Popdose is sad to report that legendary Tower Records founder Russ Solomon died at the age of 92, Sunday night, March 4th.
However, as it was reported by the Sacramento Bee, it was with a drink in his hand and a smart-aleck remark on his lips. The visionary entrepreneur who built a global retailing empire and the most famous company in Sacramento history died of an apparent heart attack.
Solomon was watching the Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night at his Sacramento-area home when he was stricken, said his son, Michael Solomon, the former chief executive of Tower. “Ironically, he was giving his opinion of what someone was wearing that he thought was ugly, then asked (his wife) Patti to refill his whiskey,” Solomon said. When she returned, he had died.
Tower went out of business in December 2006 after a second stint in bankruptcy.
As if to defy the digital forces that reshaped the music business, Solomon opened another music store just a few months later, on the very site of one of Tower’s flagship stores in Sacramento. But the encore fell flat, and he gave up after three years. Nonetheless, Solomon enjoyed a redemption of sorts as the star of “All Things Must Pass,” a poignant documentary on Tower’s history produced by actor and former Sacramentan Colin Hanks. The movie debuted in March 2015.
Thank you, Mr. Solomon – Tower Records was a haven for many of us in an earlier and easier time.