I got this Facebook e-mail message from my first manager at the record store who, I guess, hasn’t read my numerous status messages, and wanted to know how things were going at Big Media Conglomerate. I should tell you that he actually still works in music retail! Yes, it exists! When I started doing a report at work tracking the major music chains and their sales of our titles ten years ago, there were ten or twelve companies and at least half sold music primarily. Now, there are six total and unless you count iTunes, only one is a “record store.” He works there as a district manager. I was just thrilled to find that out when we first became FB friends.
Anyway, when I told him I was leaving, he wrote me back the following:
I am glad to have been a part of [your time in the music business]. I remember when [redacted, my ex with whom I was still tight and in fact, still am] said to me, oh so many years ago, that he had a friend that wanted a job. How could I say, “no” – he was a great employee and if he said that you would be perfect for the store, I had to get you on board. You were one of the best people that I’ve worked with over my years in the biz and wherever you land in the future you’ll be successful.
God, must he have worked with some losers! I kid. I’m actually posting this because, in thinking about it, I realize that this decision he made that began my career was at the end of August, 1987. Twenty-two years later to the week, I’m out.
I still haven’t really absorbed it.
I worked at this label when this album came out. Just after it did, they fired a whole slew of people, including the band’s product manager who had worked so hard on it. The first time I heard this song after that happened, I cried. At my current label, I hung a promotional disco ball from that album in my office. I took it home tonight (on the subway!).
The party’s over… but it’s OK. You have to go home some time.
Title comes from:
U2 – Gone
I dedicate it to everyone I’ve ever worked with who left the music business, voluntarily or otherwise.