Over the years I’ve gone to some odd places and way out of my way to buy records, but this is the one that is proof positive of just how much times have changed.
While perusing erape (ebay) for punk records to see if there is anything that I need and can afford, I noticed that people were selling a picture disc of Social Distortion’s Mommy’s Little Monster LP. I at first scoffed at it thinking it was another bootleg, just like those Misfits picture discs I’ve seen around. I thought about it some more and decided to check out Social D’s website to see if it was something they were selling themselves. It turns out it was legitimate, and it was an exclusive being sold only at Hot Topic stores.
Yes, re-read that last sentence, one of my three favorite punk rock albums was now available in the inferior picture disc format, and being sold in a shopping mall store that caters to a bunch of humps who think Good Charlotte is a punk band. As a general rule, I don’t like picture discs and tend to avoid them, but unfortunately for me, my need for completion, especially when it comes to one of my top three albums, won out and I had to have one.
My friend Jeff happened to be over so we took the trek up to the local mall that had the store and went to find one. They actually have a small selection of vinyl records there but nothing much of interest. I found that they had a few copies so I grabbed mine and proceeded to head to the checkout. Some kid who works there saw what I was holding and told us that “we have Social Distortion pillow cases on sale right now too”. I just say “what?” and he repeated it. I told him I wasn’t interested but thanks anyway. I paid for my item and we left the mall as quickly as we came. Jeff and I were trading our opinions on how much times have changed. I felt like I was in an episode of The Twilight Zone. I originally bought this album almost 20 years ago and I never thought in my wildest imagination that not only would the music, and that record, be pretty much totally accepted by mainstream society, but that I would be offered the chance to buy Social Distortion pillow cases too! Back when I was in high school, the only way one was going to have Social D pillow cases was if you spray painted some old sheets yourself with a stencil.
Times certainly have changed. The kids don’t need a turntable, you can buy one of my favorite records from a shopping mall store along with pillow cases, and my beloved punk records in many cases are being bought and sold like stocks and are becoming the same thing as comic books and baseball cards. People buy them as an investment and care little of the historical significance.