(EDITOR’S NOTE : Patrick and I were having a huge argument via IM the other day over which was our nation’s best fake holiday. He argued it was Arbor Day. I insisted it was Take Your Anaconda To Work Day. Well, it turns out WE WERE BOTH WRONG. Newcomers to the Matador blog have no doubt noticed our somewhat intense fixation with all things music retailing, but have you ever sat up late at night and wondered exactly where that obsession began? No? Really? It’s of no interest to you whatsoever? Fine. It’ll be a long time before I share something this personal again. And if I make the mistake of doing so, you can bet I won’t republish it 4 years later. – GC)
Much has been written about Record Store Day, and while I’m loathe to get all gushy in public, even for a significant cause such as this, it might be an appropriate time to add a very personal note.
Every now and then, Chris and myself are asked by young persons or hungry-4-facts journalists just how we got our respective starts in the music industry. Chris, as you all know, was the first helmsman to be banned from the America’s Cup for using performance enhancing drugs. His subsequent tell-all, ‘Juiced : On A Boat’, while critically panned, was a huge best-seller in 1989. Along with receiving rightful credit for the widesweeping changes-to-come in competitive sailing, Chris used the book’s profits to finance Matador’s earliest recordings.
My own roots are a tad less spectacular. For one crazy summer, I worked in my hometown record store. It wasn’t as big or as successful as Music Town, but it really had a terrific vibe. My boss, Joe Reeves (above, right), was a really inspiring kind of guy. I hear he’s moved on to things other than music, but I’ll always remember the way he kept the store alive, much the way I’ll always remember all the great music I was turned onto by the rest of the staff. Toad The Wet Sprocket. Better Than Ezra….ok, actually, I can’t remember any others. But surely that’s enough.
It was an awesome work environment and we’ve done everything possible to try and recall the ethos of that cool indie shop and try to apply it to the important work we do every day at Matador Records and Filmworks. I even wanted to borrow the store’s old slogan, “We’re Selling Music, But We’re Not Selling Out”, but Patrick argued it was kind of a dumb cliche. I dunno. I guess you had to be there. That’s the difference between me and him. I still remember what it was like to hear Toad The Wet Sprocket for the first time.
Anyhow, enjoy Record Store Day. And if you know of any cities or states where this occasion isn’t being marked, please let us know and we’ll make sure U2 never play there again.