Tosi Dischi in Reggio Emilia is closing down at the end of December after 40 years of activity as a record shop. They say people now prefer illegal downloading. They say young people prefer investing in mobile phones. I guess it’s true. As for me, I stopped buying at Tosi Dischi a long time ago, well before this very annoying era where you can get music for free (very frugal of you), but then you’re forced to spend your money on stupid mobile services. I stopped because records were being replaced by CDs, and a CD would cost three times the money I used to pay for a record. Then in a few months no one was distributing records anymore, no one was keeping a record player in the house, and tapes were outdated anyway.
I’ve lived on radio and live music since then.
So it’s not only the fault of young generations. It’s me. It’s the goth guy who used to work in the new-wave room, in the back of the old Tosi place during the Eighties and then disappeared with the end of the decade. It’s the shop guy who came later, who would give me advices at the counter and would kindly stand between me and the pogo at live concerts and then went to work in real estate. It’s us, we just couldn’t keep on living inside a record shop anymore, sorry.
Now it’s time for my fondest memory of Tosi Dischi, which happens to be an afternoon of June 1990, when I emerged from the tube in Piccadilly Circus for the first time in my life, to sit down together with the punks and to discover that there was a huge Tosi Dischi right there, towering above us, and reading Tower Records, in bold red letters on a yellow field. It was all because of Tosi Dischi, that I was able to enter the huge Tower Records in complete confidence, browse the shelves and find very familiar names, and buy myself a sticky t-shirt sporting the cover of London Calling.
So long, Tosi Dischi, it’s been fun.