record stores from over estimating the value of collectible punk records

man, someone needs to get that dude laid.

man, someone needs to get that dude laid.

Jello, too.
a cobb:

Me and my best friend were hanging out with the Yuppie Pricks at SXSW watching some bad GNR/Unband ripoff band and Jello picked up their business card (?!?) and says "They have the worst manager in the entire bay area!"

Jeremy excitedly taps me on the shoulder and whispers "dude, he actually talks like that!"

That's my Jello Biafra story.

man, someone needs to get that dude laid.

Jello, too.

ray and the boys fucked jello hard just a few years back. but i've no doubt he was "asking for it"...

People holding up a record and saying "hey, man, do you have this on cd???"

Looking at YOU Sam-bo.
a cobb:

Whoa, Satchmy. I read your post then posted mine and still I get top-nods? Who did you piss off?

There were some Dutch chicks that came to Ohio to shack up with Cheater Slicks in the 90s when they 1st moved to Columbus. I was in a record store with one of them. I walked over to where she was & she said "I'm looking through the "Rs" 'cause the best bands start with "R".

WTF, over?

Thanks, a cobb, for hipping me to this band. I shoulda resisted temptation to click on that link. Uggh.

Whoa, Satchmy. I read your post then posted mine and still I get top-nods? Who did you piss off?

if that's the worst blowzooka joke can manage, i'm safe.

"I'm looking through the "Rs" 'cause the best bands start with "R".

the two best bands do start with "r". ramones and rolling stones, duh.
a cobb:


whatever. The Unband rules.

"I'm looking through the "Rs" 'cause the best bands start with "R".

upon further review, make that the 3 best...

the rock and roll trio
Mark Beef:

jello did a spoken word deal in Tuckson a year or so ago and talked to the poor kiddies for at least 4 hours

dude has an unstoppable ego

Jello getting really pissed at my friends/store owners for not helping him out the door to the car with his newly-purchased crates of oddball 60s Israeli records, or giving him a discount .

Same store, dj for horrible Canadian hip-hop group the Rascalz caught stealing records, putting them OUTSUDE the fire exit, and then later claiming he was just resting them there while "digging."

Bat-shit crazy autistic guy who used to go through the metal section, pick up SEALED thrash metal records and start to loudly recite thank you lists without looking at the inner sleeves. He did this with Anthrax "Among The Living." Unbelievable. Do any of you remember how fucking long mid-80s thrash metal/crossover thank you lists were????????? He'd nail them perfectly.

Another autistic guy and his obsession with the Baja Marimba Band...he wrote me a letter demanding 100 sealed copies on vinyl. I'm cleaning out my backroom and when I find this letter, I'll copy it to this thread because it is a masterpiece.

A large retarded girl broke free from the pack on the weekly record store field trip. She ran past my husband, Jason, who was placing the Monday morning order, head down at his computer. She gets to the back room, and has just enough time to pick up a pen and start scribbling on the wall before another employee comes around the corner from a different direction, "Excuse me, may I help you...?", the girl drops the pen and runs back the way she came. Jason and Arwen close in on the wall to see what she wrote..............."OOF!". That's it.

is she seeing anyone?

bazooka joe:

did i miss something, a cobb?
Mark Beef:

the records the clerks play/sell
miss linda:

H. R. Giger Penis Lanscape poster in it, up on the wall above the counter for $40.

She should have taken it down,and changed the price to $80 right infront of his California Faggot Ass, and then kicked him out of the record store.

kicked him out of the record store.

calling him "dickson" the whole time
skank police:

She should have taken it down,and changed the price to $80 right infront of his California Faggot Ass, and then kicked him out of the record store.

Yeah, probably... because he continued to come in once a month with his halitosis and attitude... but I was just standing back delighting in watching two very unpleasant people get the best of each other.
CS Eunuch:

My favorite thing while working at the local record store here in Jackson was the older black folks who'd come in looking for a gospel CD they'd only heard on the radio. So when I'd ask them the artist or name of the song, they wouldn't know, they'd just SING IT TO ME like I was some kind of champion of Name That Tune Obscure Southern Gospel Edition.

Funny thing is, after a while working there I usually was hip to what they'd be asking about.

definitely got a kick out of hearing a kid ask a clerk at Other Music "you got any cd's by a band called Hoobastank?" the clerk humored him (and me) by asking "umm lemme check the computer. How do you spell it?"
miss linda:

delighting in watching two very unpleasant people get the best of each other.

That does sound kinda fun, I just can't help but think that if I worked there I'd have an Uncontrollable urge to go out back and "smoke a couple of cigarettes" when he showed up.
eric o:

just left....

"do you know where i can go to get a song downloaded?"

uh, the internet?

"so you need a computer for that?"

Ding Le Dangle:

Sorry about that, I told my grandma to stay away from recordstores.
eric o:

guy was embarrassed, confused, kinda bummed.

then somebody came in asking about captain & tennile records.

what is it about today?
action fan:

Tim Teabag:

eye know
Sprague Dawley:

being the bill gates business cunt I am I thickly chose my NZ store premises just around the corner from the fuckhead needle exchange. Location, Location, Location, Cunthead.

Used to get the same alky mongo methhead cunt come in every week asking if we had any major accident ("nah mate but I can order it for you if you l"... but by then he'd already shuffled off) en route to his needle top-up. anyway one day he comes in sporting a motherfucking purple pastiche of a shiner, staggers in, drops 2 of his syringes by the fuckign counter then plonks down on a chair and proceeds to pass out with his head tilted back at a fycking impossible angle. I was too chicken to rouse him, or touch his needles, so he sat there for 2 hours. 2 fucking hours!

When he woke up, I was chatting with some other cunt but could see him out of the corner of my eye shadily fingering the DK's shirt hanging on the wall. Then I was sort of aware of him leaving, but saw my 5 yr old daughter walking out behind him. Looked over to the wall, DK's shirt gone, I ran outside and there's my daughter, who'd been watching the whole thing unfold, chasing the cunt down the street. She ran for all her little dwarf legs were worth for about 50 metres then gave up.


Don't give up!
Jack Stands:

I fucking love Sprague.
Jesse Garon:

cunt I am I thickly chose

love the antipodean lingo!!!
The Royal Baby:

U know u want summa daddy's dingaling. It may not be all that thick but it's hard & spunky and it'll slobber all up enya. You'll waddle off thoroughly ravished! The Royal Baby luvs to ride him sum derby whoresees.
bazooka joe:

dumbest thing i've ever seen in a record store? stuff that's not for sale.
Jesse Garon:

http://www.decibelmagazine.com/diary/low-fidelity-the-reality-of-the-r ecord-business-circa-2013/#sthash.BPblkyVu.gbpl
ida slapter:

I worked the Nirvana Nevermind record release in-store. 'nuff said...

What about record store messageboards?...yeah I'm with you on the stuff that's not for sale....come on.
eric o:

"I don't think I want these, so I'm just going to shove them wherever!"


That link Jesse posted was great. The guy talks about how people watch shows like Pawn Stars and think their old records are worth tons of money. I watched an old guy get really pissed at the poor guy working at The End of All Music in Oxford for not wanting to buy his awful and in awful shape record collection.
I once went to a flea market and was delighted at buying a nice copy of Road to Ruin for 4 bucks. I saw a very crappy White Album for 50. I was telling my not really giving a crap wife what a rip that was. Then some dude bought it.

There's a small door on the 13th floor of the Sears Crosstown building where you can enter John Hoppe's mind. It's balefully miserable to endure the neverending gauntlet of gold-digging morons and crackheads that come in with their stacks of pissed-on 80s R&B albums that once belonged to "their uncle." But it also gives deep insight into the ascerbic wisdom of this Academy Award winning actor. And in the end, you get pooped out onto Brooks Rd.

PS Jaz Coleman lives in Iceland?
ida slapter:

Here is the one dumbest conversation I remember.

"I am looking for Vivaldi's Four Seasons"

"OK. Sure, no problem. Did you know which Vivaldi's The Four Seasons you wanted?"

Looking at me like I was the biggest idiot on the fucking plant.

"Yeah the one by Vivaldi. I want Vivaldi's Four Seasons. BY VIVALDI"

There is so much dumb shit talking done in record stores...that trumps all the goons trying to sell their Perry Como and Michael Jackson 7 inch box sets that they "found" at Salvation Army drop off boxes.

It's usually some twenty something nobody shit in a half way okay band, targeting a more established musician in their 40s....the shit talking clerk or loiterer probably has no reasonable context to even realistically asses the musician in question...they just know that their band is way better, but so as not to be so obvious they go on an on about how some other nobody local shit band is so much better...

At this point in a perfect world the Kook-Aid man bursts threw the wall and gives the whiny nag an atomic wedgie and goes, "OH YEAH!"

I just call 'em like I see 'em...those nagging shits are my friends also....
Jesse Garon:

Did you know which Vivaldi's The Four Seasons you wanted

at least he didn't say "Winter"...
ida slapter:

Did you know which Vivaldi's The Four Seasons you wantedat least he didn't say "Winter"...

Trying to explain that there was no recorded music when Vivaldi wrote The Four Seasons = good times...

I once went to a flea market and was delighted at buying a nice copy of Road to Ruin for 4 bucks. I saw a very crappy White Album for 50. I was telling my not really giving a crap wife what a rip that was. Then some dude bought it.

Yeah, I had to explain to my stepdad once that his Stones LPs were never going to be valuable because there are still probably a million copies in circulation. There are two sides to the equation of supply & demand...