The Hippie Record Store – Part 2

3-29-12          The Hippie Record Store – Part 2

Singer Astrud Gilberto born 1940, Jane’s Addiction guy Perry Farrell born 1959; F > M.

Employees sometimes got to make “displays” for new releases – you could call the representative (“Rep”) of the record company directly and ask for empty LP covers (sometimes known as ‘slicks’), posters etc. – you open up a few 25-count boxes of product, make a geometric pattern with the empty jackets, and prominently post your “sale price” – this attracts the eye of the customer.

I remember doing a display for Vangelis “Albedo 0.39” and I believe the “Rep” did come out and take a photograph of my display, thought I don’t remember winning any prizes.

We were way out in the suburbs, so not all of the “Reps” would make it out to us with any kind of regularity.  Sometimes the managers / buyers would get invited up to the distributor, to meet the “Reps” – and maybe hear some new stuff, B.S. with all of the other managers etc.  “Hey, this is what we are selling in Costa Mesa, maan!” etc.

It was also possible to merely call the “Reps” and ask for concert tickets; though they were usually offered freely, without you having to ask!  The best deal I can remember was getting two free tickets to a show (because of our proximity) to the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, CA – with an unlimited “tab” (as opposed to a “2 drink tab”) – this meant you could order dinner (and drinks) at the club, and the record company picked up the bill!  The idea was that if the store manager / buyer could see the group play live on a stage, perhaps you’d hustle on back to your little hippie record store, play the band’s album a few times, maybe encourage others at the store to “get behind” an album etc.  It’s called “Promotion”.

If the band was something that everybody wanted to see, it was usually up to the manager to decide who got the free tickets – I don’t remember everybody ever going to a show together, and – God forbid – the store being closed for an evening!  Yes, our hippie record store opened at 11:00am and closed at 11:00pm.  Sunday:  11:00am – 7:00pm.

So, the store closes at 11:00pm; you turn out the big lights – the manager whisks away the register drawer into the back room to “settle up”.  You might have to run the vacuum, wipe the fingerprints / drool off of the “Accessories” case, maybe straighten up the “Top 10”, make sure you had filed Stevie Wonder in the rock section (“More people will see it that way!”), maybe take out some trash – and play a record you wouldn’t have during store hours (The Fugs “Golden Filth”).  Typically, you set the alarm, and left with the manager – a bit before midnight.

Maybe you went out for Mexican food, or maybe you just drove home.  You would’ve watched TV for a while, before “crashing”.  You gotta be back at the hippie record store at 11:00am, dude.

This entry was posted in 1976, Music Business, Record stores and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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