The Beatles Are Coming!

The Beatles Are Coming!

The last big hit was Laurence Welk and he passed through this region a decade or two before.

I was given the one hundred and thirty five dollars cash and directed to drive my bosses 1959 Desoto to Chandler Minnesota.

I drove forty miles to only bank in South West Minnesota that would write out a cashiers check for my boss, he had suffered some financial concerns of the past few years. A good man at heart, a man filled with wild ambition.

The following day a delivery from Minneapolis – Dart Records – a C.O.D. package containing the most popular records in the country.

We would use the cashiers check to receive and pay for the shipment of records.

The 33 & 1/3 records were the latest from the Beatles, Rubber Soul, Revolver, Hard Days Night, Sargent Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour.

The packages also included a modest amount of country and western, Ferlin Husky and an assortment of Johnny Mathis type singers.

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones ruled the day. I would immediately get to work pricing the albums and 45 records.

The Beatles were a music and marketing sensation and we were the store that sold records and musical instruments.

The small town shop sold band musical equipment to small garage bands and also some noted musical rock groups that toured the midwest and beyond.

Enough musical equipment was sold that we could travel to the music trade shows in Las Vegas, NV.

After I received permission from my school I set off with my boss and his wife.

We set out for Las Vegas in their Ford Econoline Van.

All the major equipment manufacturers were represented at this trade show.

To frame it in time….the musical “Hair” had just been released and 2001 Space Odyssey was a sensation.  Las Vegas was ground zero for the Hair Musical and I got to see the production.

Every guitar company, every amplifier company, every sound system company was represented, Woodstock was recent history.

Imagine, I am a Junior in high school and we were being treated like royalty by manufacturers.

It was at this time that we decided to put in a full line of Vox Amplifiers, funded by the bank in Chandler.

The Beatles used Vox and every garage band in the midwest wanted a Vox amplifier.

We sold so many that another phenomena occurred, our small town had a visit from the George Barris—VOXMOBILE!

It was a tribute and honor given too few and our small town was feted with this vehicle.

It was parked just off main street for a few hours, myself and a few other local musicians got to perform on this curiosity.

It was a “roadster” that was tricked out with a keyboard, amplifiers and sound system of some magnitude.

I have no recollection what we might have played mid day, standing in the street along side the coolest car we could have possibly envisioned.

The music store was a source of employment and it was also a source of understanding that there was a larger world outside of my county. As I was driving hours out of my way to get a certified check, It was also a place that taught in the importance of fiscal conservatism.

It was the largest music store between Sioux City Iowa and Mankato, MN. Or perhaps Minneapolis.

Musicians came far and wide to purchase new sound systems, amplifiers and guitars.
A few of the musicians made a name for themselves and you undoubtedly have listened to their music over the years.

A small town in the midwest, The Beatles, Las Vegas, 2001 Space Odyssey, the Musical Hair, a time of aspirations and profound creativity.

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