??!! Classic Overheard at the Record Store
posted by January 30 at 10:22 AMon
I witnessed the following scene while running some errands at Sonic Boom in Fremont:
An older, 50 to 60ish gentlemen enters the store and loudly asks, “Do you have any Kenny G?”
A record-store employee checks through the stock via computer and (clearly trying to be polite) answers, “No, not right now. I’m sorry.”
The older gentleman walks down the aisle and starts skimming through some CDs before he turns to another employee and asks, “Which Rush album is the most musical?”
The employee clearly has no idea how to respond (although he almost laughs), overcome by the sheer nonsense of the statement. He (the record store employee) tries to offer a bit more information on which are the most technically impressive and accomplished of Rush’s discography while the old man tries to clarify what he meant by “musical.” The old man offers helpful descriptors like “more orchestrated” and “you know.”
After perusing the aisles quietly again, the old man asks, “Is this where the Billy Joel is at? He’s really good that Billy Joel.” An employee then shows him the proper place to find Billy Joel’s Glass Houses.
Now, it seems too clichéd to have really happened. This scenario with the clueless old man and the record-store hipster is the sort of thing you see in bad teen movies where one of the main characters (who never gets laid) is all edgy and into underground music and has to deal with this sort of zany crap all the time. It’s also the perfect setup for another sort of well-tread scene: the know-it-all record-store employee snarkily dismissing the tastes and ignorance of a clueles customer whose tastes and values are impugned as the equivalent of eating shit straight out of the toilet.
But throughout this genre exercise, the guys at Sonic Boom attempted to be as respectful of the man’s questions and questionable taste, even if at times they couldn’t disguise their confusion with the situation. The employees I talked to thought the guy couldn’t be real—that he had to be a secret shopper or something. Maybe a performance artist? The most likely explanation is that this was just a clueless old man and some clichés are clichés for a reason.
Unfortunately, I didn’t see which Rush album the old man ended up buying.