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Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing

Peter T. 01 Nov 01 - 09:50 AM
GUEST 01 Nov 01 - 09:53 AM
Peter T. 01 Nov 01 - 10:12 AM
DougR 01 Nov 01 - 10:40 AM
Little Hawk 01 Nov 01 - 10:52 AM
Little Neophyte 01 Nov 01 - 11:01 AM
Mr Red 01 Nov 01 - 11:02 AM
DougR 01 Nov 01 - 11:12 AM
Little Hawk 01 Nov 01 - 11:24 AM
Rick Fielding 01 Nov 01 - 11:45 AM
bob jr 01 Nov 01 - 12:45 PM
Clinton Hammond 01 Nov 01 - 12:50 PM
kendall 01 Nov 01 - 01:16 PM
Rana@work 01 Nov 01 - 03:22 PM
kendall 01 Nov 01 - 07:48 PM
GUEST 01 Nov 01 - 08:05 PM
Little Hawk 01 Nov 01 - 09:13 PM
Jon Freeman 01 Nov 01 - 10:34 PM
Rick Fielding 02 Nov 01 - 02:08 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 02 Nov 01 - 05:50 AM
black walnut 02 Nov 01 - 07:25 AM
Steve Latimer 02 Nov 01 - 08:36 AM
sian, west wales 02 Nov 01 - 08:44 AM
Fortunato 02 Nov 01 - 09:00 AM
Peter T. 02 Nov 01 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Arnie 02 Nov 01 - 11:45 AM
GUEST 02 Nov 01 - 04:03 PM
Little Hawk 02 Nov 01 - 09:24 PM
Owlkat 03 Nov 01 - 01:36 AM
GUEST,Richard 05 Nov 01 - 05:05 PM
Stev 05 Nov 01 - 10:28 PM
Steve Latimer 05 Nov 01 - 11:13 PM
Little Hawk 05 Nov 01 - 11:30 PM
Stev 06 Nov 01 - 11:33 PM
Steve Latimer 11 Jan 02 - 03:37 PM
Peter T. 11 Jan 02 - 05:08 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 11 Jan 02 - 05:08 PM
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Subject: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 09:50 AM

Won't mean anything to anyone else, but the Mecca of record buyers in Canada, and a stalwart of the Canadian music industry, Sam the Record Man in Toronto is closing. This is one more blow at a whole raft of Canadian industries that have gone under in the last couple of years, but this one strikes some of us close to home. It is hard to express what a loss it will be.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 09:53 AM

Won't mean anything to anyone else

So why the hell are you posting it???

It's only going under because it can't make a profit - it doesn't serve people's needs.


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 10:12 AM

I meant outside of Canada and jerks like you. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: DougR
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 10:40 AM

Peter: Sorry to hear that. I feel badly, not only for the customers, but think of the employees that will be out of work.

I'm afraid we are in for some tough times, economically, world-wide for the forseeable future.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 10:52 AM

GUEST - I might point out that Mother Nature, most wild animal species, and the ecosystem in general are going under for the same reason...they can't make a profit! They do, however, serve people's needs in a far more crucial way than the top 50 money-earning entities on Wall Street ever will...as you may find out one of these days, when you discover that you can't eat money.

Not that that has anything much to do with Sam the Record Man, but I think you need to examine the basic roots of your philosophy a little more closely. It is the sickness at the heart of America.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 11:01 AM

I will miss the old creaky wood in the downtown store and the staff with character who haunted the floors. Its a remarkable store. A place I got lost in for hours (literally).
Its a very sad moment in time. Kind of like some of the old diners I've seen put to rest over the years.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Mr Red
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 11:02 AM

How times change. I remeber his shops 15 years ago, I seemed to lose sense of direction with all his shops around downtown T'ronto.
Or was there only one and I was confused?
Just a thought but is Amazon.com making a profit yet?


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: DougR
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 11:12 AM

L.H.: I have no problem with Guest's message. I do with the tone of it, but it's true that no business can survive if expense exceeds income. Just a fact, unless it is your thought that government subsidize every business. If that is the case, be prepared to pay a pretty hefty tax bill every year.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 11:24 AM

As things stand right now, you are quite right, Doug, but I envision radically different possibilities, and I question where a money-centred society eventually leads. There are other principles around which one could organize a society. For the time being, however, we have to deal with things as they are...or go and live in the bush somewhere. I doubt that either one of us would want to do that.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 11:45 AM

Sam's closing will not affect the GENERAL POPULATION very much, but for those looking for alternative music it's quite blow.

Back in the 70s, if you were looking to meet an intelligent long-time/short term partner, a stroll through Sam's folk/classical/spoken word sections could be VERY interesting.

Kind of a singles' bar for nurds. But OH THOSE NURDS!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: bob jr
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 12:45 PM

remeber when the big a and a's closed? used to be right next door. but i guess that was so long ago and noone mourned its closing im sure. last few times i was at sams it sure seemed to be going a little downhill from its glory days in the 80's a time i will remeber quite well as i worked across the street at the big cheapies that also went under ....


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 12:50 PM

Dang... end of an era...


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: kendall
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 01:16 PM

This is sad news for anyone who needs something besides the thumping and screeching that passes for music these days.


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Rana@work
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 03:22 PM

Sam's going is going to make a massive hole in TO. Not only did it have CD's that you couldn't get elsewhere but the people tended to know their area. Clearly they failed to compete in much of the market - ie. the mainstream pop market, but they were great for the various niche markets - unfortunately it seems that there wasn't enough money there. Inefficiencies might have also added to their woes - the place reminded me a bit of the famous London bookstore - Foyles which always seemed to be in chaos with books piled high on the floor (well 20 years ago anywaY).

It's demise is also going to affect publicising concerts - they were always happy to put posters up - the other stores don't tend too.

I'll have to start hunting around the smaller niche stores in TO. Soundscapes at College/Grace seems good - any others? - suggestions from TO locals.

Rana


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: kendall
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 07:48 PM

Dont forget Folk Legacy Records of Sharon Ct. and Camsco, run by our own Dick Greenhaus.


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 08:05 PM

They've gone bust because of bad management, bad organisation and bad purchasing policy.

I'm not going to weep about that

But I'm a jerk. (Peter T told me)


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 09:13 PM

There's another possibility...maybe you're not a jerk, but you just sound like one sometimes! That can happen to the best of us at times.

kendall - Dick Greenhaus runs a record shop? Wow, I'd like to see the Dylan section in that place...I bet he's got a whole rack entirely given over to his Bobness, right? Gosh, I gotta stop in and talk Dylan with him till his eyes glaze over...oh boy...! :-)

- LH


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Nov 01 - 10:34 PM

Well this shop means nothing to me personally but I'm alway sad to here of places that try to cater for more specialist tastes or interests going under.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 02:08 AM

You'd have loved it jon.

Actually Jerk (sorry, I mean guest) You're absolutely right. Yah, I'm emotional about this 'cause it was a favourite hangout, but they continued to do business in a 60s kind of way, and that simply doesn't work on a large scale these days. Wish they hadn't expanded so much. Why do the rich always try to get richer? Bugger!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 05:50 AM

I sympathise. Last time I was in London and had a few minutes to kill I went down to New Row to fnd Ashman's (now part of Mole Jazz) had gone. Thank goodnes Ray's Jazz & Blues shop in Shaftesbury Avenue is still there.
RtS (my former colleagues blamed my move from South London and the loss of my almost daily custom for the subsequent demise of Chris Wellard's New Cross shop)


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: black walnut
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 07:25 AM

I wandered down to Sam's at St. Clair and Yonge yesterday. A folk section. A blues section. A Celtic section. Not many record stores have those things these days. (Especially not stocked with Canadian recording artists.) The doors are still open there but the staff are in a hugging mood....the guy at the counter asked me what kind of music I do, and what instruments I play, and then he wrote down for me on scrap of paper all the movies he thinks I must see.

I'll miss you, Sam's.

~black walnut


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 08:36 AM

I'm not entirely sure that it is closing. I heard on the radio yesterday that they are closing some stores but are trying to keep others open, including the flagship Yonge St. store.

I grew up in Scarborough and used to spend a lot of my childhood days at their long closed Markham & Lawrence store which was not too different from most other record stores. The first time I was in the Yonge St. store was a real eye opener. As others have mentioned, you could spend hours in there. Was it just me or was the upstairs an absolute treasure chest? It will be missed

I have to say that the best "music" store that I've been in lately has been Chapters in the Oshawa Center. An absolutely outstanding Blues collection. Delta, Piedmont, Chicago, old, new. I've bought a number of CD's there. Mississippi John, Blind Willie McTell, Lightnin' Hopkins. You can actually choose from more than one CD from eacah artists, and the last time I was there they had Reverend Gary Davis in one of their listening stations. Prior to finding this place I usaually had to special order artists like these.


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: sian, west wales
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 08:44 AM

I saw the report in the Globe and Mail and was gutted! We used to come in from the sticks (Niagara Penn) as teenagers in the 60/70s and have some wonderful times walking those wonky wooden floors. And ecclectic? Gawd! Went in once for a Judy Collins album and general browse and came up with an LP of Kabuki theatre music. Still have it somewhere...

And boy were they open for suggestions! Dafydd Iwan, a Welsh political/folk singer and partner in a major Welsh recording company, was in Ont. on tour so I took him to see the manager of the folk section ... who after a brief chat told Dafydd to send him 80 Welsh records (Dafydd's choice) when he got home. Started a long relationship ... and vastly improved the selection of Welsh records available to us in Ontario. OK - I guess it isn't finely honed cut-and-thrust commerciallism but ...

(((((sigh))))))

sian


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Fortunato
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 09:00 AM

Can anyone imagine our children 30 years hence growing nostalgic over hunting for Backstreet Boys or Puff Daddy CDs in Tower Records? (Even if they do have a Folk section, is there anybody in there who hasn't received their ARP letter?) Is that all they're going to have?

Is there nothing worth listening to out there today that has wide acceptance among the young?


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Peter T.
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 09:38 AM

The fact that the store made bad decisions at the end, and that the market chewed it up has nothing to do with feeling badly about the impact of its loss. The fact that someone loses their job and has difficulty making ends meet until they can get another (if they can) can make one unhappy, in spite of the theological wonderment of the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-disposing market. And economists wonder why people keep engaging in uneconomic behaviour.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: GUEST,Arnie
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 11:45 AM

I remember the excitement in Sam's front window every time a Beatles, Dylan, Lightfoot release would come out, or in conjuntion with a big concert in the city. I spent lots of time and money up there on the 2nd floor engaged in wishing I could buy the folk, bluegrass, blues and jazz records. I lined up like a jerk on Boxing day to get a few folk imports at half price. You go look in those sections in awe at what there is in there - stuff that no other record store in T.O. will handle I'm afraid, unless it's special ordered. (They even sold my CD'S on a dislplay rack). Go in to other big record stores, and the selection of folk and bluegrass for the most part is pathetic in my opinion, and the staff has no idea about these genres. I'm one of Rick's Nerds I happily admit.


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 04:03 PM

according to the report on business, the sam sniderman family is sam's biggest creditor. the family-owned corporation owes the family about $10 million.

the family fortune, based almost entirely on profits from the sam the record man business over the past thrity-three years is estimated at more than $100 million.

i feel very sorry for their loss. i hope they can still afford a burger at the courtyard cafe.


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 09:24 PM

Going to the original Sam's was a special experience...it felt like being in the chambers of the Great Pyramid or something...ancient catacombs of tradition, and strange cubbyholes full of rare and unusual stuff that you couldn't find in most places.

I agree with Peter T. At least half the stuff worth doing in this world is "uneconomic behaviour". And that includes folk music, most of the time.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Owlkat
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 01:36 AM

This is sad news indeed. If you've never actually been to Toronto and walked along Yonge street and seen this humungous neon sign 3 stories high outshining anything for blocks and walked in to check it out and found the most wonderful soul-restoring mecca of music from everywhere and by everyone and had to elbow your way through crowds of people from everywhere looking for all this music and listened to the tunes playing from everywhere in the world and the people talking and walked up creaky old wooden stairs to the section away in the back where you can find some of the most truly amazing music available in the world and some of the most outrageous comedy and folk and blues and world and Dean Martin albums and if you think that this is just another business being shut down by droid driven high profit consumerism and who gives a rat's patoot and so what and isn't everyone buying online, than I think that it's even sadder that you've never had an epiphenous experience like this and when Sam the Record Man closes it's doors only to be replaced by some flashy neurotic high tech wonderpalace shareprofit driven selling grot made by underpaid Asian children, well, you never will. Sigh. There. I feel better. No, wait. I don't. Darn them. Darn them, darn them, darn them. Them and all their...oooooh....tasselled Italian loafers and digital cel phones and remote control microwave ovens. I feel a banjo attack coming on. AAAAAAAAAAAArgh. There. I'm done. Night, night. Owl.


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Subject: Sam's bankruptcy: The real story
From: GUEST,Richard
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 05:05 PM

So don't count Sam out just yet - there's a lot more to the collapse of the chain than meets the eye, and a lot more that the media hasn't written about so far.

Various figures have been batted about, but let's say that the total bankruptcy is in the vicinity of $15 million. All but a handful of the Sams-owned stores will close, with the stock molving into a few major stores for sale by the trustees.

Of the money raised by the sale of this stock (now owned by the trustees, not by the recored companies and other suppliers) approximately half will go to the preferred creditor. The preferred creditor here is not the bank, but Sam's family - who fronted money to keep the stores going.

After that, the suppliers get to share what's left (if anything).

A couple of fascinating points to be made:

1) Confirm or deny that Sam's took delivery of its Christmas order a week before the bankruptcy was declared.

2) Sam, wrapping himself in the Maple Leaf flag, says that Canadian artists will not be hurt. Tell that to the marines - Canadian artists whose records are distributed by smaller companies like Fusion II, Trend, Festival, Sonic Unyon, FAB, Select and dozens more most certainly WILL be hurt, and some of these smaller distributors are going to be seriously hurt. Universal, Sony, and the brothers Warner can survive this sort of thing; smaller companies who lose the product to bankruptcy trustees and MAY get some cents back on the dollar are in a different situation entirely.

3) Please notice that the real estate is NOT in bankruiptcy. Has anyone a calculator with enough zeros to figure out how much the Yonge Street property is worth?

This bankruptcy is a smart business move, especially since business on the flagship store in Toronto has been cut by the effects of the construction at Yonge & Dundas (whioch has also affected sales at HMV, some sxay by as much as 30%. And word is that the new complex (currently on some kind of hold, apparently) will have a Virgin Megastore as a major tenant.

Some more points:

1) We're gonna lose a marvelous store with an incredible stock.

2) Nobody ever accused Sam of not having street smarts.

3) But the crocodile tears Sam is shedding all over the media are hardly warranted, eh?

It's another serious blow to the music industry, but Sam and his family are gonna come out with all their money back, the real-estate intact, and Canadian suppliers (the little guys as well as the five majors) are being - may one use the word? - screwed big-time.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Stev
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 10:28 PM

Thanks Sam.


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 11:13 PM

Yeah, but the El Mocambo is officially gone. What a loss.


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 11:30 PM

Yeah. Best Buffy Sainte-Marie performance I ever saw was at the El Mocambo. She was wearing a miniskirt and leg warmers, and singing and dancing to beat the band that night. What a show! It was sometime in the mid to late 70's. I also saw Melanie there around during about the same time period, and she did a great show too.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Stev
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 11:33 PM

heres to the horseshoe! See you there.


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 11 Jan 02 - 03:37 PM

I heard on the Radio today that Sam's sons (hmm, that's a bit eerie, isn't it?) have cut a deal with Sam's Creditors and have re-opened the store as of nine this morning.

Makes one wonder if this wasn't a big scam from the get go.

Now if we could only resurrect the ElMo and coax Dirty Pete back to serving draft beer at the Monarch Tavern Toronto would once again be whole.


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: Peter T.
Date: 11 Jan 02 - 05:08 PM

Yes, I saw that -- it makes me wonder, though. The glory of Sam's was its back list of obscurities, and its comprehensiveness -- all that was/is being sold off. What are they going to restock with? Guess. It isn't going to be Somalian Folkways albums.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Canada Grief: Sam the Record Man closing
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 11 Jan 02 - 05:08 PM

Not sure what you mean. Sam's has closed many of the stores. In Halifax, which used to have a number of them, only the Barrington Street one is open now. It had record savings during the Christmas/New Year week. Upwards of 50% off.

I'm sure a number of the stores across Canada have been shut down. If they were able to resurrect one more store, great!

I know it will be a major problem for ECMAs this year, and probably in the future without the support of the Sam the Record Man company. We'll have to hope someone will step in and help to keep it going.


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