This past week Sam Silverman, aka Sam The Record Man passed away.
Given my previous blog entry, about shopping for music in Chicago, I was saddened by this. I was sad when the store was shut down and torn down.
What pleases me, though, is the fact the neon lights of Sam’s will run again once Ryerson University’s new building is erected.
Sam was quite the force in the Canadian music scene, long before there were Can Con (Canadian Content) laws on the books for the percentage of Canadian music that had to be played on airwaves. He was HUGELY supportive of new artists. For that, my hats of to Sam.
When I was younger, I LOVED hanging around Yonge St between the Eaton Center and northward to Bloor. If I visited Toronto, I *had* to go check out the record shops. I spent hours going to the HMV in the Eaton Center, which is where the Urban Eatery is now located, Sam’s, and the HMV at 333 Yonge St.
My favourite story about Sam’s, which is kind of a sad one is about me having gone to buy Madonna’s box set of The Immaculate Collection, called The Royal Box, and finding out about 5 minutes later – courtesy of CFNY in Toronto – that Pet Shop Boys were coming to town on their Performance Tour! Sadly, I had spent the money I could have used to see Pet Shop Boys.
I wouldn’t get to see Pet Shop Boys live for about 13 years!
Sam’s was kind of a grungy place… Artist names were hand-written on plastic cards… It worked in a city with places like Honest Ed’s. The staff were great and were helpful, they liked music – though they weren’t all that helpful when I wanted to return “The Royal Box”, LOL!
But alas, here in 2012, with the digital download industry, etc… Sam’s is no longer here, HMV is now 2/3rds the size and a shadow of it’s formal self.
Believe me, digital downloads don’t have the value as holding a CD, Tape, DAT, Vinyl or 8-Track in your hands. Besides, you can’t tell who actually worked on an album when you buy the digital download. Isn’t that a tad bit disrespectful to all of the artists that work on an album?
I digress. Thank you for the music, Sam!