Monday, November 30, 2015

All Things Must Pass, The Rise and Fall of Tower Records

"No Music, No Life"

Over the weekend, we took a field trip to watch All Things Must Pass, a documentary about the rise and fall of Tower Records. It is a fantastic, well made documentary about the phenomenon that became an iconic music store, and a very strong directorial debut by Colin Hanks. It spoke to something in me on a different level than just interest in the story. It felt incredibly nostalgic in a way that I don't think future generations will be able to understand. 
I was born in the 80's, I did not grow up in them. And what's more, I was not born in this country, and didn't actually make the move until the early 90's. Even then I had a slightly different upbringing until my family adjusted to their new cultural surroundings. There are a lot of things I missed when they were new and only learned about much later. But one thing I will always remember is getting my first bit of freedom as a young adult and using it to make regular trips to Haight Street to buy CDs at Amoeba. Music was the first thing I collected and there was an endless sea of genres and releases, always something to add to the collection. Although I could not frequent Tower as often as I'd liked, it was too far from me, I could easily relate to the the people who made Tower Records what it was. 

All Things Must Pass is as much about a subsulture and a breed of person as it is about a record store chain. There is also a very universal theme of losing your once second home due to "the times" shifting away from the simplicity of the past. One of the most difficult things for me to process about the film was the feeling that this breed is being squashed and pushed out to make room for the future when people just seemed happier with the past. 

Since the filming of All Things Must Pass, there has been a resurgence of vinyl production and collection, so things may be on their way to something new again, but we'll just have to wait and see. 
One thing's for sure, you should go see this film when you get the chance! And if you're near the bay area, you're in luck because the Roxie Theatre will be showing it all week. Tonight would be a great night to make it though, because it will be the only night to feature Stan Goman, former COO of the company, in person after the screening. Shows will be at 7pm until Thursday and you can get tickets early at the Roxie's site

Hope you guys can make it! 

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