Friday, April 15, 2011


All of my record store memories come from my days working at Tower Records. I wasn't really into music when I started working at Tower Records in 1982. I was trying to put myself through college, when a guy in one of my classes told me that Tower Records was hiring girls. I took the prerequisite music test (basic alphabetizing, matching artist to genre, etc.) and was hired.

Worked my way up from clerk to manager.

When I started, cassettes took up about 1/3 of the floor space, and the vinyl hits were stacked on the floor. I remember ordering The Police's Synchronicity album for 300 LPs and 90 cassettes, but after a free lunch with A&M, and a few joints later, our order increased to 500 LPs and 120 cassettes. Then, when the shipment came in, I remember tearing thru the boxes looking for one of the limited black & white cover Lps, and ended up with one of the super limited Lps with the brown & white cover.

When we got in our first orders for CDs, it was the Led Zeppelin catalog - we ordered 100 of each of them - all in the longboxes.

Five great years at Tower Records during the 80's, before Soundscan, when payola for Billboard reports was the norm, and free goods and cleans flowed like cheap wine.

I got my first CD player for reporting Bon Jovi/Slippery When Wet at #1 (when it was really at #3).

My first free concert was Hall & Oates.

Thanks to all the record labels that sent me to many, many free concerts during my five years at Tower.

And then there were the landmark albums that really had an impact on me, in one way or another: The Cure/Boys Don't Cry, Run DMC, Madness/One Step Beyond, R.E.M./Murmer, Roxy Music/Avalon and X/Wild Gift.

The rest is, drugs, and rock & roll...not necessarily in that order. 25+ years later......I'm still selling music to the masses.
-Carol Puehlhorn

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