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Ah, the Spring '87 quarter. Here in San Francisco, it was sunny and hot, the first year of a 6.5-year drought. On Market near Castro, a young Tower Records was on the second floor. Now, given the culture of the Castro, this antiseptic Tower seemed out of place.
So that was my sophomore year, and if I were to take Muni Metro home, the Castro Street station was along the way. One blazingly sunny Friday afternoon, my classmate and friend Barbara decided to do just that: check out the Castro Tower Records. She and I just felt...weird and out of place. She whispered that we were younger, straighter, smaller, and probably uglier than everyone else there. Barbara grabbed my arm, hid behind my craggy 125-pound body, and said that she was intimidated by all of the "muscle marys." Sorry for that offensive term, but that's what Barbara used, and that's what was common or prevalent back then. Barbara also said that, as a straight girl going through puberty, while she didn't feel threatened, she did feel like a fish out of water.
Barbara also noticed that that Tower had stocks of CDs. It had a tiny bin of records (probably 12" indie or dance singles), and a short wall of cassettes. Moreover, one CD that store seemed to push was Level 42's then new album, Running In The Family. That album included the sophisti-pop nugget, "Lessons In Love." And for a moment, Barbara and I forgot where we were, forgot what day or time it was, forgot that we were directionless underclassmen with bad grades and bad B.O.
I cannot vouch for your local market, but here in the Bay Area, "Lessons In Love" was rarely played, hardly ever heard. But you know what that means. Because it was not widely-played, "Lessons In Love" became an audiophile favorite. For example, I recall hopping across Market, and hearing Eber Electronics playing it in their "exclusive" Sony ES room.
If you do get that Running In The Family CD, you'll find that it is a good recording. Now find yourself a decent and uncolored system, and, kind of like Barbara and yours truly at the Castro Tower, you may lose track of time and place. For me, it's like emerging from the underground station, into the sunny, bright, and warm Castro of Spring '87.
And in Mr. Land's English 4 class, about which subjects did I frequently choose to write? Audio, girls, music, and sports. Sigh, some things just don't change...
-Lummy The Loch Monster
A guy had it on cassette, wnen working 3rd shift would play it .Never bought it but sort of remember it being good. Man thats a while back.
I miss Tower- Lummy.
I miss Tower too. I used to go to the one in Berkeley. They also had a Tower Classics. A friend and I would make a weekend pilgrimage there once a month or so and spend a whole day between the two stores. Difficult to find good music locally any more. Amazon is my best friend now....
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