Russ Solomon, the founder of Tower Records, isn’t going to let bankruptcy, liquidation, and a very soft album-sales market get him down. Instead, he’s preparing to open a record store in a site that housed a Tower for 40 years:
The 81-year-old founder of Tower Records will open a record store in the old Tower building on Broadway at 16th Street in Sacramento, said Andy Gianulias, a member of the family that owns the property. Solomon signed a lease Thursday, Gianulias said.
The building was a Tower store for 40 years, closing when the legendary chain went out of business in late December, and sits across the street from the site where Solomon began selling records in 1941. Recently someone hoisted a banner on the building that reads, “Thanks Russ, you’re still our hero.”
The Tower patriarch raised the prospect of opening a small record store chain in October, a week after his beloved company was sold to a liquidating firm in a bankruptcy auction. He said he still thought there was a future for brick-and-mortar music retailing, even though the business has been written off by many experts as a dinosaur of the Internet era.
“I asked Russ, ‘Why are you doing this at your age?’ ” Gianulias said. “He said, ‘I believe in this.’”
The store–tentatively called Resurrection Records–is rumored to open in April; Solomon has signed a five-year lease on the site. We’re wondering if, by some stroke of luck, the store will do well; the downscaling in scope may allow the store’s buyers to calibrate inventory to the community’s demands, and the area has been able to support one local mini-chain, Dimple Records; honestly, it’s hard not to root for Solomon here, given that the alternative outcome for the site would have involved staging wrestler run-ins as a way to keep up community interest.