On Sunday afternoon I did something I hadn’t done in years. I cruised down the isles of my favorite used record/CD store. This is when it hit me; I hadn’t hung out at “my” music store in millennia.
The morning host of satellite radio’s GLBT channel informed me last week that the weekend fell on “Record Store Day.” This is a day to celebrate independent record stores across the world. On this day and age, with the huge conglomerate music stores long vaporized, we seem to have only these smart and passionate, independent music stores. This niche market is the only choice other than the streamlined online purchasing of your favorite tunes.
As I flipped through the racks of aging CDs I couldn’t help thinking how long it had been since I had graced a music store. I became an iTunes zombie immediately after a birthday present of my first iPod, way back in 2004. Since then, the plastic jewels cases filled with artist’s presentations have vanished from my world. The convenience of clicking “Buy” took away this simple, yet religious act of digging through the racks of albums, making me forget how the act was incredibly cathartic.
Standing in the musty air of music’s ancient temple, I thought back to my first album. The very first record I ever bought was Cory Hart’s second album, Boy in the Box. I had just moved to Houston, Texas and discovered a record store in Houston’s Galleria Mall. The attempts to hide the album from my Mom led to her think it was satanic “devil worship” music. Little did she know, the attempt to hide album was because I was desperately in love with Cory Hart and was convinced the 3rd track “Never Surrender” was written just for me. Never Surrender was Cory’s attempt to convince me that it was okay to be gay. That I should never surrender; soon I would be out on my own with the freedoms that would go along with being an adult.
Of course, that was not the case. Cory was just a Canadian musician, who still to this day produces music with his wife. He will never know how he got me through my freshmen year of high school. Yet, discovering a scratched-up jewel case with his sneer looking back at me, I asked him. Does that even matter? He gave me my theme song, not just for a Polo and acne covered freshman, but really for life.
I sat in my bedroom last night, listening again to Cory Hart’s album.