In memoriam: Tower Records

Tower Records holds a special place in my heart. The store in Piccadilly Circus was one of the places I would try to visit every time I traveled to London. Back in the early 80s the Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street was the place for obscure music, but by 1990 they had jacked up the prices and cleared out the unpopular stuff. Tower kept the prices reasonable and had an unrivaled selection of imports and obscurities.


This is the Hancock Tower in Boston’s back bay: It’s easily my favorite building in the city. It was designed by I.M.Pei’s firm of architects—but not, I believe, by I.M. Pei himself. Most long-time Boston residents remember that when it was first constructed, the large sheets of glass in the windows began to rain down on the streets below. Sheets of plywood were used to replace the missing windows, and there was a long and expensive lawsuit.