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In Celebration of Ray Davies' Birthday: That Time I Got Caught Stealing A Kinks Tape!



As we celebrate Kinks singer/songwriter Ray Davies' birthday today, I am reminded of the time back in the summer of 1980 when a cash-strapped teenage me shoved a cassette copy of The Kinks' live album One For The Road down their pants in a Meijer's Thrifty Acres. 

Truth be told, it was all Chrissie Hynde's fault, as the Pretenders had covered the Kinks' "Stop Your Sobbing" the year prior on their amazing debut record, all I was trying to do was connect the stylistic dots as a musical archaeologist of sorts. Lacking money, I chose an alternate method of procurement.

Within seconds, store security jumped out from behind some fake walls and ushered yours truly into a back room, where I was greeted by big, tough-looking security officer AND an entire wall of black-and-white video monitors that seemed to show every square inch of those "thrifty acres" being watched by the big eye in the sky. 

"Fuck me," I muttered, jaw dropping to the floor.

Video surveillance may be commonplace now, but such technology was COMPLETELY new and mind-blowing at the time and felt just a wee bit like cheating, if you ask me.

My usual strategy, lying my ass off, usually worked wonders, but it had never gone up against "actual video proof" of my transgressions so I told the store cop my dad's name and hunkered down for the coming storm after his name was called out over the store PA.

Minutes later, as I sat on a cold metal chair in the security office listening to my dad and the security dude negotiate the terms of my release (ha!), all I could think about was the fact that, if I was going down for this crime (meaning whatever punishment waited for me at home), I was damn sure gonna make sure I got to hear the fucking album.

Upon ariving home, my dad informed my mom of my theft then decided to ransack my room for good measure. Finding little that hadn't already been ransacked by me, pops grounded me until the year 2025 (only four more years, baby!).

A day later, poking his head into my cell to make sure I was duly miserable, pops found me passing my time in solitary listening to some music...

Dad: (Noting the familiar red Arista Records cassette tape case in my hand) Is that the tape you STOLE last night?!

Me: (Holding tape case in hand) What tape?

Dad: (Grabs cassette case, reads J card) You stole a Kinks tape?! The kid who has been BLASTING Adam & The Ants, Athletico Spizz, and Blondie non-stop for months goes out and steals a tape by a band I grew up listening to?! What the hell are you  --

Me: I've been reading good things...

Dad: Did you steal the tape back off the security officer's desk when we weren't looking?

Me: Of course not. I stole two copies out on the floor in case I got caught.  

Dad: (closes door, doesn't speak to me until graduation)


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