During my back half of high school and first year of college in the late-80s, I worked at a strip-mall store called Budget Tapes and Records in Bismarck and Fargo, North Dakota. It didn’t pay much, but was definitely one of the coolest jobs around. When I started, CDs were still sold in “long boxes” and beta videos and vinyl were on the way out. And yes, we also sold tobacco accessories for use with tobacco and only tobacco. Tobacco.
So imagine my surprise when I was flipping through an old Rolling Stone magazine and found a full page ad for an earlier version of Budget Tapes and Records. Full page. Rolling Stone magazine. Daaaaaaamn. Also, it appears they were way cooler back then.
Note: Even though the Eighties-era Bismarck and Fargo stores weren’t as cool as the 1971 stores, they were still much cooler than the Williston, North Dakota store. Yeesh.
Another note: Hey! My old boss (and his brother) made it into Billboard magazine back in the day!
Whew. Lots of memories coming back from this gig, few of which I’d share here. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
I remember the music section of Osco Drug in Kirkwood Mall back when I was a kid. All the audio cassettes were in a sealed wall on one side of an aisle, and the wall of cassettes were covered by a giant plexiglass cover with a bunch of round holes in it. Additionally, each cassette was in an extra security case. You could look through the plexiglass/holes and look at all the cassette spines for a cassette you wanted, then reach in through one of the holes and pull it out of the wall. The holes were big enough for your hand to go in, but not big enough to pull your hand out along with the cassette in its security case. So what you had to do was drop the cassette to the bottom (often cracking the cover), where there was a narrow conveyor belt between the wall and plexiglass. Then you had to get an employee to come over and activate the conveyor belt to move the cassette to the side where the employee could access it, remove the security case and then sell the cassette to you.
Some people get nostalgic for the past, but that was pretty effed up.
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