Sunday, August 31, 2014

Peaches Records & Tapes

There was a number of places where Dad bought his albums. One was the Sears store that was downtown, and then the Woolworth's store (which was just a couple of blocks away from that) had a good one. But there was one more that he liked to go to, and I got to go with him there a couple of times.
It was Peaches Records & Tapes, on the corner of 56th and Pacific Avenue, across the corner from Hoagy's Corner, where the bus dropped us off. The first thing you came upon when heading toward the entrance was a square of cement, where some famous recording stars had placed their hands into wet cement (writing their names above them) while making an appearance in town at the store. I remember seeing Billy Joel's name and hand-prints, and some of the guys from the band Boston, among a few others. This was a couple-few years before the Tacoma Dome had been built, and so the major concert action took place in Seattle for the time being, but they managed to stop here in Tacoma along the way.

It was great to go in and see rows and rows of racks of brand-new albums, wrapped in shiny cellophane. Dad would be off, looking for something, and I would be on my tip-toes, flipping through certain sections, seeing albums by the Beatles and Pink Floyd that we didn't have at home, or seeing new ones, like McCartney II. I got to go with him there before, and Dad ended up getting the Rolling Stones' album Emotional Rescue.

On our last visit to the store, just as you came into the entrance, was a pinball game featuring the Rolling Stones. Dad gave me some quarters so I could play this. I was into them at the time, and I thought it was the greatest thing I had ever seen. I liked it when, at the end of a game, it would play the riff to "Jumpin' Jack Flash". If you watch the Stones' 1984 video compilation Video Rewind, there's a quick scene with Mick playing this very pinball game in it.
Dad was looking for a single called "Another One Rides The Bus" by some guy called "Weird Al" Yankovic, whom he'd heard on the Dr. Demento radio show. They didn't have that, but they did have another song he'd heard on the show by a guy named Jef Jaisun, by the name of "Friendly Neighborhood Narco Agent", in a picture sleeve, featuring an uproarious take-off of the Wheaties box, renamed "Weedies", and featuring the Zig-Zag man.

The other thing he bought was by a German electronic band called Kraftwerk, with something called Autobahn. I wasn't sure what this was going to sound like, but I was very impressed with it once we got it home and on the turntable.

Peaches Records wasn't around much longer after that last visit. It closed down and became an auto-parts store (first Schucks, and then O'Reilly). The square that once held the hand-prints of famous recording stars is still there, but has long since been smoothed over with cement. The Hoagy's Corner is also gone, replaced by a small Walgreens store. But I still fondly remember the old place whenever I'm waiting for the bus just outside of it.

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