sundown, part ii (sadly, the final)

so, i had this fun one planned for today that was all total bullshit since it’s april fool’s day and shit…

…but sadly, this one is all true. no bullshit. i WISH it was bullshit, but it’s not. today is the last day sundance records is open. after thirty-five years the oldest record store in the area (you used to have to say “independent record store” but all the chains are long-since gone save for hasting’s in san marcos, which probably won’t be long for this world) is closing. and sadly, i’m part of the problem. while getting myself going this morning so i could write this i realized that nine of the last ten albums i’ve bought haven’t been albums at all – or even CD’s. they’ve just been downloaded via iTunes…although at least that one of the ten WAS bought at sundance.

still a big part of the problem, i suppose. but when you can go buy the CD for fifteen bucks and get ten tracks, or buy the vinyl for twenty-five and get eight tracks, or get it online and get fifteen tracks, there’s really no competition for me at this point. while i like the warmth of vinyl and the ability to hold a tangible good in my hand versus just having a computer file to give me my musical fix, the bottom line for me right now is the bottom line – the most bang for the buck. i can’t afford to buy things two or three times over (CD for the den, LP for the studio, and back then cassette for the car) like i used to. now i can sit the day before shelf date and drop it to the notebook in seven minutes – more tracks, less travel, less hassle, and cheaper.

this is the problem – but in many ways, i don’t feel it’s a problem. sue me, my fellow purists, but i don’t. and remember i was one of the last people to jump on the CD bandwagon – hell, i even have vinyl new releases as recent at 2009. just sayin’.

so, as we bid farewell to sundance i bring you a photo essay done early in it’s last month of existence, rapidly, with a cheap camera phone, while hammered drunk on everclear (truth – purple ‘ritas from baby a’s for the first time in forever) showing you some of the little secrets of the shop that maybe some of you regulars didn’t even know about. some of these slightly self-serving, but not all of ’em. enjoy – and let the music keep going in your life no matter where you get it. i’m just glad i have a room decorated in sundance form, and predominantly with sundance schwag. i worked there for four years, and shopped there for twenty-nine years, so every house i ever have will have to have one…gee, wonder why i’m single?


the sadness

not gonna lie, this almost brought a tear to my eye…

secret stash, part i

the store has plenty of hidden secrets around it, and here’s a cool one…the scrap of wood hanging over the computer? story is back in the day one of the former employees (who was a current one at the time) went to an in-store at waterloo records, and the singer got upset and smashed his acoustic guitar at the end of it. she picked up a scrap and asked him to sign it. she told the owner of sundance this story, and he didn’t believe it. she brought the piece up to show him but he wasn’t there, so she left it so he could see her proof. when she came in next it was hanging from the ceiling. that happened before i started (in may of 1996) – it was still there yesterday; but the girl DID come in for the last weekend (from houston, with her husband who was also a sundance alumnus) so hopefully she got it back. if not i might try to steal it if i get taken up on my offer to help them clean the place out – but that’s how, amongst all the picture disc that hang from the ceiling there ended up a piece of wood that looks like junk but is actually a signed piece of kurt cobain’s acoustic guitar…

so nice, i got on the wall twice!

i got a reminder i was the bastard stepchild of the sundance family. it was apparent when the couple that ran the joint hugged EVERY staff member (former and current), their spouses, their kids, and regular customers…but i got handshakes. in their defense, i worked there during one of this shittiest times in my life emotionally, and had plenty of rough stuff happen to me while i was there as well. that being said, it HAS been twelve years since i left…figured those wounds would have healed for them? sure as hell have for me, but what can you do? i almost did a third sundance bit just on this, but decided against it. really cool to see all my old buds from there yesterday, wish i coulda stayed the day like they did. enough of the serious, back to the fun:

story behind these? top one is simple – they taped my head to a big fat fucker, but back then i kinda was a big fat fucker, so what can you do? bottom one is a pearl jam ticket from when they tried to do a tour SANS ticketmaster…the first show had to be postponed, so they printed new tickets (you can see the corner of a shop one next to the cooler original one with my name on it). if i do end up helping clean out, this i WILL take back.

the money shot

the most valuable thing in the whole shop? this piece of stationary from the fort worth hilton, circa 1969, signed to “bob” (my former boss) from jimi hendrix, who very rarely signed autographs. next to it (not pictured) is an article stating that just his signature is worth about a grand, and the story is over a decade old. easily the most valuable thing in the shop, hands down. also in the “display” is a piece of his amp (handed to bobby from the man himself while he was on stage) and some personal stuff jimi gave him, as well as a promo five by seven signed my the rest of his band.

secret stash, part ii

so, there’s a door to a back room in the store called “death’s door” so named because all the stuff on the wall, door, and everything around it is all dead celebrities, usually with their name. this one does NOT have the name. why? because even in the age of google this one is hard to find. and when it came out it was considered in such poor taste that nobody would print it and, in fact, people were actually looking for the photographer who took it and wanted to inflict serious bodily hurt to him or her, so nobody (to my knowledge) has ever taken credit for snapping it.

what’s with all the hype? it’s princess diana, dead in the car, after they’d pulled the roof off the benz with the jaws of life and tried to revive her. that’s her lifeless body splayed out in the wreckage. few people know this, but i figured eh, the store’s closed (or will be in hours from when this posts) so i thought i’d show a secret VERY few people know about. wonder how many of you saw it and had no clue?

and we fade to black…

good-bye, old friend. my place of employment for four years, my place of musical salvation for almost thirty. despite other stores coming and going, and personal beefs with the owners from time to time (predominantly while i worked there) you were always a musical constant we never thought we’d see go away. you will be missed – for us locals, today is the true day the music (store) dies…