The lure of record stores was pretty strong during that industry’s glory days, and no chain record store was held in higher esteem than Tower Records. Founded by Russ Solomon in Sacramento in 1960, the chain would spread to major cities all over the country (Columbus and Bay in San Francisco, Sunset Blvd. In LA, and the two Manhattan locations were the chain’s most revered U.S. addresses), and eventually all over the world. Before the stores were liquidated in 2006, Tower had established itself as a major retailer, with consumer recognition of its logo among the top 20 in all of retailing.
Paul Morris turned me on to a terrific video of the Tower/Sunset store in 1971. In its nearly 11 minutes, you will see employees floor stacking albums, ringing up customers while dangling smokes from their lips, $2.77 new releases, and great “hippie” culture. If you ever wanted to revisit the prime time of vinyl (there was nothing quite like visiting Tower on Friday night!), you will really dig this…
Click here to view it
A mid-2000’s interview with Tower Records founder Russ Solomon, in which he talks about downloading music as having a “fad element” and that “people want objects”
A John Lennon radio ad for Tower Records/Sunset