Description 40 - Sam the Record Man

A couple eras end in Toronto, so I go to Gould and Yonge, where the end was a long time coming. But I still play music I found there, wonder where the hell the chess tables went and find videos involving Dana Carvey and Richard Grieco.

Click here to subscribe like Columbia House, only without the rip-off part.
Click here to download directly with that "technology" Sam's says killed them.

Associated links:
Torontoist on Honest Ed...
...and on Sam the Record Man
Yes, the Belleville Sam's is in the Quinte Mall.
Canadian Content rules
CBC.ca on the Sam's auction
Why there was a rack just for Blue Peter
Goin' Down the Road in the Canadian Encyclopedia
Buy Jennifer Foster's Speedyhead from Maplemusic!
Ryerson University, the guys who'll probably get the building

While Speedyhead was mostly produced by Moe Berg (try to contain your shock), Ukelele Dropout was one of the songs produced by Paul Myers, known to some as former leader of The Gravelberrys, journalist, author, talk radio host and witty pundit with lush white hair; known to others as Mike's brother.

I still haven't quite gotten used to Ryerson being a real university. For most of my life, it was just the most glamorous art and tech school in Ontario, and as an art and tech school, it gave me little-to-no chance to get into their big-time TV/Radio programme because I was American and therefore was low-priority for a school sponsored by the province. (But I'm not bitter...) In the time since I lived in the area, the place has expanded into quite expensive land surrounding and nearby with very snazzy buildings whose architectural merit is considered a bit dubious. This is why I am equally dubious about the future of the Sam's building and the precious neon on its facade.

Often I walked through the original campus to and on Gould past Sam's, where those several stone (I thought) tables stood with chess/checkerboards cut into them. Usually there would be at least a couple games going on, almost always involving men, while other tables would be taken up with people just chatting and maybe a few homeless folks (often from Seaton House, behind my apartment) resting their feet. So maybe you can see why I was more disturbed seeing those tables gone than I was about Sam's closing.

A couple years ago in the old job, I got to work on describing Goin' Down the Road for Citytv (so if you see it turn up on City or Bravo, try to turn on the Secondary Audio Program and maybe you'll hear me). Oh, btw, if you don't know the movie, you may remember the parody SCTV did in their all-Cancon episode (hint: in the original, the guys are not doctor and lawyer and a CBC guy doesn't try to revive a dead woodchuck). Anyway...so as I worked on the movie, I noticed the boarding house Pete and Joey had to move into with Joey's knocked-up wife as they continue their downward spiral. To this day, I'm almost positive it was the same boarding house as the one on Pembroke, just up the little street from my apartment. Not much had changed in 30 years - people come here thinking it's a city of opportunity, they find they were wrong, and they get desperate. We'll see where I am a few months from now.

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