RIP Bill Wisener, of Bill's Records and Tapes

This, I admit, is specific to Dallas, so it won’t mean much to most of you. But I can’t exaggerate the influence this man had on record buyers in a town that only had two other independent record shops in the 70s/80s, both of them fairly small and out of the way. His store was a jumbled warehouse of musical odds and ends, and it always seem like nothing was too obscure to find jammed somewhere between two other albums or CDs… It also seemed like whenever you walked in, he was playing something that you instantly wanted to buy.

His stores had a sort of seedy edge, that made you feel like sometimes they were a front for something illegal or weird…Sometimes when I walked in, it felt like I’d just interrupted something. But that, honestly, just added to the charm.

He died exactly where he wanted to be. RIP to a guy who indirectly influenced a lot of people, including me.

If you’re not familiar with him, feel free to eulogize your own disappearing record stores. :wink:

I heard this yesterday. I am conflicted. The stores and the man were an icon of the scene, and largely got that way by never going out of buisiness and having inventory going back decades. If you couldn’t find something, go there. Bill probably has it.

But the stores had NO FUCKING PRICES ON ANYTHING. You grabbed what you wanted to buy, and Bill decided how much it cost based on who you were. I had friends who he considered more attractive than I get far better prices (sometimes with the added expense of inappropriate comments). After about four visits, I’d only go there in desperation, sending a person with a reliable discount up to make the actual purchase.

So, see ya Bill. I’m conflicted about your meaning to me. Forever Young in Arlington might always be the stupid expensive record store in the area, but you knew it going in. If nothing else, you let me know what it feels like to be judged on attractiveness.

I hate to be a wet blanket, but the dude was a MAJOR fucking pedophile that abused his employees.

Ask anyone that has worked there.

Sounds like you weren’t alone.

The one time I visited the store, I noticed things that did not seem right. The youth in the backroom smoking pot and hovering around Bill was the thing I remembered most. Never went back.

I’ll admit, I didn’t know he was still alive, nor did I know that his store had moved after leaving the Richardson location.

Back when I was in high school, I recall did hear rumors about Bill having sex with teenage boys, but it was real hard to separate anything factual from the rumor-mongering you’d almost expect to hear in the 80s about an odd hippie record-store owner.

Wow. Well. I sensed something was amiss, but I didn’t figure on that.

As for pricing, yeah you had to ask him, but most of the time he wanted something that was reasonable. I do recall a few times he told me something was imported and hit me with a high number, and I either bought it or I didn’t, but nothing felt fishy there.

Anyway. All that other stuff has me conflicted now.

I had no idea. I was only in the store once. I do miss the days when I could spend a couple of hours in a record store…

Well, I don’t know about the more salacious stuff. If I hadn’t compared receipts and asked questions, I wouldn’t have caught on that there was a double standard. I would have just figured it was a generally overpriced record store. If that was your experience, know that it probably had a weird undercurrent, too. It’s Texas, a lot of things here have a weird undercurrent - heck, it seems that most places are that way.

Well, if you have the time, there’s plenty of good ones out there. Doc’s in Fort Worth is easily the used mecca, IMHO. They always have tons of new stuff and old stuff I want to grab. I have a new shelving unit I can fill, and I need to go visit. Doc’s is too reasonable in pricing to not visit first. Recycled in Denton should probably be second. There are many, many lesser ones in the area I could spend hours in.