The Scene (#10): Record Town

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A lot can change quickly in 6 months. Just a few days after I graduated from high school, my mom moved us 20 miles away from where I had grown up, made friends, and had a sense of familiarity. Though I was supposed to be going to a college that was miles away and living in a dorm on campus, after failing placement tests and not adjusting well to my new surroundings my life was in a tailspin.

I tried the local junior college and that lasted about two weeks. I tried to make new friends, but I was the odd “city boy” who was now out in suburbia. Me and my high school girlfriend of 4 years broke up. Hippie had gone off to college. Most of my friends didn’t drive yet and I didn’t have a car when my mom was at work.

By the time November rolled around and everywhere was needing seasonal help, I had finally gotten a job at Record Town in the mall making $4.85/HR – certainly not enough by today’s standards, but the prospect of free promo CD’s and posters was enough to sell me on the job.

I loved unpacking boxes of music when they came in and putting the new stuff out on the shelf – it was like Christmas morning every week seeing what new stuff we got in.

I loved that one of the night managers was into Reel Big Fish and introduced me to “Everything Sucks” and let me borrow his copy Turn The Radio Off – which I promptly copy to cassette for myself.

I loved that my co-worker Rachel connected me with her friend Rich, who happened to play in a local ska-punk band and introduced me to local bands The Blue Meanies, Deals Gone Bad, Hot Stove Jimmy, and Skapone.

I loved talking to the alternative/punk kids who came into the store about what shows they recently went to, or why they liked (or hated) this band and album. But one punk rocker that came into the store caught my attention the most.

It was the guy from that band I saw at The Thirsty Whale; the one in the dress!

“Go help that customer,” my manager said as he pointed at him.

I now had no choice but to talk to this “rock star” and I only hoped I didn’t make a fool of myself.

“You’re that guy from the band. The one who wore the dress at the Whale, aren’t you?” I asked.

“Yeah, I guess so!” he said. “Dave Hyde,” he introduced himself.

I pointed at my name tag like a dork, “Jeff.”

I told him that my friend Guth played drums and we were trying to start a band, but still needed a guitar and bass player. He mentioned that he might be into it and we exchanged phone numbers while I rang up his purchase of The Cardigans album with “Lovefool” on it – a purchase that to this day he swears was a gift for his father-in-law. 

YOUR TURN: Tell us about some of the local bands in your area and how you first found out about them in the comment section below!

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