All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records

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While walking down the Sunset Strip, I spotted something from my past – a Tower Records sign on the former retail store’s old location. The original Tower Records’ sign was just recently restored by the current tenant Gibson and the filmmakers for an upcoming documentary about Tower Records. The documentary from actor/director Colin Hanks is called All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records. This space is hosting an invite-only party on October 15 and is showcasing the documentary. From 1960 until 2006, Tower Records was a huge music retailer that sold primarily CDs and cassette tapes. In addition to music, the stores sold DVDs, electronic gadgets (mp3 players), books video games, toys, and accessories. Russell Solomon opened the first Tower Records store in Sacramento in 1960 and it quickly grew into a huge national empire of over two hundred stores. In 1995, it became one of the first retailers to move online. Then after decades of success, it filed for bankruptcy and closed its last store in 2006.

I was a huge music fan in the 90’s and spent many nights digging through stacks of CD’s for rare but great music at Tower Records. I miss those old nights with my buddies hanging at the local record store. I remember waiting in long lines for new albums coming out from my favorite artists. I used to pick up their magazine Pulse! for the latest music news and reviews. Sadly all that exist is this old sign on the Sunset Strip. I am looking forward to catching that documentary and reliving my old music days.

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  • –  From All Things Must Pass website

Established in 1960, Tower Records was once a retail powerhouse with two hundred stores, in thirty countries, on five continents. From humble beginnings in a small-town drugstore, Tower Records eventually became the heart and soul of the music world, and a powerful force in the music industry. In 1999, Tower Records made $1 billion. In 2006, the company filed for bankruptcy. What went wrong? Everyone thinks they know what killed Tower Records: The Internet. But that’s not the story. ‘All Things Must Pass’ is a feature documentary film examining this iconic company’s explosive trajectory, tragic demise, and legacy forged by its rebellious founder Russ Solomon.

Vans

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Vans have been a big part of my life for years. I still remember having the old 80’s urban street skate hat with the split back tail on the back. Then Tony Hawk made skateboarding a big thing in the late 80’s with his crazy stunts. We would hang around Sidewalk Surfer in Scottsdale and buy boards and the latest Vans shoes. Now here I am today still riding a longboard, watching the X-Games and wearing my Vans. It helps that I raised two boys that have kept me feeling young. Today marks 50 years since the first Vans store opened up in Cali. In addition to their clothing line, they have sponsored many extreme sports like BMX, skateboarding and motocross. They also sponsor the Warped Tour that features many of the top music artists today. I’ll always be a big fan and look forward to many more years of buying a new pair of Vans.

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David Bowie

DAVID BOWIE  1947 – 2016

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David Bowie passed away today at the age of 69. He was an amazing artist who changed the music industry. Below is his last video (“Lazarus”) he made from his final album Blackstar – a parting gift to his fans. RIP.

Johnnyswim at MIM

Diamonds

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One of the hottest duos out there is the husband/wife team of Johnnyswim. I saw them perform at Catalyst last year in Irvine and was told they would be the next big thing. I loved their show and started listening to their music and was hooked. Next thing I know it, I see them on VH1 and Letterman. They make great music and are a lot of fun to watch on stage. I love it when couples put their creative talents together. Tonight they played at the Musical Instrument Museum. MIM is located in north Phoenix and displays more than 6,000 instruments collected from around 200 of the world’s countries and territories. They have a great music venue that hosts various acts almost weekly.

Below is a Tiny Desk Concert by Johnnyswim at NRP Music

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Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez

Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez put on a great show and played many of their songs from their Heartbeats EP and their new album Diamonds. I got to chat with them after the show and they were a blast to meet. I wish them the best!IMG_5983

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Myself with Johnnyswim

What a fun couple!

Johnnyswim on David Letterman 

Buddy Guy’s Legends

Buddy Guy is the Chicago King of Blues. He is a legend in the music industry and owns this renowned blues club in downtown Chicago. Van Morrison, Albert Collins, Bo Diddley, The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes, David Bowie, ZZ Top, Junior Wells, Slash, John Mayer, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Buddy Guy himself have all graced the stage here. The place is also full of memorabilia from several accomplished guitarists as well as Buddy Guy’s own personal music awards. J.B. Ritchie was on tap tonight and played a great show.

Buddy Guy's Legends Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hard Rock Cafe

So this place isn’t exactly unique to Chicago because they are everywhere, but I was hungry and it was close by. I once worked at the Hard Rock Cafe in Phoenix back in my college days. It was fun to serve celebrities, but I only lasted about 6 months there. I haven’t eaten at one in years and didn’t recognize anything on the menu. I ended up getting the S.O.B. burger. It’s a hamburger basted with spicy chipotle pepper puree and topped with monterey jack cheese. It is served on a buttered-toasted bun with guacamole and grilled onions. I also got the Goose Island (local brewery) seasonal beer to help wash down it’s spicy goodness. I enjoyed walking around and looking at some of the music memorabilia.

Legends of Chicago

The Man in Black – Johnny Cash

Hard Rock Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato