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The Day Musicland Died

I've been thinking a lot lately about the music of my youth and the huge role it plays in my memories. It makes me smile everytime I hear one of these songs on the radio.

Most of the music we bought at Musicland in the mall in Bismarck. I loved that place. Racks and racks of records and cassettes, as well as posters, postcards and other trinkets featuring your favorite singer or group.

My true musical love was Duran Duran. I never bought a full album until I was out of college. I had to have every single because each one came with a poster, or at least a photo of the band. I almost died when there was an 8×10 picture of each member with a list of their "likes" on the back. Nick Rhodes was my favorite, but for some crazy reason I clearly remember that John Taylor loves strawberries. A fact that I have never found useful in daily life or Trivial Pursuit.

I also lived for NightTracks on WTBS. It was the unexpected surprise when we finally got cable TV in town. Hours and hours of videos on Friday and Saturday nights, heaven! A friend and I used to argue over who say which videos first. I still think I saw Peter Schilling's "Major Tom" way before she did.

Our senior trip was a bus ride to the Heritage Center in Bismarck. It isn't as lame as it sounds because I brought my boom box-oh yeah I had a boom box-and my best friend and I sang Aerosmith all the way there. It gets me a little teary-eyed thinking about it.

Now Musicland is no longer. You don't even need to go to a store to buy music. You sit at a computer, put it on an iSomething and away you go. My son won't know the fun of looking through the racks of CDs/tapes/albums/8-tracks at the cover art and funny names. He won't have memories of running to the record store to get the newest release. He won't carry around a big boom box or walkman to play his tunes. Will there even be music videos anymore?

When he is my age (and I'm in the nursing home) he will probably be saying the same thing about his kids and their music technology. And my grandkids will be asking me, "Grandma, what is a cassette tape?"