music, technology & life in pasadena, california

Reality Check

After reading the news that Tower Records is getting ready to sell its assets to the highest bidder, after declaring bankruptcy yet again, I’m getting tired of all the complaints that internet piracy was one of the prime factors in its demise.

Tower Records, at least the three stores I frequented in the 1980s and 1990s here in Los Angeles, suffered from high prices and terrible customer service, except in their classical department. The salespeople just weren’t very knowledgeable and were sometimes belligerent and full of attitude. Customers didn’t stand for it, and in 2000 when the cracks started to show in their retail empire, online stores like Amazon were offering discounts along with an endless “in stock” selection delivered for free right to your door. No driving, no attitude and open 24/7.

Tower Records failed because they couldn’t adjust to the new realities of the marketplace, not because a bunch of kids were downloading tunes in their bedroom.

October 5, 2006 | Link to this entry


Paul Viapiano is a guitarist working in film, television and live performance based in sunny Pasadena, California.

You can email me here.

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