Okay, I know that the store still exists, in name anyway. But it can’t ever be the same.
For instance, according to a recent story in The Wall Street Journal, the post-bankruptcy stores will have about 1,000 items, compared to the more than 4,000 they used to have in their inventories. And the number of stores has been greatly reduced, including the closing of my local retailer.
The connection between a musician and an electronics store may not seem obvious, but they do have an awful lot in common. Years ago, RadioShack was the go-to place for RCA audio connectors, adaptors, quarter-inch phone plugs and other electronic components, as well as cables, speaker wire and soldering supplies.
A lot of musicians learn the basics of electrical circuitry as a matter of necessity. Quite often when you set up on stage something goes haywire; a missed connection makes an amp go dead or a loud hum emanates from a speaker.
I remember one gig, a local dance, I believe, where we had hooked up a pair of headphones to an amp to allow our saxophone player to monitor the sound. As we were playing a song I noticed a trail of smoking coming from around his ears.
It was that night we learned something about speaker impedance.
Today you can find just about anything on the Internet, but back in the day there weren’t many places to buy connectors, adaptors and other electronic equipment that helped you create a musical bridge between man and machine.
But back in the day there was always RadioShack. I’m not sure I can say there always will be.