M A S S A P E Q U A
1 9 9 3 - 2 0 0 6
Tower Records of Massapequa closed its doors once and for all yesterday.
It is difficult to explain what this means to me. The people who worked there know what I mean. As Dan wrote in his comments on the topic, "Being surrounded by music for nine hours a day (probably more like seven and three-quarters, as punctuality has never been my strong suit) provided a sense of excitement similar to what a child feels when he's let loose in Toys R' Us. Because in essence, that's what Tower Records really was: an endless toy store for those that lived and breathed for music."
There were many things that happened while I worked at Tower and many anecdotes I can tell. Some I have related here before. Others will come in the fullness of time. But at the moment, I am not thinking about the fun we had or the shit we pulled, but rather that sense of belonging that I always felt at that store. Tower Massapequa was a place where most of the people that worked there did so because they loved music. It certainly wasn't the money, I can tell you that, although the promos and the free tickets (and first dibs at the TicketMaster as well - hell-o 8th row seats for the Rolling Stones at the Meadowlands) went a long way towards tempering that. While working at Tower, my musical tastes expanded into areas they never had before, and my existing inclinations better focused.
Yes, the store was only a backdrop and what made that experience so unique and enjoyable were the people who work there, but it took that backdrop for those people to come together. In many ways it was a home away from home with its own family... it was, to date, the only job I unreservedly looked forward to going to every day.
When the hour grew late - very late, as we were open until midnight - we would make announcements on the loudspeaker that the store was about to close and to bring any merchandise up to the front to be paid for. My version, geared more towards getting people the hell out of the store than reminding everybody of our store hours, went a little bit more like this:
But this morning, no new Tower rose. Nor will it tomorrow. Nor ever again.
ATTENTION TOWER SHOPPERSTower Records will self-destruct in approximately ten minutes. Please bring all of your final purchases up to the main rock register. A new Tower Records will spring from the ashes of the old at 9:00 AM for your shopping pleasures. You have ten minutes to reach minimum safe distance.
It was only a place, but it was a place like no other.