Colony Records, Times Square, and The Clash

My mom was in NYC for a meeting recently, and she sent me a message to say that Colony Records had gone out of business. I had forgotten if I had ever been there, but then she reminded me that she took me there once a long time ago. I was probably 16 or 17 at the time, and it was a late-night visit. Suddenly, the shop and the environs came rushing back to my brain. The first thing I remembered was finding a narrow staircase in the middle of the cramped Times Square store space that led down to a dimly lit (yet still publicly accessible) basement of vinyl records. I didn’t own a record player at the time, so I just looked around for a minute, finding a copy of The Clash’s 1981 triple-LP “Sandinista!”

It cost $45, and I think I actually said out loud “No freaking way!” I hadn’t really gotten into this record at the time (and to a degree, I still haven’t), but I thought it was strange how this was my only lasting memory of Colony Records. I don’t even remember what I actually bought.

Anyway, as Times Square has gone in the past twenty years, there isn’t really room for the dirty old record shops. There isn’t even room for the big, shiny ones.

By the way, did it break anyone else’s heart to discover that Paul Simonon didn’t actually play this amazing bass line on the record? Just asking.

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