Hello all! I hope your New Year is starting off great!
I know you will find it hard to believe in the 1960′s, Macy’s had one of the best record departments! My mother worked there and I would sometimes go to visit her for lunch and she would give me her employee discount card and I would go into the record dept. and go nuts! I never met the person who was the buyer but whomever it was, had a very progressive bent. Some days I would walk out with 10 LP’s (LP-big black piece of vinyl that you would put on a turntable-(something that goes round and round) and miraculously sound would come out!)
I was also very lucky because I would get tickets to the Thanksgiving Day Parade and sit right in the front of Macy’s Herald Square.
It wasn’t until years later that I was introduced to the Thanksgiving Eve balloon inflation spectacle at the Museum of Natural History.
Every year, on Thanksgiving Eve thousands of people would visit the blocks between 78th and 81st St on Columbus and Central Park West and watch the balloons as they were blown up. One year we were at my friend, record producer Richard Gottherer’s house, which was on 78th st. Around 11:30PM all of a sudden, Snoopy would be peering in the window!
My grandmother lived on Central Park South and when it was too cold to watch the parade on the outside, we would go to her house. Outside her window was the famous Coca Cola Weather sign which is now the Trump International Hotel.
What a great parade!
Well, back to the music!
I bought so many great records there. There are a few occasions that really stand out. I purchased Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull “This Was” the same day. What a revelation to an impressionable youth to hear both Good Times Bad Times and Dharma for One the same day!
A great story about Jethro Tull. A good friend of mine from high school, Doane Perry was a great drummer. He loved Clive Bunker. Well, just to show you how life imitates art, for the past 15 years, Doane has been the drummer for Jethro Tull!
Another day of record shopping brought me face to face with Spirit and Pink Floyd Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Having a sister who got all of the Melody Makers, I was already familiar with “See Emily Play” from the charts but had never heard the song. That was certainly going to change! I saw Pink Floyd a number of times. Once at Carnegie Hall, they debuted their “Quad” sound system. They had just released Meddle and the sound was incredible!
As a young bass player, I remember attempting to learn “Fresh Garbage” took a lot of time. When I was in Aztec Two Step, we opened for Firefall and I met Mark Andes who was their bassist but had previously been the bassist for Spirit. A very small world!
For me, Macy’s really was the Miracle on 34th St.