Not surprisingly, news about San Diego ex-City Councilperson (and Reverend) George Stevens death didn't make it to Central Europe three weeks ago, so I didn't find out about it until today. I was waiting for my fish taco and sashimi salad order at Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill—excellent, as always—when I picked up a copy of San Diego Voice and Viewpoint as something to read while I waited. There on the front page was the news of George Steven's funeral. "Wow.", I thought first. "Good riddance", I thought next.
Mr. Stevens, you see, was not only a Baptist preacher and ex-politician, he was also an idiot who regularly played the racist card while he was on the San Diego City Council. And, after he was termed out of office and his successor was indicted for corruption (but died before trial), he tried to run again for city council for his disgraced colleague's (and his old) spot. Luckily, we were spared another dose of religion and racism when he lost the race (no pun intended).
No, I don't mourn for Mr. Stevens, but I do mourn for something else that died while I was on vacation in Europe. Well, actually, it didn't die yet, but will die in mid-December (probably). Tower Records was sold to some entity as part of a bankruptcy auction and their first act as new owners was to announce liquidation of and closure of all their retail locations. Apparently, the Tower Records web site will remain, but that's it.
I will admit that, except for 2 DVDs that I bought today at 30% off, I haven't bought music or movies from Tower Records in many years. But, prior to the internet and prior to my discovery of used CD stores, Tower Records was my place to buy records and cassettes from when I first started buying music in the early 80s until the early 90s when I finally bought a CD player. I didn't buy CDs there that much, though, but I had (and still have) a huge collection of cassettes, most of them bought from Tower. And, even when I couldn't afford to buy music, I still browsed the aisles at Tower for hours, going through the import section, title by title.
In the age of the internet, it was inevitable that Tower would die. Why buy something at Tower for the full MSRP when you could buy it online or used for much, much less? I don't buy music as much as I used to (and I certainly don't buy DRM-saddled music, like that available from iTunes or any other buy-a-song-not-an-album places), but it was nice to know that, if I wanted to, I could browse through a Tower Records and, if not buy their overpriced product, at least find something that I could look up online and buy at a lower cost later.
I will miss Tower Records. I will not miss old George.
6 months ago