All Things Must Pass

Wow, it’s been a while. Where have I been?  I haven’t written since my Star Wars post. Well, we moved shortly after that. So most of my free time has been spent unpacking and trying to figure out which box has which things in it.  Turns out, I’m not so good at the labeling of boxes.

The rest of my time has been spent taking care of my youngest daughter.  She hates preschool.  Screams for anywhere from 5-60 minutes. So we decided to pull her out for the year and try again in the fall. I am constantly exhausted. She has 100% energy at all times.  We just got gone with her gymnastics class and are now waiting to pick up her sister at kindergarten. And she is full of energy. She HAS to be moving.  So I choose to go to bed when I can.  (Note:  This was written in the morning.  Posted at night.  She doesn’t have kindergarten at night time.)

But I need to get back into this. What better way than a documentary about a transcendent company that started right here in Sacramento, California!!  All Things Must Pass is a film about the legendary Tower Records and its rise to dominance and its even faster fall to bankruptcy.  Growing up in my part of the greater Sacramento area, there were two places to get music. Dimple Records, and Tower Records.

I’ve mentioned before how much Dimple means to me as the place I first heard and fell in love with Reel Big Fish. But Tower was the big time. I remember it was where people would camp out for concert tickets (before the internet and Ticketmaster, you actually had to to get tickets to things you young a**holes).  I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Not that I would ever be allowed to go sit there all night for concert tickets, but still cool.

ATMP was directed by Colin Hanks, who, as a native Sacramentan, has a unique perspective on the subject. And did an amazing job with this film. There is no narration. The movie flows along simply with stories from the owner, to former employees, to major stars Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, and Dave Grohl.

Started in the ’60s, Tower was opened in a drug store in downtown Sacramento.  After it moved to it’s main location, it spread across the world. Once music changed from records, to CD’s, to digital, it just wasn’t necessary to have actual stores anymore. The need to go into a store for music just isn’t there. Especially when it’s so much cheaper to get it on Amazon or ITunes (or stealing it free online).

If you’ve never been to a Tower, or have never spent money in an actual store buying music (Best Buy, Target, and stores like that absolutely do not count), you probably won’t get this movie or find it as riveting as I did. Maybe it was because I was so proud of this Sacramento institution that became a global phenomenon. The end of the movie and the downfall was heartbreaking and did bring me to tears. But I think it could be a nostalgia thing about a place I spent a lot of time in my youth. Either way, this film is brilliant and anyone who wants a look at what music was like and what buying music was like for damn near 40 years should definitely see this movie. Then come visit Sacramento and go to Tower Theater!  It is still here, but don’t come looking for Tower Records.  It, like a number of other things in this town have come and gone.


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