Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I'm a big Sam The Record Man fan. I've done the Boxing Day line-up thing every year since 1982, even doing it en route to a funeral. I have a fine collection of Rain Cheques to prove it. I would pop in every Saturday night after a Leafs game, in-between classes at Ryerson, and basically just meander through the stacks whenever I was downtown.

Perhaps my most memorable moment was on my wedding day when I managed to get our photographer to shoot a roll of pictures outside the store. I wanted to go inside but my freshly-betrothed missus wasn't having any of that. Oh like the floors were THAT dirty!

I was saddened to see chain dry up one-store-at-a-time. The uniqueness of the store at Eglinton Square, with their empty cassette cases and the neighbourly store at Bloor and Jane had their own special charm. Even the bad ideas like the relocated store beside the Tivoli Theatre in Hamilton and the store they tried to run at Yonge and Eglinton made for interesting perusing.

To me, it's not just 'the songs', although I have downloaded a tune or twelve off the net, it's about the purchasing of the piece of plastic. New or used, it doesn't matter. The first record I remember buying at Sam's (at least after I started buying records in earnest) was the 45 of "Athena" by The Who. The last one was the CD reissue of Warren Zevon's "Stand In The Fire".

Now, with the end in sight, I guess it's time to raid the joint like it's 2001 all over again.

Photos taken by Neil Prime-Coote on July 22, 2000 outside 347 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario.

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