Remembering Tower Records

The Legendary Past and Celluloid Future of Tower Records on the Sunset Strip   By Alison Martino
Photo: Robert Landau
It’s impossible not to think of Tower Records when referring to the Sunset Strip. It’s even more impossible to accept that the beloved store once located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Horn Avenue is no longer in business.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakersđź’”signing autographs at Tower Records in Los Angeles, 1976
I recently had dinner with a friend not too far from the old Tower location. As we were paying our bill, we discussed what we should do next. I joked that we should walk down to Tower Records and browse through rows and rows of LPs and cassettes, then head across the street to Tower Video to rent the latest release (most likely on VHS). I wish it wasn’t just a fantasy. You see, Tower Records was more then just a record store, It was a musical rite of passage. It’s where kids graduated to die-hard music fans. I spent my very first allowance money on Blon…

Los Angeles during the 1970s

When this photo of me standing in our driveway in BH was taken during the 1970s, we still had JJ Newberry, Food King and a local Home Silk Shop. Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly would say hello to you waiting in line at the post office. You'd pass by Edward G Robinson walking his dogs, and Doris Day riding her bike.  Freight Trains were still plowing down Santa Monica Blvd with the smell of fresh Wonder Bread on board and Helms Bakery Trucks brought milk to our door steps. Robinson's, Bonwit Teller, The Broadway, Bullock's, and The May Co. were the high-end stores of the day, and Rodeo Drive was not yet a tourist trap. We instead had reasonably priced boutiques and 'mom and pop' shops where everyone knew your first name. I believe this 70s ensemble came from Toby's on Beverly Drive. (My mother recalls seeing Natalie Wood there). We had neighborhood joints and local restaurants like Tony Roma's, R.J's, Ah Fong's, Wil Wright's, La Scala Boutique, and S…