All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records
From an early age, Solomon had a special love of music, a dynamic personality and the inventiveness of a crafty entrepreneur. His first job was sweeping floors in his father’s drug store, located in the Tower Theater building, in the sleepy northern California town of Sacramento. Still a teenager, Solomon had the idea to sell discarded record singles from the counter-top jukeboxes for 5 cents a piece. His father gave him a shelf in the back of the drug store and this became the training ground for Russ Solomon, the young man, who would one day create a Billion dollar a year music empire.
From the opening of the first Tower Records in 1960, Solomon empowered employees at each store to make the decisions necessary to help foster the local music taste. This leadership style gave each Tower outlet a great sense of individuality and to its employees a great sense of responsibility and pride, not often found within the "corporate" environment. Tower records helped lay the groundwork for what would become the modern music retail business and in the year 2000 alone, the company did over one billon dollars in business.
From a cultural standpoint, Tower Records had a monumental impact on millions of people, worldwide. It was “the place” to escape for a few hours; a sanctuary, a haven. Tower Records was a place to meet your friends, your co-workers or a place to meet new friends who shared a common love of music, literature and all things cultural.
Yet, 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.
So here is the “What, Why and How”…
As you can tell, we are looking to finish the production on our documentary film. So far we have pooled resources and some initial seed money to get the project off the ground. We are approaching this as a passion project, and as such are dedicated to making this film as cost effective as we can. In other words, we are trying to do this grassroots.
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Video Photos Courtesy of: Karen Salomon
Video Music Courtesy of: Three Eighty Three's and La Strada
"All Things Must Pass" by George Harrison