Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Quote of the week: Boy George

7.6.2011 Talking with Dave Pearce on BBC Radio about being a teen in 1970's record shops:
Boy George
"People were passionate about music. It was very different I think, but also because it wasn't everywhere. I think nowadays music's everywhere. You lift up your foot and someone's doing a performance - on every t.v. show, every consumer program. But (back) then you had to kind of look around, you had to have a slightly pioneering spirit to kind of hear new things. Plus you were passionate about hearing new things."
Boy George may as well have been talking about life for my brother and me in Minneapolis record shops in the late 70's. Before MTV happened you really did have to have a passion for finding new music. Disco was fading fast and radio didn't provide many options outside of very safe & schmaltzy AC stuff like Christopher Cross and Dan Fogelberg. I found a lot of my stuff through music magazines and by simply hanging out in record stores, browsing new releases and imports that were coming over from England.  Even if I didn't buy anything it felt good to be in the stores, catching up on what was happening.  I was very much the quiet kid and kept mostly to myself, but I was absolutely in my element at the record store.

I have written about this topic before, but I don't mind being vocal about my love and devotion for record stores. To be honest, I don't know how I would have survived the dreadful pre-adolescent and early teen years without them. I feel sorry for kids born post-internet, since their music reality is so dramatically different and disposable.  In retrospect I can see how the hunt for records really gave me a purpose in my young life.  That "purpose" (whatever it may be) is something that young people need, I believe, in order to navigate through all the turbulence and uncertainty. 

Coming from the old school of hunting for music in brick & mortar stores, long before the advent of the internet, has had a huge impact on how I search for new music today.  I use the internet to scour music blogs and various sites because it's a great way to sample new music, but I still go to the record store 2-3 times a week to find the actual product. I am an active participant in the process because the personal payoff is so great.  As much as the internet has enhanced my record store experience, it could never serve as a replacement for the indie stores.  They are the heart and soul that keeps music alive for all of us.

Support your local indie store today! 

Thanks, as always, for reading.

1 comment:

novajen said...

Gawd, that made me think of my teen years in the country by a town of 600. With no driver's license or cable tv and sheltered, overprotective parents, the radio, Friday Night Videos, and Star Hits were all I had until I moved to metropolitan Mankato:) for college.