Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One Record Store Owner Refuses to Go Out of Business

Play the Music

By TOLU OLORUNDA (originaly published at Reprinted By Permission of Author)

It’s a scorchingly hot Sunday afternoon in Muncie, Indiana, and several men—young as 20 and old as 60—file in and out of Dan’s Downtown Records. Each pass through the doors with brown cartons, with green and black and pink plastic crates, stacked full with the tens of thousands of articles contained in this building which for 6 years held forth as Muncie’s premier—and, in many ways, only—record store.


“Pull!” …


“I said, I pulled the damn thing out.” …

“Grab that one first.”

“Watch your fingers.”

“I got you.”

Everything must go—must be moved. Everything!—the 15,000+ vinyls and cassettes and CDs and VHS tapes and DVDs and Aloha shirts and pin-back buttons and bumper stickers and magazines and Beatles figurines and KISS action figures and cassette shelves and Ozzy and Slipknot concert t-shirts.

Seated side by side at different angles are 18 big arch-shaped wooden record racks—all claiming 15 rectangles: 5 rows per column—within which most of the vinyls and CDs dwell, housing 300-400 vinyls each. But even with such set up, improvisation became necessary to make use of the persistent records which kept finding their way into this store. Below many of the racks can be found vinyls stuffed into box cartons and milk crates. And right on the front counter is a high pile of newly welcomed records.

This house of records which Dan Walter built has fast become solace for customers near and far—some traveling from out of city and state just to visit—who find small business record stores so rare these days that stumbling into one becomes a sort of ritual, to assure the customer all isn’t lost in the bubble of technology closing in on society. And in the middle stands Dan, a music aficionado with hands in the business since ’86. For two years, he managed the late Musicland; and for a decade after he managed Karma Records, another casualty of the anti-record frenzy heaved in—however unintentionally—by internet downloaders at the tip of the new millennium.

November 2003, Karma shut its doors, and 6 months blew by as Dan sought out map lines to a meaningful future. A gig to load supplies overnight at Wal-Mart couldn’t cut it. “I got more talent than that,” he promised himself, even as unemployment checks started running thin.

Gathering $300 from his last check and another $300 in loan from his dad, Dan paid off a month’s rent on a sizeable outlet, knocked down the walls—with crowbars and sledgehammers—of this once-upon-a-time corporate office, hauled in—with a friend’s help—all 18 record racks, installed scraps of vinyls and cassettes and CDs and VHS tapes from personal and professional collections, stuck a banner to the front window, and hoped his bet on music would somehow check out even in front of frightening obstacles.

On June 1, 2004, Dan’s Downtown Records opened.

And even though starting with 1/8th the content and worth his store today boasts stock of, this former farmer—who, for 9 years before Musicland, once fed livestock, drove tractors, picked, and hosed—planted a seed that has blossomed good and well through the last 7 years.

His CDs span great range—from Janet Jackson to The Jets, from Bo Diddley to The Black Crowes, from Lauryn Hill to Lou Reed.

Cassettes come through missing boundaries, as KRS-One, Public Enemy, Paul McCartney, Louis Armstrong, A Tribe Called Quest, and Van Halen all have a say.

Vinyl records (33 1/3 rpm and 45 rpm) go with the limitlessness of all from Kraftwerk to Alan Parsons, to Mahalia Jackson, to The Temptations, to Hugh Masekela, to R.E.M., to Nas, to Peter Frampton, to Ray Charles, to Peter Wolf, to Bette Midler, to Sade, to children favorites such as Walt Disney’s “Mary Poppins,” “The Night Before Christmas,” and “Pete’s Dragon.” And they stretch in cost just as well—from 49 cents to $49 apiece.

And though financial success has shown around less frequently than hardship and uncertainty, the store has kept spirits up, opening 6 days a week, 11-7, prepared to take some 40- or 50- or 60-year-old back decades to the night when she first heard Smokey Robinson or Bobby Caldwell lament lost love or celebrate commitment. The store has kept open because people need an institution like it in their small and big towns—places where the owners don’t need the resources of computers to register a customer’s desire to be flung back 30 or 40 years in search of one song or one album.

Two months ago, 9 a.m. one morning, the telephone rings in Dan’s home. A man, representing a local community college, greets him in friendly tones, and soon enough business gets personal.

“We purchased your building,” he tells Dan, “and we’ll like to have it cleaned out by July 1st.”

The plan is to raze this building, and build upon its ashes a parking garage, to support the college’s $7 million downtown project constituting new classrooms and labs for nursing, science, physical therapy, and physical technology students—students responsible for the 30% enrollment hike since last year. Dan and his neighbors—Grand Master Jong Woo Kim’s 40-year staple: Mudokwan Martial Arts, USA; the nonprofit Take Five Community Outreach, which provides domestic supplies to many Muncie families—would have to pack up and find other arrangements.

Dan hung up, hopped on his bike, and bolted right into action.

The search for a new home was on, and he combed the city clean. Soon enough, he stumbled upon a spot that would do the trick—house tens of thousands of records but retain enough space to stave off customer congestion, while maintaining the intimate feel a small record store strives to live by. The space, which for years had stayed unoccupied, was perfect; so he stepped up to the lady who owned it and explained the stakes.

“I’ll like to rent this place,” he informed her.

“Fine,” she complied.

“And here’s a $300 deposit to show good faith,” he said, handing her the bills.

The space would be Dan’s if he could provide some character references, proof of financial stability, and few other arbitrary particulars she felt necessary to review before delivering any keys.

6 weeks later, right before eviction date, she calls up to deliver some news, explaining displeasure with his inability to follow given orders, which, she says, have forfeited him any chances of moving in. Even with $900 as financial assurance, she was staying firm.

So, again, the search was on. And again he began scouring the city for unoccupied spaces. This would prove easy. But soon he realized that the absence of traffic within these buildings and offices didn’t seem to bother owners much. Some, it almost seemed, were well happy to keep them unoccupied—as certain tax benefits might come in play. Others demanded twice his current rent rate, willing to pass up on a small business owner who could do wonders with these spaces which for years—some up to a decade—had remained vacant.

The harshness of life was wearing down on Dan. He was losing what little confidence he tried hard to retain—that this store was worth longevity, that 7 years wouldn’t turn to rubble in one week.

“I spent about a week,” he reflects. “I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. You know, you’re talking about your livelihood, here.”

Nothing seemed to connect: all doors were being slammed shut, leaving Dan wondering, “What the hell am I going to do?”

In the background, The Doors sing of breaking on through to the other side—

You know the day destroys the night
Night divides the day
Tried to run
Tried to hide
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side…

Customers felt just as incredulous of survival, though many were quick to lend their guarantee of bluer skies once this storm blew past. One after the other, they shuffled in, heard the same chorus of uncertainty, and maintained strong belief their record store—something that had become part of their identity and being—wouldn’t go the way of many of its kind in cities nationwide. They tried to assure this owner, their champion, the world wasn’t as it was seeming to be—where, in but a matter of days, years of excruciating, and oft unrewarded, service and labor will be excavated and removed, never to be seen again, all remnants arraigned and disposed of. Their messages rang with thin conviction but deep trust:

“Good luck.”

“Everything’s going to work out—one way or the other.”

“I’m sure you’ll find a spot, Dan.”

And then, desperation:

“Please don’t go out of business.”

All the while this champion imagined this The End—the final lap to a 7-year run that was worth it, that for all its imperfections documented the magic of music in binding people across a common purpose. It seemed all hope would inevitably fizzle out, and the sharpest move would be to resolve to that conclusion by immediately calling up his main distributor to see about returning new vinyls and new CDs, to cut part of all losses still lingering. But even in the depth of insecurity, the stubbornness of conviction hung on.

“I was going everywhere: looking at whatever I could look at, scope out; or get a telephone number…”

He eventually made way to the East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, and was introduced to its director.

“Do you know Jay—red hair … he comes to your store?” he was asked immediately.

“I’ll probably know him if I saw him,” Dan replied.

“That’s my son!” the director announced.

Dan then told him of his travails in finding a spot with enough room for his records and a reasonable rental rate to keep the store on its feet. The director was sympathetic to the cause of an hardworking owner who represented the ideals espoused by his organization. Dan kept faith, but kept looking for a few days, until ultimately deciding to take 10 or so steps from his front door across the street, and see about a relatively smaller, but manageable, building owned by a like-minded small business entrepreneur.

“I’m looking for a spot, just in case: Are you interested?” Dan asked.

“Yeah, maybe,” the owner replied.

Before long, a deal was struck to consider this a backup plan, in case expectations with the Small Business Development Center fell short.

Last Monday, paperworks were signed, handshakes exchanged, and a second life christened. And though the new store fails to achieve the luxury of space featured in the old, Dan’s customers are happy and willing to put up with any inconvenience to have this store—this part of their lives—stay alive.

“It’s going to be tight in there,” Dan expects. But it would work “because of what we sell. Music is such a powerful thing that draws people to it. Every record store I’ve ever worked at, people come there—even from long distance—because of the music.”

And this record store is critical to Muncie not only for its richness and dexterity, or for the charismatic and relentless character in the middle, but for the striking quickness with which record stores are losing ground across states and towns, for the growing complacency among music buyers to abandon all sense of it in the physical form for digital downloads which, while gratifying and convenient, tend to rob the listener of the experiences and cultivated curiosities which once stood as requisite for serious listeners. Dan’s Downtown Records has managed a remarkable existence because customers felt it necessary to the social and cultural life of their surroundings.

So, today, Wednesday the 14th, in testament to that conviction, Dan opens in his new location, aware of his responsibility to his community of customers—local and beyond. He also opens with a statement of courage—against glaring possibilities hanging about him like shadows on a sunny day. True enough, he admits, “most towns don’t have one.”

And whether or not this reopening offers fresh perspective on his bold step 7 years ago is a supposition yet to manifest. Either way, he’s at peace, proud without boast.

“I’m still here,” he confirms. “I’ve had to live poor. But I don’t care about that. I mean, I see too many people that don’t have nothing.”

Tolu Olorunda is a cultural critic. He can be reached at: .


Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: Just saw an interview with Robert David Hall, a.k.a. Dr. Robbins, medical examiner on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Since they mentioned “last night's presidential election,” I know it took place in November 2008.

Hall said he was going to Austin to record an album of original songs, which really surprised me. Like millions of CSI viewers, this is a side of my favorite TV coroner that I never knew.

Did he ever complete his album?
—Gillian Willbury, Santa Cruz, Calif.

DEAR GILLIAN: Finally, Robert David Hall's dream project is a reality.

Titled “Things They Don't Teach You in School,” this CD is on his own label, Robert David Hall Music (RDHM01).

All but three of the 12 tunes are written or co-written by Robert, including the title track.

One I'm especially fond of is “For Judy,” written for and dedicated to his wife. Judy must love the line “You've got a heart that sets you apart … and more soul than Motown in its prime.” I know I do.

On June 19th, Hall fulfilled another of his childhood dreams; a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

“I've been listening to the Opry since I was a little kid,” the 62-year-old actor told “The Tennessean” before taking the stage.

“I wanted to play guitar and be a musician ever since seeing Roy Rogers and Gene Autry movies. I was seven.

“I ended up joining a theater company, but I still played music all the time. When I started getting paid as an actor I realized the way you make money determines your career directions.

“Now, all I want to do is be in tune and sound good. After all, how many people get the opportunity to sing and play on the Grand Ole Opry stage?”

DEAR JERRY: One of those internet-only oldies radio stations played a song that is surely by Dion and the Belmonts, but one I have never heard.

They have no dee jays (usually a plus) so no title was announced, but it sounds very much like “A Teenager in Love.” Most likely it's a follow-up.

From the lyrics, I'm guessing it is “A Long Way.” It's great and should have been a hit!

What can you tell me about this tune?
—Don Hayes, Vincennes, Ind.

DEAR DON: Probably everything that matters.

This track, titled “Such a Long Way” (Laurie 3080), is by the Belmonts without Dion. In fact, it came out the same week in January 1961 as Dion's second solo hit, “Havin' Fun” (Laurie 3081), his follow-up to “Lonely Teenager.”

Backed with the delightfully doo-wopish “We Belong Together,” a regional hit of sorts, this is the first post-Dion record for his Belmonts: Carlo Mastrangelo, Angelo D'Aleo and Fred Milano.

You are right on both counts: “Such a Long Way” borrows heavily from “A Teenager in Love,” and it should have been a hit.

IZ ZAT SO? Despite being the Rock Era's No. 1 label for singles sales, Columbia achieved that rank with mostly non-rock recordings. This applies specifically to the parent company and not their subsidiaries (Epic, Okeh, etc.).

From January 1, 1955 through February 9, 1963 — the Golden Age and peak period for rock and roll music — Columbia had no flourishing rock artists , and only one Top 10 rock hit: Buzz Clifford's “Baby Sittin' Boogie” (1961).

It sounds impossible, but they offset their aversion to the teen scene with a bevy of pop, folk, and country stars, all with impressive Top 10 credentials:

Tony Bennett; Brothers Four; Don Cherry; Rosemary Clooney; Vic Damone; Doris Day; Jimmy Dean; Percy Faith & His Orchestra; Four Lads; Terry Gilkyson & Easy Riders; Johnny Horton; Stonewall Jackson; Frankie Laine; Johnny Mathis; Guy Mitchell; Mitch Miller; Fess Parker; Johnny Ray; Marty Robbins; and Joan Weber.

Then Columbia signed Dion DiMucci, who immediately became their first rock star. His Columbia debut single, “Ruby Baby,” reached No. 2 in February '63.

In June 1965, a Columbia rock record finally claimed the No. 1 position: “Mr. Tambourine Man,” by the Byrds.

As for rock's Silver Age, the British Invasion, Columbia again remained on the sidelines. Not once during the '60s did they even have a Top 25 hit with a foreign-based act.

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column.

Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Visit his Web site:

All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2010 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Music News & Notes

Amalgama Reveals New EP "Amethyst" Artwork

New York's Amalgama has issued the following update about posting the artwork for the band's new EP "Amethyst" online:

"We're not sure if you've already seen it, but we have debuted our new EP cover and title - Amethyst. We worked closely with Al Berardi once again (who last designed our new logo) and came up with a fantastic final result. Let us know what you think about it and get yourself pumped for the tracks that will be following soon."

Great cover.....



KORN and ROB ZOMBIE are heading out on the Mayhem Festival, and KORN is releasing their new album 'KORN III: Remember Who You Are' on 7/13. Right now you can enter to win a guitar autographed by KORN, from Roadrunner Records and Record Store Day.


Brad's 4th Studio Album "Best Friends?" Set To Arrive August 10th

Long-time Northwest favorite Brad is set to release its eagerly awaited new studio record "Best Friends?" Tuesday, August 10, 2010, on Pearl Jam's Monkeywrench Records. Marking the band's first studio release in eight years, "Best Friends?" is the fourth record from the iconic collaboration of vocalist/pianist Shawn Smith, guitarist Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam), drummer Regan Hagar (Satchel) and bassist Mike Berg.

Brad is seeing a long awaited resurgence in 2010. The trio rebooted its web site, brought Gossard's Hank Khoir bassist Keith Lowe into the fold, and played several sold-out Seattle shows (and a set at the Sasquatch music festival) leading up to its "Best Friends?" release.

"Best Friends?" will be available on Tuesday, August 10, 2010, through independent retailers including CIMS, AIMS and MMN stores, various digital partners and online through Pearl Jam's Ten Club at


METALLICA: Deluxe Vinyl Edition Of 'Kill 'Em All' Available - July 14, 2010

As previously reported, METALLICA is making a deluxe vinyl edition of its 1983 debut album, "Kill 'Em All", available for order online on Thursday (July 15), beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET. The two-platter set comes in heavyweight 180-gram red vinyl, packaged in a gatefold sleeve and remastered from the original album master tapes. Only 1,000 copies are available and can be ordered by METALLICA fan club members at

Originally issued on July 25, 1983 through the independent label Megaforce Records, "Kill 'Em All" was recorded in two weeks on a miniscule budget in upstate New York. Although only 1,500 copies were initially pressed, the album was reissued by Elektra Records after the band signed to that label in 1984 and has since been certified triple platinum for sales of more than three million copies.

Interestingly, the original title of "Kill 'Em All" was "Metal Up Your Ass."  Kill em all is much better.


KING OF ASGARD: Reveal Cover Art  For Debut Album

Swedish Viking Folk Death Metallers KING OF ASGARD have revealed the cover art and tracklisting for their upcoming debut album Fi’mbulvintr, to be released August 13/16 via Metal Blade Records in Europe!

The album was recorded back in March by Andy LaRocque (King Diamond) as engineer and co-producer over an intense two week period


Brandon Flowers' Flamingo Cover Art Revealed

The covert art for The Killers leader singer Brandon Flowers' first solo album has been released. Brandon Flowers is standing in a Vegas hotel room on the album cover. Flamingo will gon on sale September 14th. The music video for "Crossfire" was recently released.

Terrible cover, if you ask me.

Undercover Jewel at Karaoke Club for Surprise Web Video

NEW YORK -- On a recent Monday night at a Los Angeles karaoke bar, a meek-looking woman in a business suit and glasses was coaxed on stage by her co-workers.

While the unsuspecting crowd readied itself for four minutes of awkward singing, the woman -- "Karen" -- suddenly belted out exquisite, pitch-perfect renditions of the popular Jewel songs "Who Will Save Your Soul" and "Foolish Games."

Astonished crowd members picked their jaws off the floor and cheered wildly.

Karen really was Jewel, and the proceedings had been filmed by, the comedy video website co-founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. The video was posted Tuesday and was rapidly circulating online, with more than 160,000 views as of evening.

What a hoot:

This Date In Music History - July 14


Tommy Mattola - music executive, Sony Records. Married Mariah Carey in 1993, separated in 1997. (1948)

Chris Cross - Ultravox (1952)

Ellen Reid - Crash Test Dummies (1966)

Tonya Donelly - Belly (1966)

Nick McCabe - The Verve (1971)

Taboo - Black Eyed Peas (1975)

Tameka Cottle - Xscape (1975)

Ruben Studdard - American Idol (1978)

They Are Missed:

Born on this day in 1912, influential US folk singer Woody Guthrie. Was a major influence on Bob Dylan and American folk music. 70's film 'Bound For Glory' based on his life. Guthrie died on October 3, 1967.

A drunk driver killed Clarence White of The Byrds while he was loading equipment after a gig in Palmdale, California in 1973.

Born today in 1926, Lowman Pauling, guitarist, The Five Royales, co-wrote 1967 hit for Mamas and the Papas, "Dedicated To The One I Love." He died on December 26, 1973.

In 1984, Phillippe Wynne, lead singer with The Detroit Spinners, died of a heart attack while performing at Ivey's nightclub in Oakland, California (age 43).

In 2003, Skip Battin, former bassist for the Byrds and other notable country-rock bands of the ’70s and ’80s, dies near Palm Springs, Calif., of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 69. Battin appeared on the Byrds’ 1970-71 albums “Untitled,” Byrdmaniax and “Farther Along.”

In 2005, pioneering African-American country artist Big Al Downing died at a hospital near his home in Leicester, Mass. Downing, 65, was felled by complications from Leukemia, with which he had been recently diagnosed.


Fats Domino hit #1 on the R&B chart and #3 on the pop chart in 1956 with his song "I'm In Love Again."

1960 #1 Chart Toppers Pop Hit: “I’m Sorry,” Brenda Lee.

Bobby Vinton started a four week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1962 with "Roses Are Red, My Love."

In 1962, the Beatles played their first ever gig in Wales when they appeared at The Regent Dansette in Rhyl. Tickets cost 70 cents.

In 1967, the Who began their first full North American tour at the Memorial Coliseum, Portland, Oregon, appearing as support band to Herman's Hermits on 55 dates.

Bob Dylan made a surprise appearance with The Band at the Mississippi River Rock Festival in 1969. He performed three songs.

In 1973, Gary Glitter and the Glitter Men made their live debut at Mecksham, Wiltshire, England.

During a concert at the John Wayne Theatre in Hollywood (Knott's Berry Farm), California in 1973, Phil Everly smashed his guitar and stormed of stage. Don bravely finished the set by himself and announced that The Everly Brothers had split.

In 1977, Elvis Costello and The Attractions made their live debut supporting Wayne County at The Garden, Penzance, Cornwall, England.

Donna Summer scored her third #1 US single in 1979 with "Bad Girls" and the album of the same name also started a five week run at #1.

Allen Klein, ex manager of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, began serving a two-month prison sentence in 1980 for falsifying tax returns.

The movie premier for Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' was held at The Empire, Leicester Square, London, England in 1982.

The “Is Elvis Alive?” frenzy reached a high point in 1988 as Nashville radio station WYHY offered $1 million to anyone who can produce the King alive. Despite our best efforts, Elvis still refused to emerge from his quarters at the 23rd Street YMCA in New York. So the reward was unclaimed.

Michael Jackson gave himself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1988 for setting a new attendance record, when he played the first of seven nights at Wembley Stadium in London. The shows on his 'Bad World Tour' were attended by a total of 504,000 fans beating the record previously held by Genesis, with four sold out nights.

Cyndi Lauper released the first closed-captioned video in 1989. The video was for the song "My First Night Without You."

Alice Cooper releases his comeback single “Poison” in 1989. It later goes to #7, his biggest hit since 1972’s “School’s Out.”

At The Peach Festival, South Carolina in 1989, 432 guitarist's broke the world record for the most guitar players appearing in unison for the longest period of time, when they performed "Louie Louie" for 30 minutes. Peach Festival?

In 1992, Megadeth released their fifth album Countdown to Extinction, which becomes their most successful record to date – peaking at No. 2 in the Billboard album charts.

Aretha Franklin sang the US national anthem at the Democratic national convention in 1992.

Also in 1992 - Olivia Newton-John announced that she had breast cancer. Her publicist said that doctors expected a full recovery. They were right.

In 1993, the US Postal Service released 29-cent stamps that honored four Broadway musicals. The featured scenes were from "My Fair Lady," "Porgy and Bess," "Show Boat" and "Oklahoma!"

Garbage was nominated in eight, count ‘em eight, categories for the upcoming 15th annual MTV Music Awards in September of 1998. When the awards were handed out Garbage, sadly, comes up empty.

In 2000, it was announced that the Go-Go's had gotten back together again for a tour, new album, a book and a movie.

Also in 2000 - Dr. Dre filed suit against the city of Detroit alleging censorship. The lawsuit stemmed from a concert stop in Detroit on July 6, 2000, when Dre was told he and the tour organizers would be arrested if he showed a video during the concert. The video contained nudity and graphic violence.

In 2003, plans for Sting to write an official anthem for Tuscany came under fire by locals who insisted the job should go to an Italian and not a foreigner. The British pop star owned a house in Tuscany and had been nominated to compose the anthem by Franco Banchi who lived nearby. In other news, buttfuckIdaho is now the motto on the license plates for the residents of Idaho...

Planet Waves wine was introduced in 2004. The name comes from the 1974 Bob Dylan album. An Italian winery, Fattoria La Terrazze, produced 415 cases with only 125 of them available in the US. The wine sold for $65 a bottle.

In 2006, ex-Vice President Dan Quayle exited a John Mellencamp's concert in Stateline, NV, after the singer criticized the Bush administration while introducing the song "Walk Tall." Quayle’s publicist says the "performance was not very good to begin with, and the comment put it over the top." "It's kind of telling that he chose to walk out as I was doing a song about tolerance," says Mellencamp.

A Rolling Stones concert scheduled at a racetrack in Belgrade, Serbia, was relocated to a city park in 2007. Animal-rights activists claim the group's music (as melodic and tasteful as it is) will distress horses sheltered in nearby stables. Umm, OK......

In 2007, a pair of glasses worn by former Beatle John Lennon sparked a bidding war after being offered for sale online. The circular sunglasses were worn by Lennon during the Beatles 1966 tour of Japan, where the band played some of their last ever live dates. Anonymous rival bidders had pushed the price over the 1 million mark at online auction house

Michael Jackson fans from all over the world congregated at London's O2 arena in 2009, where the star had been due to begin his run of 50 concerts. Fans who left messages to a wall of tributes and conducted Jackson sing-a-longs, held a minute's silence at 1830 BST to mark the time when the doors to the concert would have opened.

The Dead Weather, with Jack White (White Stripes/Raconteurs) on drums, rolled out their debut "Horehound" in 2009.

Judas Priest unfurled "A Touch Of Evil: Live" in 2009. The collection features 11 songs that have never appeared on any of the group's previous concert discs, including songs from ‘08’s "Nostradamus." "It's a very fierce record and just captures the band's attitude and feeling in a very strong, determined way," says frontman Rob Halford.

The Doors DVD documentary, From The Outside, was in stores in 2009. Among the friends and family interviewed is Jim Morrison's one-time girlfriend (and wife if you believe in occult weddings) Patricia Kennealy-Morrison. "It was probably the best interview anyone has ever gotten out of me," says Kennealy-Morrison. "I got to talk about Jim as an artist-hero and also as a flawed, brave, tragic person."