Sam the Record Man on Barrington Street in Halifax was based on so many archaic ideas that I’m surprised that it lasted as long as it did. Instead of mindless teenagers roboticly scanning your purchases, you had staff who truly knew their shit and could give all sorts of great advice about music that would be up your alley. And get this: instead of playing pre-selected music through the store speakers, they actually had the nerve to put on whatever they felt like! And their store was so messy, with all the signatures on the wall and the non-branded signs and posters – shouldn’t all record stores look the same? Oh and then there was their REALLY backwards idea of stocking all sorts of hard-to-find records – what kind of stupid way is THAT to run a business? And among their most backward ideas was their support of Halifax music, readily stocking local records and gladly putting posters in their window to promote this city’s best.
Irony aside, I can think of few greater pleasures on a weekend afternoon than spending an hour or two at Sam’s, flicking through the racks to see what sorts of strange gems I could uncover behind the hand-written placecards. The writing was on the wall though. Sam’s prices could rarely keep pace with the national chains as it was, let alone with a whole generation coming of age who think that music comes for free at the touch of a button. Huzzah to the modern world!
So long, Sam. You’ll be missed.
(Condolences also go out to any Capers who might be reading this for the loss of Jasper’s Restuarant. As an adopted Caper myself, I’ve ate at the Sydney institution more times than I can remember, and will miss it as a great place to grab some fries after a night on the town.)