To say I grew up in a place that was lacking in entertainment is an understatement. Just imagine suburban sprawl and you're there. Streets and streets of houses upon houses. There was one shining light of salvation amongst it all. The local record store. It really was THE cultural spot, people flocked to it like moths drawn to a bright light bulb. Always independent, the shelves were stocked with CDS that ranged from Top 40 mega sellers, down through indy LPs and always featured a section for local artists, of which there were many. It was fantastic to be able to walk in to a store and see your friends CDs right there next to chart giants. I hung out there so often that I got offered a casual spot. For a high schooler, this was about as good as it got. It's still one of my favorite jobs of all time.
The guy running the store, Peter Sadler, was a local icon and a huge Frank Zappa fan. We always had ALL of Zappa's releases (there are loads). After a few good years I quit, went to college, etc etc. It was more than a decade ago now. So imagine my total surprise when I got a phone call last week and it was Peter. He was in New York and wanted to cross paths. Two days later we met in the East Village and I showed him around downtown until eventually we wound up at one of the few remaining record stores left in NY, Bleecker Street Records. We wandered in and browsed around, suddenly I was again hearing the familiar *clack clack clack* of cds being flicked through. I looked up realized I was 17 again. There I was with Peter, perusing LPs, his hands full of Zappa. I got my camera ready and then said his name. He looked at me with instant recognition of how cool the moment was. We were time traveling.