“Buying records was such an intimate part of my childhood. Saving coins to buy my first single (Bee Gees’ “Jive Talking”) or first LP (Elton John’s Greatest Hits) was a rite of passage. Sitting in the backseat of the car looking at the cover, reading the liner notes and imagining what it would sound like once you got home and dropped the needle was the ultimate foreplay. No wonder so many ofthose records changed my life.”
“As I entered my teenage years, those trips to the record store became like weekly worship. I took up residence in the bins around Cleveland at stores like Wax Stax, Record Revolution, and Record Exchange. I loved spending hours going through all the releases. Wax Stax had bins filled with radio promos that must have magically turned into cocaine for the local DJs every week when they dropped them off. I didn’t know you could buy an album without “For Promotional Use Only” stamped on it for years.
Record stores were magnets for eccentrics, freaks, and philosophers. Some of the most curious characters were the clerks behind the counter. They’d set the mood, playing records, drinking beer and mercilessly laying into the unfortunate kid who tried to buy the “wrong” record. Yelling at kids is what you consider “benefits” when you’re working for minimum wage at a record store.
STAG’s “Love Her Records” is an ode to the minefield you had to navigate every week as a kid to buy those records at the local punk rock store. Didn’t matter if you were in Manhattan, Austin, or LA, there was always that one person behind the counter that seemed far too bothered to acknowledge that you were standing there with a stack of records, let alone ring you up. God forbid you had a question for them. Look out!
These days I wish there were more of those characters. The record store is an institution. The attitude of the people behind the counter is as important as the people on the stage. It’s not rock and roll without it.
Besides, when was the last time you got yelled at for buying something on iTunes? I rest my case.”