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Tower Records Founder Russ Solomon Dies While Drinking Whiskey And Watching The Oscars

vinyl record image

Solomon founded Tower Records in 1960

The legendary music entrepreneur reportedly died after making a snarky remark about someone’s wardrobe:

he was giving his opinion of what someone was wearing that he thought was ugly, then asked (his wife) Patti to refill his whiskey

Russ opened his first store in Sacramento, and the Sac Bee has an award-worthy article about him.

I spent many a hard-earned minimum-wage paychecks on cassettes, CDs and concert tickets at the Tower Records store on Sports Arena Boulevard in San Diego.  It was where a teenager who was just figuring out his musical taste could buy music without having to explain his purchase.  Tower Records was also one of the few places you could buy tickets for All-Ages punk and ska shows in San Diego.

I bought tickets for Nirvana’s In Utero tour at Tower Records (video of the full concert below).  It was the first time I ever bought tickets to a “my kind of music” concert with the purpose of actually enjoying the show.  I had recently taken a large boot to the head from a crowd-surfing idiot at a rowdy all-ages ska show which kind of soured my desire to get into the mosh pit again.  I’m glad I made that decision, because it was the last time me or any of my friends would get to see NIrvana perform.

Music was an important part of my teenage years.  I wasn’t the best student, and I wasn’t an athlete, and southern California high schools have a clique system that puts India’s caste system to shame.  I’m not going to say my generation “bonded” over music like Nirvana’s, but at least it was one of the few things we all could agree on.

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