/Compact Disc Land, 1997 to 2002
Palo Alto, CA
With Gordon Waller after his performance at Compact Disc Land.
It had been my dream to own my own business. I looked back with great fondess to my first experience in the Music Business, working for my brother Jon as he opened and ran a record store named "Tooky Tunes", in Contoocook, NH in the late 1970s. For my venture, I partned with my pal from college, and in particular KFJC, Jeff "Stretch" Riedle. We had a blast at our store, Compact Disc Land, and those years will always remain among my most treasured life experiences. Jeff was a great partner, a music man through and through, and we brought our passion to work with us in our self made world on University Avenue in Palo Alto, California every day.
We featured an umatched Surf Music section, as Jeff was more than an aficiando, having played drums in Surf bands for years prior to the opening of CD Land. He had learned to play while we were college roommates, practicing in the garage of our San Jose Townhouse. Now, we hosted Surf Legends in live performances at CD Land, including the great Davie Allan and the Arrows. It was nothing less than thrilling, and all that was Jeff's doing.
Not that we didn't have help. Bill Richardson was invaluable and we were priviledged to have an experienced guitar tech like Bill spend his off road time at CD Land. We poached Mark, who had been a long time emplyee of friend and fellow KFJCer Tommy Tunes at Vinyl Solution; Wendy Waller, an accomplished performer in her own right, wanted to support the cause and organized a series that featured live performances by a long list of the Bay Area's strongest female artists.
Once he moved to California, my brother helped out, and the circle was indeed unbroken. It was fitting that he came to work in a store that, in terms of my participation, he provided the inspration for. He joined us as artists we had grown up loving, such as the Chocolate Watch Band and Syndicate of Sound, played live in the store. My friend Kenn Ellner accepted a dollar as payment and we had a former record company attorney on board to help take care of business; we had met while Kenn wore his cape as lead singer of Count Five. Brother, Laurence Juber, Martha Davis, Mary Lou Lord, Agent Orange, and John Doe were among those that joined us to perform live at Compact Disc Land. Oh, we did sell a few LPs and CDs as well by the way.
Still, in an expensive real estate enviorment like Palo Alto, CA, it wasn't enough, and we closed at the end of July in 2002. Earlier that year, Gordon Waller, of Peter & Gordon, had performed at the store. Like many of the artists we had, he said, "Publicity's great, but what I really need are more gigs". More gigs, you say Guv'nor? What the heck --I'll see what I can do...I came through, and Keith Putney Productions was born. ..
With my brother,
Jon, at CD Land