Interview, Our City

Looney Tunes Records Reopens, in Allston!


Once upon a time, on Boylston Street, there was a lovely record store called Looney Tunes. If anyone were to go there now, in search of a record, all they would find is ice cream. Luckily for us, the owner of this spot has decided to find a new home. Nuzzled underneath Jin Kareoke on Harvard Ave. If you are paying attention, you can see the large red sign from across the street, and the spikes with old records sitting ominously at the entrance of the gate. Do not be alarmed. If you decide to make the trip down into the basement all you will find is an interesting collection of records, and an interesting man. A man named Pat.


Q: Why did you start Looney Tunes?


A: I am in no way suited for regular fucking employment. I cannot contain myself sufficient to be part of anything that will require me to contain myself. This is expansive. There is an infinite variety of music for one thing, and there’s nobody to tell me to shut up.


I didn’t start Looney Tunes actually. It was started by two guys named Seth and Jerry, and I worked for them right after college. Then in 1982, Jerry decided he wanted to open up a restaurant, so I bought in. It first opened up on Mass Ave in 1978, and the from 1982 until 2012 it was the shop on Boylston Street.


I bought in because you know, recorded sound and music has been my passion, and if you can do a job that’s driven by passion, you’re just gonna have that much more fun in life. If you do a job that’s just drudgery, that’s what you’re going to get. Before this I did some some landscaping, I pumped gas for six months, and I even worked in a sex shop. I mean you would think that would be interesting, but it’s not the infinite variety of music or art. There are only so many variations on a basic theme. You’d be surprised how incredibly boring it can be.


Q: How/where do you get most of the records?


A: Everywhere you can imagine.


Q: What is your process for choosing records?


A: Being open to finding them. I’m not trying to be obscure. I have never bought records online. It has always been in person, but generally. More often than not, you’ll get a call from somebody because they know of you. They’ve had a good experience selling you their collection or selling you the collection of a loved one who has departed this mortal toilet. It’s word of mouth more than anything else.


You go and look and find the most extraordinary things. It’s fascinating, just seeing the weirdness, and sometimes the blandness. Like… these people are so white. White people seem to decorate with a lot of ducks. There’s pictures of ducks and duck decoys.

Q: Do the Allston customers shop differently than the old Berklee customers?


A: No, not at all.


Q: Why do you think that is?


A: I think it takes a certain kind of individual to be interested in records. It’s not mainstream anymore. People tend to be really bright, focused and engaged. I mean you’re finding me here right now in this ramshackle set up. Their like dowsers with their divining rods looking for water, ya know?


There’s a difference from the beginning of the shop, when everyone used to get their music through records or cassettes. So you would get a lot of regular folks. Now it seems like the people now, even if their younger, are pretty evolved. I find that my customers are as intelligent and sexy as they’ve ever been, but it’s a better grade of person. At least a more interesting type of person.


Q: Do you have a local music section?


A: No


Q: Do you want to have a local music section?


A: No, it seems to me that it sort of relegates local musicians to some lesser status if you separate them out from the mainstream of their genre. If I had a local rock band, I would put them in the rock section. I was just about to put this Dogzilla record out, but I just stuck it in the rock section.  


Q: How would a band or artist go about getting their music sold in your store?


A: Just ask me. I don’t care. Certainly if there’s already a demand, than I will sell them.


Q: I know you are thinking of doing shows here, how are you going to organize them, and what means will you use to advertise them?


A: Well, I won’t be putting them on, but I have been talking with Angela Sawyer. I have just been so slow getting set up. So, I guess I shouldn’t talk about it so much right now.


Fuck, marry, kill? And why


Kate Bush, Queen Latifah, David Lynch?


A: Ooooo! This is a tricky one! In that I know I would fuck Kate Bush. I find her physically appealing and I love her music. Queen Latifah would be my second choice, because I love her music. I have never wanted to fuck David Lynch.


Q: But would you kill him?
A: But I love him! I love his art better than the other two! I can’t kill him. I guess I have to kill Queen Latifah.



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