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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Old Punk Memory 49

Yesterday & Today Records was located on Rockville Pike in Rockville, and many a weekend found me either there, at Phantasmagoria Records in Wheaton, MD, or Joe's Record Paradise, where the singer of No Trend worked and surprisingly kept very quiet.

Y&T took up 2 small storefronts in a nondescript row of stores anchored by a bakery outlet. You couldn't see it from the street. Most of the stores faced the building next door. The second store, which was rarely open, was stocked to the rafters with 7" records, and if they say they have over a million in stock I wouldn't doubt it. The prices weren't cheap but it sure wasn't like that highway robber scumfugg Bleeker Bob.

Y&T's higher claim to fame was its place in the burgeoning DC punk scene. When Ian sings "Skip, we love you" at the end of "Stepping Stone" he's referring to Y&T owner Skip Groff, who also produced a number of bands and ran the Limp label (read this interview). Many musicians at one time worked there, including Ian Mackaye, Neck Rollins and Tesco Vee. I thought the employees in general had a bad attitude, but Ian was nice to deal with. Skip showed a wary temperament but you couldn't really blame him. The clientele tended towards the personality disordered.

I didn't know Y&T closed almost 3 years ago today. I now live 2,718.5 or so miles away. I can't blame Skip for giving up retail. Imagine all the headaches and dime store con artists he had to deal with.


Blogger tescosuicide said...

Cool story

7:07 PM

Blogger Robert G. said...

Rude record store employees? Well, I never.

10:28 AM

Blogger Emerson said...

Maybe you should, Robert. As you live in Canada, where everyone is nice, you may not experience this.

I will say that the Tower Records stores seem to be hiring happier people. My gym on the other hand (the chain of them) seems to hire mostly date rapists and suburban junior criminals.

12:03 PM

Blogger Robert G. said...

You jest, I know, but Canadians in general are not nicer, just less confrontational than, say, native NYCer middle-aged punky guys.

Believe me, I have had more than my share of High Fidelity moments in T.O. record shops. My favourite stereotype is the second-hand shop late '30s loser-dick who gives a little laugh as he rings up each of your purchases.

12:22 PM


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