If Rivers Cuomo’s thoughts on the future of music retail would make most shop owners wince (“I guess I’ve already forgotten about the record store”), the Weezer frontman and avid iTunes customer admittedly owes a massive debt to one store in particular: Tower Sunset.
When hired as a clerk in 1990, he was a devout metalhead who knew little about music. But his tastes expanded radically during the subsequent year-and-a-half—he even, believe it or not, became a world music buyer.
“Working there was my crash course in music,” he says. “That’s where I first heard Nirvana, the Pixies, Sonic Youth, Pet Sounds. I remember the moment [I heard Nirvana’s Sliver/Dive,/i>] ... and it totally blew my mind.
“Through the years, when young musicians have asked me, ‘What’s some advice you can give me?’ very often I told them, ‘Get a job at a record store’ because, for me, that was such a great education in music. Without having worked at Tower, I don’t know how I would have moved beyond just listening to heavy metal, and Weezer definitely would have never existed, at least not in the form it exists.”