It had been years since I had been kicked out of a record store.
I was regularly booted to the curb when I toiled as a music industry sales rep. It happened most often when I would attempt to pull product from stores that had failed to pay for their orders. Other store owners mistakenly thought I was doing reconnaissance work for their competitors. Some didn't appreciate my insistent approach to sales. Others just didn't like me. (I get it.)
I was reminded of my earlier exploits a few days ago. While shopping on Melrose Avenue I innocently happened upon an old-school vinyl shop.
After the cantankerous owner chased away curious pedestrians- "This isn't a photo shoot!" he bellowed- he turned on me.
"Don't touch that!" he began. "It's worth forty thousand dollars!"
When I demonstrated my fluency in jazz vinyl, he decided to impress me by mocking his competition, scoffing at popular music, complaining about a wealthy Chinese client and belittling a beleaguered employee. (The poor soul is a dead ringer for Art Pepper.)
The raconteur is arrogant, stubborn and scathingly defensive. I loved him immediately. (The guy reminds me of a pricklier version of the late Ron Rooks.) Not everyone shares my affection for the man. He's raked over the coals at Yelp and All About Jazz.
So, was I kicked out? I'm not sure. We enjoyed a heated discussion and he was still campaigning as I walked past an Ed Hardy outlet next door.