This global financial crisis is wreaking havoc on my life. With people losing jobs at an alarming rate and with the collapse of CL Financial and what little money I had in there, one would think that there would be no more bad news to be had at any point in time. Then these bits came
All U.S. Virgin Megastores To Close By June
This one sent my head in a tail spin. WHAT? The “mothership” at Times Square is leaving? WTH!!!!! What am I going to do? My last visit to the mothership and its sister-ship in Union Square was in September 2008. I didn’t stay long in either. Spent probably just a couple hours in each for at least three or four days….Now they are closing? Sigh What am I to do?
The first time I set foot in the Times Square “Mothership” was in 2000 when I was just walking around Times Square and saw the sign. I gasped at the time and I think I was locked into a tractor beam that literally pulled me towards the store. And what did I see?
I saw heaven on earth. Wall to wall CDs on multiple floors, with posters and bargains and gadgets and magazines galore. I have to admit, I think I jizzed a little in my trousers on entering. I had gone to the store alone at the time and had nothing else planned for the day and so I spent the rest of the day until about 7pm (well I did leave for lunch around 3pm but only for 20 minutes). Did I mention that I entered the store around 11am?
When I finally left the store I had in my possession a total of 25 CDs, 12 DVDs and 5 Music related Books. VISA was probably loving me a lot that day. On subsequent days I may have picked up a CD or four depending on what I remembered or some new artist I decided to try out.
It was the first time that I realized that unlike in Trinidad and the rest of the Caribbean, not all CD prices stay the same after being on a shelf for what seems like an eternity. It was at The Virgin Megastore that I was introduced to Rachelle Ferrelle (Individuality Can I Be Me?), fell in love with the Musical Soundtrack to AIDA, and where I bought my Lion King CD (a musical I would later be a part of who knew!). I listened to entire albums while in the store, fell in and out of love with Rolling Stone magazine in that period and bought so many accessories for my Sony Discman (at the time) that a few of the items remained unopened for like six months after my trip. Virgin made me happy. For the first time in my life I was home. I was on CLOUD 9.
Finally there was a place on the planet that understood me and my eclectic tastes and no one to judge me at the checkout counter when I purchased a Broadway CD, along with Rap, alternative and Jazz CDs. A few times, a couple of the reps in the store even suggested some stuff for me and one even told me that I should apply for a job there. I laughed at that one then, but hmmm it still tickles my fancy sometimes.
On my last visit in September, I only purchased 10 CDs from the store (J&R Music World had the other CDs way cheaper than they did) but the love is still there. Still strong. Nothing beats stepping into a store where music fills every floor and and any CD you can possible imagine is available there at your disposal to test. It is sometimes the best way to be introduced to a new artiste or find obscure works by one of your favorites. I just love that store. It is HOME (click heels three times….hahahahahahaha)
Virgin Megastore made me want to own my own music store and just be a source of inspiration and help to anyone who entered my establishment. I still get upset whenever I go into a Music Store in Trinidad and ask about a new CD by a particular artist or even when I go just to browse. The lack of information by these people who “pretend” to like music is astonishing. Just the other day I walked into “Jus CDs” and asked if they had the new Annie Lennox album.
Music Clerk: She aint come out with an album in years boy.
Me: Umm yes she did. She did an album last year called Songs for Mass Destruction and she has a new one out now. Her Greatest hits Collection
Music Clerk: Really, well we doh ha none ah dem dey….(turns to another clerk)….We have any Annie Lennix in de back dey?
Other one: Who dat?
Music : some ole white woman. She real creepy looking and she used to sing with that band the Uriddims
Other one: Oh ho she. All we have is de latest one. Songs for Mass Destruction.
At this point, I was ready to assault these two individuals for their lack of knowledge on anything…but instead I just walked away.
I really gotta get my own store…..
Virgin Megastore Times Square closed it doors on March 31, 2009. R.I.P.
CD retailer Virgin Megastores closing all U.S. locations
www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-30 13:34:46
Like many other magazine titles, the Alpha Media property found the going to rough to continue
Back in 2001, when I used to subscribe to Maxim Magazine (for the articles of course), they sent me a free copy of a spin-off magazine that they were launching. It was called Maxim’s Blender. I can’t recall who was on the cover at the time but I was really happy about a new magazine devoted totally to music unbiased and sponsor free in its take on musicians (Rolling stone sucks at being unbiased- The other day they declared some idiot Jamaican artist to be the New Bob Marley….I swear they need electro-shock therapy).
Anyway I read the magazine and was hooked. Another free issue came the next month and when I didn’t see one the following month I hunted it down. No one in Trinidad was carrying it at the time so I had to import the sucker myself which mean a slight delay in it receipt. I didn’t care though, I was so happy with this magazine.
Then I moved to Germany in late 2002 and was cut off from the magazine for like a year and a half. It was ABSOLUTE torture. I caught an edition or two on a visit to Geneva or to London but it was just basically teasing me that nowhere in Hamburg could I find this mag.
While I mainly buy the magazine for its album review section and its never-ending list compilations, I just love discovering someone new in its pages or reading a review that aptly described how I felt about an album or didn’t. I remember one or two albums(Glitter and Damita Jo) and that they trashed (stop laughing)that I absolutely loved and many that they declared genius that I would never EVER purchase. But hey, it’s all good.
Everytime they compiled a list of the top albums in any year I would always count to see how many out of the 100 or so did I own. I never cracked like over 25 or 30 albums in any one year but I normally had a few of the top ten acts and most of the top twenty. However whenever they went too hardcore rap or Rock on me, then I was lost and would just glance over those lists.
Now it’s gone. I bought the April issue of it 3 weeks ago and now it seems bitter-sweet since I don’t think the magazine should go out like that on such an “ok” issue. We need an issue with a Blender list of the Best Blender lists of songs or albums.
So Cruel World,
What are you going to take from me next?
J&R Music World??
WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME????