Much has been said about the closing of Tower Records.
Well they were the biggest, but towards the end I got very annoyed with them. Once known as the largest record store in the known world, they got more corporate towards the end.
When CD's came out, there was a public outcry about the waste of the longbox, Tower decided to publicly do recycling of your longbox on the spot. Well gee, I got into the spirit. I told them (gasp) I didn't need one of their iconic bright yellow bags either. That didn't sit well, You see their marketing visibility trumped any environmental concerns. They wouldn't let me leave the store without a bag. The defiant punkish youth I was at the time had me unbag the item and leave the bag on the stack of free magazines at the door.
They no longer had the depth in stock they once had. If they didn't have something they would special order it, BUT YOU HAD TO PAY IN ADVANCE.
Once I had a book I purchased across the street at Book Soup. An employee approached me and demanded I hand the book over to him. I told him if they didn't trust me with their merchandise, I didn't trust them with my book. Case closed.
The are other places I miss more than Tower.
Aron's in Hollywood.
At the time of their closing, this place was my favorite. Great used selection. I used to go there looking for clean used vinyl copies of catalog items released on CD two weeks earlier. Suckers were ditching their records and buying CD's of the same title. Ten Years After Deram catalog coming out on CD! Great, I'll wait two weeks and scour the used bins. There's got to be at least one sucker who buys the CD and tosses his vinyl. $2 sure beats $12.
Moby Disc in Sherman Oaks.
Cant find a picture.
My local store, They'll be missed, but I'm now blessed with the excellent Freakbeat down the street,
Rhino in Westwood
Started as a pretty decent store near UCLA. Store is long gone, but Rhino survives as one of the finest reissue labels.
Licorice Pizza - all over Southern California
A big chain that managed to hold onto its hippie charm. All stores had a beat up old couch next to their magazines, I once saw Richard Carptenter buy the first Tubes album at the store in Downey.
Zed in Long Beach
The go-to store for import LP's and 45's. I remember getting both London Calling and Sandinista here a month before the US releases.
There are many others. Some of my old favorites are still alive and kicking. My teenage store, Lovell's in Uptown Whittier is still going strong.