Archive and Search
« Full of L.U.S.T. | Main | Poison: Live, Raw and Uncut 2007 »

I'll Still Be Thinking of You...and the Times We Had

The other day I asked you about your favorite bands and first albums. Of course, I failed to ask how your paid for those first albums when you were young.

Some people, like my dear Christian, provided the answer. His way of paying was apparently "shoplifting." Having just spent several days with Christian at Rocklahoma, I can safely say he's been making amends for that ever since. I mean, I've never seen anyone buy more band merch in my life! 

Like most teenagers, I had a job - but it wasn't very strenuous. I did some light filing for my dad at his place of employment. No, I didn't work everyday. No, I didn't sling French fries, or bag groceries like my husband. See, my Eric had a pretty taxing job. He swears up and down he worked 40 hours a week during high school bagging groceries and pushing carts at the local Kroger. I remember going into Kroger and seeing him bag on occasion, but I don't know if his parents would have allowed a full time job during school. I digress.

My job paid just enough to keep me in new music. I can't remember buying many clothes, makeup or things like that - nope, it was always music. Back then (and we're talking about the 90s here) you could get good, unedited discs at Kmart. At that time, my one-horse hometown also had an independent music store, but the albums were more expensive there. Still, they had cool stuff like box sets, vinyl, CDs, rare cassettes, T-shirts, posters and more.

By the time I graduated high school I had a sizable music collection - it was the envy of my friends! During college, my music purchases plummeted to the lowest of my life. I didn't really have the money to buy music or go to shows, even though I had jobs then, too. I suppose I was responsible and chose food over entertainment. Now that I'm a full fledged adult, I've realized it's more important to be completely immature. As I write this, I have a case of Diet Coke and expired milk in my refrigerator. No, I'm not exaggerating. It's all about what is important in life.

So, how did you afford your music as a kid and teen? Did you beg, borrow, steal...or buy?





Reader Comments (17)

Hi allyson...I always worked in high school..Price Chopper super market bagging groceries and getting carts and at kay bee toys..before that it was all from allowances...if i ever stole..i wouldnt be here to write about this haha! =)
July 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
I didn't work until I was a freshman in college, so most of my 'purchases' were probably actually gifts, either given to me by relatives or I bought with Christmas/birthday money (one of the bad things about being a Saggitarian...birthday and holidays in the same month!). In college, I had to pay for my (POS) 1973 Mercury Comet, gas, and food at school. After graduation and getting a full time job (not in my field, at that), I moved in with my grandmother and had to start paying rent, but I also joined the Columbia Record Club and got a lot of music that way.
July 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChessie
In short, a combination of beggin, borrowing, and buying...haha
July 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
Pumped gas at a gas station. (I'm old enough to remember when it all wasn't self serve!) Cut a bunch of lawns for people and shoveled their snow in the Winter.Most of the $$ went to music and partying.Oh,to be 16 again....8>)
July 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGary
I worked as a lifeguard during summer from the time I was 15 until my second year of college. I looked like a Chicana! I am now kicking myself in the ass for not ever using sunscreen...wrinkles are only a few short years away, I am sure.

I had a huge music collection. During my fourth year of college, I flew to New Orleans for spring break. On the flight home I stupidly left my 50 most coveted CD's on the plane. This was years before I even knew what an MP3 player was. I cried for months after, for I was waaaaay to poor to replace everything. Sometimes, I still get sad and upset when I think of the good tunes I lost, but on the bright side, some other kid may have picked up that little black CD case and discovered the mind blowing awesomeness that was my CD collection.
July 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
I bought my music with my allowance when I was younger, but when I turned 14 I got a job and bought it that way. (Nice usage of the GN'R "Don't Cry" lyrics by the way!)
July 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVicky
Mowed yards, worked at a convenience store, and Wal-Mart. Whatever I had to do to buy new music.
July 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbrandon
"Now that I'm a full fledged adult, I've realized it's more important to be completely immature."

That is the most beautiful sentence I've ever seen in my life, and more full of truth.

Anyway, to answer your question, I had a few jobs. My first job was at Riverfront Stadium carrying around heavy concessions begging for people to buy them, and tip me at the same time. That lasted for 10 games, and I decided I wasn't cut out for it. Then on to Kmart, where I stayed until college.

And I usually purchased used because of the great price. Occasionally I would buy stuff at Kmart and take advantage of that great 10% employee discount.
July 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJT
I bagged groceries at Kroger in high school. I actually volunteered to clean the restrooms since it got me away from idiotic customers that wanted double paper bags stuck inside plastic bags so they could have handles. When I retire, I'm going to go back to that job and if anyone ask for such ridiculous bagging instruction, I'll just throw their crap into the cart along with several bags and say "bad them yourself, b****!" At least then I can just say I'm a senile old man.

I spent a little during high school for music, although I was able to buy quite a bit more after I graduated and worked in a factory. However, now I wish I had less music and went to college and would have skipped the factory work entirely.
For the record, I bought a lot of albums as a teenager, as well as swapping tapes with friends, and listening to independant radio to tape songs. I think that was the only time I actually stole CDs. I did steal the CD player tho. And yes, that was a brief period in my teens, I did not embark on a life of crime.
July 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
I got my first album (KISS - Rock And Roll Over) at age 5 from Mom back in '77 but I really didn't get into music until '80.

As a kid, I used my allowance to buy music. I also kept joining those music clubs.....10 albums for a penny! I would pay the first payment that was just shipping, order all the albums to complete the agreement and give the bill to my parents. I got in trouble but they paid it as long as they cancelled the membership. I'd wait a few months and do it again.....and the cycle repeated at least 3 times a year for a couple years until they refused to pay and stopped my allowance.

In high school, I had a job and I spent half my check a week on new music. When I got to college, I started working full-time and I spent only $50 a week on music. Somewhere around '96, I started what is now my career and I make decent money so I would spend anywhere from $50-$100 a week on CDs but it would all be bargain hunting (used bins, mom & pop stores, sales, etc.), I always shopped around. Tuesday and Saturday were my record store hunting days and I always found great stuff.....before all the stores started closing.

Now I have a wife, 2 kids, dog, and a house so the money spent is a little less. Some weeks I buy one disc, sometimes none. I make up for the lean times with a major spree once and a while. I figure by this time next year, my financial situation will be a lot better and I can go buy more
I have to say that I prolly fit right in with Christian on this topic. My first tape was free without the stores permission... I;m sure I've paid for that one ten times over by now.
July 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDamnp78
3 more years before i get a "job" of any sort, I will become a medical intern then, if I don't screw the exams.. so have never worked or earned money in my life... thus far

thank the old man for every cassette and cd i have bought,

we get all pirated stuff here, costs less than 100 rupees, (2 dollars) for an album, an mp3 cd with the entire discography of a bad would be 30 rupees (50 cents), a cassette used to cost 80 bycks (one dollar)

I had a decent collection going until everything started to become free with the internet...
July 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRockfighter
I walked around Santa Cruz, CA with a sign that said "Will work for Used CDs"...

Ok, not really. When I was a kid (ages 8-18) I bought all my albums, (Yes, I said albums), 8-Tracks, (Yes, I said 8-tracks), and cassettes (You know the drill), at my local music store in the mall... Bought my first album "The Jackson Five" at Ben Franklin for God's sake... But the second album was Bowie's "Young Americans"...

When I was in my "formative years" as a wild and fired up rocker in the bay area of California, I discovered the joys of used record and book stores... It was awesome; you could buy a handful of discs for $20, save them until you were sick of them, and then sell them back and buy more... I got tired of lugging albums in milk crates all over the country and finally sold them all off.

Never stole music. Well, then again, the 80's in the SF bay area was a hotbed for tape trading so I had at one time or another demos and debuts from a lot of up and coming new bands... Still remember when some kid gave me a copy of this tape by a band called Metalica.. Wish I still had the Vain demo that we "liberated" a copy of from Banquet Studios in Santa Rosa when we were recording there... It was the demo that would get them signed to Island a year later... I still say that demo kicked ass over the "No Respect" release.

I buy very little music now though. I'm too busy remixing the Tonight You Rock tracks for release later this summer...
July 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterValentine
Hi Allyson, great subject. My first couple of discs (vinyl) came in the form of gifts on birthdays, Christmas, etc. at the age of 7 and 8. When the music addiction really kicked in at 9 I would save endlessly for an album. The first album I bought with my own money was Queen Live Killers. As I got a little older I would save a portion of my lunch money everyday, getting by on chocolate milk and yeast rolls saving 50 to 60 cents a day, this went on for years. Keep in mind that a new release album would cost $6.99 and if you were lucky $5.99 so it wouldn't take long to save enough money to get an album. I bought a great many albums this way. To this day I set aside a little money for cds and concert dvds each week.
July 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris
My first couple of albums were gifts - birthdays, Xmas, etc. But, as soon as I could drive, I had a job working at the local Bonanza (steak joint). What I didn't spend on partying was spent on music at the local music store - you know, back when you could walk in and the guy/girl behind the counter knew you and could tell you when the new Crue album was coming in. I never had an allowance - so before I had a job, I saved birthday money until I had enough for what I wanted.

Nowadays, I have a good job - married, with kids and when I want the tunes, I just go get em!
July 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSparky
No Se Para Que Sirve Esto..


Heath I Will Love You Forever!!

September 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSolCinis

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.