Sunday, March 04, 2012

Diggin' Up Bones - Adventures in Re-tale

Six hours in a rag top Jeep with big Al. The malls of Tulsa needed more music stores and we knew how to open them. So off we rode, tanked up on coffee, armed with Reba, Nanci and Randy, ready to oblige.

In the late ‘80’s, the mall was king. Great, gleaming polished stone, sparkling fountains, painted women with big hair and money everywhere. And Trans World Music was expanding rapidly to claim their share of it. So rapidly that a district manager wasn’t available to set up and oversee the Tulsa openings. Enter the dynamic duo.

Ads had already been placed, dates were set for cattle call applicant speed dating, stores were… not ready. The construction workers were on strike. Not to be beaten, we rescheduled freight, hired staffs we could not yet train, did what we could outside the wrath of the union, and wasted time. The lessons learned were invaluable.

  1. Oklahoma liquor laws are crazy.
  2. Bar-b-qued baloney was on every buffet and it was surprisingly good.
  3. Bar-b-qued everything was on the bigger buffets and it was not all good.
  4. If you slide a 4’ x 8’ piece of glass on its edge along carpet, tempered or not, it will build up enough static electricity to shatter.
  5. Nanci Griffith is one of the most intriguing songwriters of her generation.
  6. Corona with lime, even 3.2, is most refreshing while soaking in a hotel hot tub.
  7. Every Randy Travis song on “Storms Of Life” can be sung to the tune of “Diggin’ Up Bones”… after enough 3.2 Corona.

Stores were opened, we returned to St. Louis, the market changed, the record industry went into spiral, stores closed. But our trip was not a waste. BBQ, Corona, Nanci & Randy are forever. “Diggin' up bones, I'm diggin' up bones… Exhuming things that’s better left alone…”

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