My subject line is a line from the Yo Gabba Gabba good-bye song one of my patients loves so very much that I have it memorized. I bought it from Kristian and Steve. I keep calling Steve the Boss. They actually are partners, not in the "when will everyone keep their nose out of other peoples bedrooms" kind of partner, but in the "complete respect, friendship and shared profits" kind of partner way. Together, they own and run the best music store I have been in since the one where a young (and cute)hippie musician played me A certain Crimson King and enchanted me away from a strictly blues, folk (and closet opera) fanatic into a prog rock appreciator. That music store became my only music source for two decades. The courtship of that mind-expanding, freedom filled summer became the relationship bar that no other music store could ever reach again, until this year.
The store in California (whose name I never did and still don’t remember but I can still drive there/hitch there with my eyes closed) was my last music store relationship. We broke up as my family and career expanded, it had always been a long distance liason, and now time constraints and the ready availability of free and cheap vinyl music just begging me to use it, made me forget my first love.
I revisited my first love on a pilgrimage with friends up the Pacific Coast Highway in 2005.The shop is old, vintage, and the owner, still cute and shorter than I remember is not so young either. But it was still there, on the corner of anyones’s way into San Francisco the last time I drove Route 1; and I still left with two new CD’s of music I didn’t know existed till I entered and couldn’t live without once I had. I also left with his business card and that achy bitter sweet taste of memories and a promise of lunch we never did.. I have spent the last couple decades of my life looking for that same kind of experience again, that first love rush of buying music from people who know music and talk music and embrace me with music like a family reunion hug..
Hoodlums came into my life like must true loves, kind of by accident. I may love music but I also love books. And my sons. Not necessarily in that order, although they may tell you it is. My youngest son lives in Tempe, AZ. And there was an apartment available in the same complex as he and his lady. I took it because the price was excellent and I liked being near my son. I also knew nearby was an Independent Bookstore I had frequented named "Changing Hands". They often hosted authors I appreciated like "James Owen" or "Christopher Moore", and even facilitated my addictive print habit by buying back books that I had completed for credit towards new books. There was a Trader Joe’s in the strip mall too. That actually is how I found Hoodlums
I was walking with my new book purchase clutched close to my chest, off to buy some veggie sushi and a dark beer to go home and recover from the move I had just completed. Wherever I walk, I look in windows. And there it was, after the pub, a record store.
I certainly did not know how much this store would come to mean to me, at first glance it was attractively indie and the guy behind the counter was playing some kick-ass blues, but there was nothing to tell me that this would not be just one more browse and buy encounter. I went inside and threw my challenge glove upon the counter. I had a friend who used to play hair rock now plays classical guitar and could this guy recommend a good birthday present for him..three CD’s (which I gave and own now) and some conversation later I exited that store knowing that love really can happen twice in a lifetime.
I am a little sad today because I am moving away, now. Not too far away to still go there a couple times a month but it is no longer walking distance from my home. I visited Hoodlums as a break from cleaning that apartment today (another son has a house I am renting in San Tan Valley but that is a different non-blog worthy story) and left again with two CD’s I didn’t know existed and now cannot live without and will be critical parts of my Nanowriting soundtrack. Music and words are integrally connected for me.
Today my taste in music is as eclectic as everything else I do or own, but now as then, I only have one record store.