An ERA Skips to an end. No static at all. - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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An ERA Skips to an end. No static at all.

It looks like the end of an era as Virgin's big store in Times Square closes this coming Winter. So many of the stores where you could buy records, CDs, Sheet music and used vinyl are gone. I spent hours prowling through the bins looking for better examples of albums that I had worn out [no, the CDs DON'T sound the same].

Add to this the closing of many of the big music stores like some of the Guitar Center stores, ALL of Mars music, much of Sam Ash, cutting back of Manny's and it gets more bleak.

Yes you can just order off the internet but nothing beats heading into Manny's to pick up a mixing board or mic and seeing Eric Clapton in one of the sound rooms testing new pickups for two hours [everyone just kicks back and listens]. Or JayZ's Maybach sliding up to the front door as he and his army come in while he tests mics for the new studio.

You don't get that experience on the internet.

No More Virgins in New York

Soon there will be one less virgin in New York City. And it could be worse than that.

Next February, the Virgin Megastore in Times Square will definitely be shutting its doors. This means no more record store in a neighborhood that used to boast at least two Sam Goody stores, Colony (when it featured its beloved, now lamented back wall of 45 rpm singles) and numerous other chains.

But this isn’t all: the Virgin Megastore in Union Square, which was considered the anchor attraction when it opened more than decade ago, is being marketed by real estate agents. That means it will likely hit the chopping block as soon as enough shoes and ice cream can be found to fill it up. (What we really need is another bank or drugstore — not!) No decision has been made about the remaining stores, but the writing is on the wall.

This is all a result of Virgin’s billionaire balloon traveler Richard Branson quietly leasing the existing 12 megastores to Vornado Realty and Related Properties last year. Branson, who made his billions in the music business, obviously wanted someone else to do his dirty work as the business died. Now the two real estate concerns control the fate of what’s left of the "record" biz.

In Manhattan, the end of the Virgin stores is particularly bitter. Tower Records is gone, so is Sam Goody, Coconuts, FYE and HMV. There are few record stores left and they are specialty-driven: Bleecker Bob’s, House of Oldies, the Golden Disc, Disco Rama, etc. Only J&R Music World down on Park Row still sells CDs and even vinyl, but who knows how long that will last.

According to the New York Times, 80 record stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn have closed since 2003. Soho’s beloved Rocks in Your Head closed in 2006, two years shy of its 30th birthday.

Of course, I sound like an old curmudgeon when I lament the passing of the record store. Idling away hours at such a place must seem like a big waste of time to today’s 20-year-olds. But it was one of the most pleasurable experiences I knew as a youth — a community experience of discovery. And there was nothing like being there to get a new recording as it was released. You’d rush home to play it, and nothing else mattered.

How life has become so much less rich in a short time! Waiting in front of a computer screen for a download is not quite the same thing. It’s just another soulless experience. And maybe that’s why "kids today" don’t care much about music, the artists or paying them for their work. The passion is gone. So are valued New York haunts like CBGB’s, the Lion’s Head, the Cedar Tavern, Chumley’s and so on. At least we still have Starbucks!

On a more serious note: the remaining record labels should be concerned about this occurrence. So should the big-name recording acts. Frank DiLeo, Michael Jackson’s former manager, recently suggested that the labels get together and open a "state" store, one in each big city, to carry their catalogs and new releases. It’s not a bad idea. Otherwise, the record industry will soon have no public face at all.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 09:51 PM
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 10:42 PM
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My kid thinks my reel-2-reel is some sort of taffey pulling mechanism. SAD.

Mercedes Benz, enough said.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 06:23 AM
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That is a shame...it'll be real sad if the Guitar Centers close up. Unfortunately, people use retail stores to do the touchy-feely stuff, get all the info they need, then get pissed that all that means an extra 5% or 10% or whatever on the sticker and buy it on eBay.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 06:27 AM
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It's Sir Richard Branson BTW...

Ross

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by mcbear View Post
It looks like the end of an era as Virgin's big store in Times Square closes this coming Winter. So many of the stores where you could buy records, CDs, Sheet music and used vinyl are gone. I spent hours prowling through the bins looking for better examples of albums that I had worn out [no, the CDs DON'T sound the same].

Add to this the closing of many of the big music stores like some of the Guitar Center stores, ALL of Mars music, much of Sam Ash, cutting back of Manny's and it gets more bleak.

Yes you can just order off the internet but nothing beats heading into Manny's to pick up a mixing board or mic and seeing Eric Clapton in one of the sound rooms testing new pickups for two hours [everyone just kicks back and listens]. Or JayZ's Maybach sliding up to the front door as he and his army come in while he tests mics for the new studio.

You don't get that experience on the internet.
Colony Records ran them out of Times Square.


Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 08:49 AM
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"Starting on October 6, 2006, all Tower Records stores in the United States prior to liquidation held "going out of business" sales before final shutdown on the night of Friday, December 22, 2006."

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 10:09 AM
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I met my first girlfriend in a Tower record store. She was a hottie, well at least for being 15 I thought. I heard she has 7 kids and lives in a trailer.

Mercedes Benz, enough said.
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