The first time I lost a record store it was inconceivable. A teenager I was stunned and personally wounded; how could anyone see fit to remove my Sam Goody? The record store did not have the largest selection but was close by to my home. And for a few of my teenage years, it was where I spent my allowance on CDs.
I delighted in the rhythmic clinking of the plastic holders as I searched for musical gold. Most weeks I had my eye on the full album of a band from a popular track the radio. Other times I took to the sage-like wisdom of the clerk who gave me the occasional sampler. When he suggested Chuck Berry, I was forever changed, returning the next week to be introduced to Otis Redding. Now the store is now long gone even the mall that contained it has transformed, but Chuck and Otis have never left my side.
After my first record store closing music stores would pop up be visited a few times and then flatline. I got used to the ebb and flow of these places, enjoying them while they survived but never again surprised when that ceased to be the case. Until now.
Easy Street in Queen Anne was, as people like to say, an institution. It was large, comfortable, and intrinsically Seattle. It was part of the route I took my visiting friends on after the monorail to look up at the Needle after hearing some songs. I went out of my way to buy CDs at Easy Street because it was my music store. There were listening stations made from old phone booths, a DJ area, a place for live performances huge glossed counters, framed posters signed by legendary local bands. Almost everyone I know owns one piece of Easy Street clothing. And I could swear I spotted an Easy Street sticker when I recently watched the movie “Singles” for the first time.
Isaac Hayes – “Walk on By”
Eve 6 – “Inside Out”. (This is a song all my friends can recite word for word – can you?).
Perry Como with his version of “Papa Loves Mambo”
The Cure – “Pictures of You”. (At times like these there is always The Cure).
I bought some CDs but it wasn’t enough. Too old to publicly cry over a store I headed home to seek comfort in my music.