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Tower Records Documentary: Help Light The Music Legacy

Colin Hanks explains how the story of Russ Solomon and the Tower Records music-culture hub can be properly told – with your help.

 

With the help of an ever-evolving social media network, actor/producer/director Colin Hanks is looking to tell the story of the rise and fall of Tower Records, the monumental music retailer that sadly closed its doors in 2006. All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records documents the unprecedented economic and cultural impact the music retailer and its creator Russ Solomon had on the music industry, as well as the countless people who fueled it as fans of the art.   

 

From a cultural standpoint, Tower Records was far more than a record store; the place had a monumental impact on millions. It was an escape, a place to meet your friends, or make new ones through a shared common love of music, literature and all things cultural. Yet, sadly, in 2004 the company filed for bankruptcy and by the end of 2006, Russ Solomon's Tower Records had shut the doors to nearly every one of its worldwide outlets.  

 

It's time to tell the story of the end of an incredible era in music history. 

Hanks' team's goal is for the project to be a communal process, which means you can be a part of it! Colin hopes to raise $50,000 by July 15th to help finish production of the film, and has set up a Kickstarter page to do it. For your help, Colin is offering a variety of incentive gifts: $5 will earn you a “Thank You” mention in the film’s credits, or, for more generous help, t-shirts, signed DVDs, limited edition vinyl records, and premiere tickets are offered.

 

At publishing time, far more than half of the $50,000 goal had been raised by over 535 backers, with the Kickstarter collective project underway a scant 48 hours.  

 

In a CraveOnline exclusive, Hanks explained his motivations for the documentary, as well as the unique spirit behind the store: "This project started out simply as a way of discussing the simple history of Tower: How it started, who started it, how it grew, and eventually how it all ended.  Of course, there would be crazy stories of in-store appearances and what not. But as things  progressed we realized that the people who worked for Tower, literally thousands of people, continue to have this deep connection to this company. It might have been retail, but it didn’t feel like it. For many people who worked at Tower, this was their Youth, their college years, their first, and in some cases only job. And the history of the company, what started off as this small little company, became more and more interesting."

 

I remember the celebrated ritual midnight album release parties at Tower Records in San Diego a lifetime ago, browsing through a seemingly endless array of music mags & rags that you couldn't find anywhere else and, of course, all those hours digging through the album racks with friends. A variation on every character from High Fidelity was a fixture behind the register, and the store was constantly brimming with fascinating faces. Discovering that it had come to an end was true musical heartache.

 

Colin shared his own memories of the store: "I remember going to Tower and buying my first batch of CD’s, back when they used to come in the long cardboard boxes.  I Used to take those and put them up on my wall as little mini posters. Primus, Chili Peppers, Nirvana… These were not the first CD’s I ever bought, but they were the first ones that became important to me. They were the first ones that I sought out as something I really wanted, something I HAD to have. Not just music to listen to but music that would become part of my identity, as a young 7th grader…"

 

We've all been there. Now let's help tell the story. Donate at the Tower Records Kickstarter page!

 

You can also follow the project on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Video Photos Courtesy of: Karen Salomon

 

Video Music Courtesy of: Three Eighty Three's and La Strada

 

"All Things Must Pass" by George Harrison