Thursday, September 10, 2009

All You Need Is Love (and about a hundred more Mono boxes)

Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away. Why? Because the greatest rock band ever had a day all about them. And the public let us know in no uncertain terms that this was exactly what they needed. When I got to the store there was already a line of about twenty people waiting. They had that giddy appearance of 15 year olds waiting in line for their first concert. When we opened at 10:00 I stood at the front door and greeted a bunch of old and new friends who were there to make sure they would get the Mono box. We were sold out of it by 10:15. Then, throughout the day, wave after wave of true believers came in and bought and bought and bought. I honestly thought we had brought in enough for a month’s supply on some titles and we sold at least 80% of it in one day.

At 3:00 the great people from Listen Up started setting up the mammoth McIntosh and B&W system we would use to present the music. At around 5:30 a crowd started to build in the store. Lots of old faces, everyone had that glow - could it have been the free booze or the delicious cupcakes? That helped, but there was no doubt that people wanted to be part of something that the so-called online community doesn’t now or ever provide - a real connection between people - their bodies, their smiles, their Beatles memorabilia (some people brought some excellent stuff). There is also the very real factor of hearing real music played in an open room with other like-minded people. What do they call that? Oh yeah - fun!

After we listened to the comparison disc that made it clear that these new remasters were really head and shoulders above the old ones, and gave all the prizes for best memorabilia - the first place winner was a woman who brought some amazing candid shots of The Beatles in London in 1969 that she took herself on a lark while on vacation - people did not want to leave. Listen Up had set up a big screen TV and people played the new Beatles Rock Star video game, but mostly they stood around and talked about their love of the Beatles, and their experiences hearing them and living with them as part of their lives all these years. It was bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter. The Beatles music remains so vital and defining for so many of us, and this event was in many ways a lovely confirmation of that.

For Twist and Shout it was really great. In spite of the fact that we essentially gave away all our profit on this big opportunity, we came out the big winners. I was on the radio and TV in the morning and afternoon, and countless customers got to connect to something very primal. With art and culture, sometimes you gotta be there and actually put your hands on something so you know it’s real. As I suspected: it’s real.


Anonymous said...

It was a great evening! Thanks so much for putting it on! I was born too late to be around when the band was together, so it's great to talk to people who were actually there. Beatles forever!

Anonymous said...

The Rutles said it best: All you need is cash

Ted said...

It's real's really real!

Thanks so much, Paul!