The Insufferable Record Store Customer. Are You One of These?

If you grew up in Toronto in the 80s and early 90s, you may have shopped for music at the Record Peddlar on College across the street from Maple Leaf Gardens. It could be a harrowing experience. After browsing through the racks and selecting your purchases, you had to deal with being judged by the guy at the cash. As he (and it was always a he) flipped through your selections, the conversation went something like this.

Him: “Crap. Crap. Crap. Not bad. Crap. Good. Crap. Crap. Crap.  Still want this shit?”

You: “Um…”

The goal became not to buy the music you wanted but to get the approval of the dude at behind the counter. It was the definition of an abusive relationship.

So what was this guy’s problem?  Why was he such a prick?  Probably because after many years of idiot customers, he was just fighting back. PTSD, maybe.

I was reminded of my Record Peddler experiences by this article entitled “How Your Pretentious Local Record Store Asshole Got That Way.” I totally get it now.



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “The Insufferable Record Store Customer. Are You One of These?

  • February 26, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    My favourite was the guy on the second floor at Sams. He covered the vocal section (or oldies as most would think of it) If you asked if he had something or where something was he might point, or he could just say ‘yes’ and not tell you where to find it – all without ever looking at you.

    If you asked a stupid or common question he would just sigh, and ignore you.
    I liked hanging around the desk just to hear and see the show.

  • February 27, 2015 at 7:59 pm


    Glad to hear we provided a memorable experience! You just don’t get the same warm and fuzzy feeling at itunes,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.