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Colony Music and Tad's Steaks

Last week Jeremiah Moss passed along the sad news that legendary record and sheet music store, Colony Music is closing soon. It’s not that they want to close the store, it’s that there greedy, fucking landlord, Stonehenge Properites is quintupling their rent. You read that right, quintupling, as in five on rye. They currently pay one million a month, Stonehenge is upping that to five million a month and basically are throwing Colony Music out the door and will bring in some big box store, like that stupid fucking M&M’s store which is three floors devoted to M&M’s candy. Let’s take a trip there before it’s gone.

Darkness has fallen on the city as we make our way to Colony Music.

I thought I’d splurge tonight and take a cab to Times Square.

And here’s my view from the back of the cab. This guy is driving like a maniac, maybe this post will be about going to the hospital instead of a record store.
Well, it’s going to be about a record store after all, we made it and here we are deep in the heart of Times Square! See that big Applebee’s sign? That’s what Colony Music will be in a couple of months, some generic, piece of shit big-box restaurant or store. Why in the fuck would anyone come to New York and eat at an Applebee’s?
Here we are, Colony Music, you gotta love that neon sign!

Let’s go inside for one last bittersweet visit.

There’s a decent crowd in here tonight and I can hear people talking about the place closing.

Here’s the record bins filled with vinyl.

As you can see, it doesn’t look like they’re restocking the inventory.

Here’s some memorabilia and records from the Fab Four inside of a jewelry case. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

And for all you EV Grieve readers out there...is that Lady Gaga? (This phrase is a patent-pending N.O.T.O.R.I.O.U.S. L.I.B.E.R.A.T.I.O.N invention, use only with permission!)

The Chairman of the Board!

And here’s a Yardbirds album and I promise to write up the story of traveling to Memphis with Yardbird drummer Jim McCarty one of these years!

Colony Music is probably the last place in New York that sells cassette tapes!

But there’s much more than albums to look at in Colony Music, check out the vintage TV Guides with Mary Hartman and Chad Everett on the covers.

I love these Elvis pennants!

Who is this girl? Why...I believe it’s...Lady Gaga!

The Beatles on a copy of an old Sun newspaper. I don’t remember the Beatle blitz happening, anybody out there remember it?

Check out the Dick Clark tchotchkes and book.

Eydie Gorme looking nice on a 1957 copy of down beat. Where’s Steve?

I wonder if a “happy ending” comes with this John Travolta postcard book?

Colony Music has a large section of the store devoted to sheet music.

Sheet happens, but only for about three more weeks.

This is Robert who’s worked at Colony for years. He said that the NY Post exaggerated about the rent and the fact that there was one million vinyl albums in the store. He said the closing is partially due to high rent, but also due to the fact that more and more people are downloading music. He also said a big problem is a huge decline in sheet music sales, because people can print them off the internet for free. So the closing is a combination of an asshole landlord and the asshole internet.

And here’s Bethany behind the counter, we met her on our last visit to Colony.

After leaving Colony Music for probably the last time, I decided to get something to eat. But not here!

Tad’s Steaks is just a couple blocks away and another New York institution, let’s go get some cheap-ass steak! I know some people will say, “But Tad’s is a chain,” but I cut them slack because they’ve been here forever. And about once a year, I get a craving for a Tad’s steak, salad and baked potato. And tonight is that night!

The selections are plastered on the wall.

As soon as as I took this photo, a manager came up and told me I couldn’t take photos inside because of trademark infringement. I wasn’t sure what the fuck that meant, but I put my camera in my pocket as I was starvin’ like Marvin and didn’t want to get thrown out.

And here it is, a paper thin T-Bone steak, a baked potato covered in melted butter, garlic bread and a salad. A Tad’s feast!

Tad’s is a little like White Castle, you have the craving, you eat it and then you won’t have a craving for another year because you feel a little sick afterwards. Goodnight and goodbye Colony Music.

Further Reading: Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, Dangerous Minds and New York Daily News.

A vinyl solution,
Ended my confusion,
I heard a voice in the noise pollution.

Surprise link...click on it...I dare you!

Bonus Offer for TWM Readers!

I bought the John Travolta postcard book and there’s 20 postcards in there. If you’d like one, you don’t even have to leave a comment, just email me your address and I’ll send one off to you!


Bonus cartoon sent in from Jaws!

Jaws the Cabbie sent in this cartoon after reading the sentence about the M&M store. Thanks, Jaws!

References (2)

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Reader Comments (43)

I've never seen that Beatles picture, sitting on the park bench. Looks like 1968 or so. You snapped a picture of "Love is Blue" sheet music and that song knocked "Hey Jude" from the number one spot in 68. Behind Bethany's left shoulder I see the CD"s "Abbey Road", "Sgt Peppers" and "Let it Be". The place is a Beatles fan goldmine,,,,my kind of place, too bad about that greedy landlord and the internet downloaders. Tad's looked good, and Travolta has made some great films, Sat Nite Fever was and still is a great movie as was Urban Cowboy with a very hot Debra Winger, more recent I liked the film where he played the minority and the blacks were the majority and he kidnapped his boss,,,,forget the name now.

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Marty, you're probably the last 5 or 6 New Yorkers that are left, still sad-eyed and prowling the remains of what was once "New York City." A pity, sad, sad pity.

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMykola Mick Dementiuk

I felt some M&M humor would be appropriate for today's post Marty... http://youtu.be/mI0ff3iO3n0 check your e-mail....

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

OK ... I was wondering how a store like Colony could afford $1,000,000 a month in rent - and who would pay $5,000,000 a month ? Too bad they don't relocate to a smaller cheaper site :(

" Why in the fuck would anyone come to New York and eat at an Applebee’s? "

That is a damn good question ! ........... I see a post where you go to Applebee's - and ask peoplethere: "why?"

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@Al: Great trivia about "Love is Blue!" I didn't know that knocked "Hey Jude" off the charts! Colony is not only a Beatles goldmine, but it's a treasure trove for looking at vintage magazines, records, books, etc. I hate to see it closing and dread what's going to go in there. Here’s a link to the Travolta movie you’re talking about.

@Mykola Mick Dementiuk: The city is slowly turning into one big shopping mall, it is sad!

@Jaws: Thanks for the linkage and I just posted the cartoon!

@GENE: According to Robert the rent hike was exaggerated by the Post, but he said it was still a factor in the closing of the place. i'll have to think about that Applebee's post, I'd probably get thrown out in minutes!

August 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Funny you compare Tad's to White Castle - I had White Castle exactly once, in 2002, and I still taste that godawful greasy oil slick! The store was on 5th Ave, near 30th and has since been demolished. I have to admit, I gleefully watched it get razed. Mwahaha!

Same with Tad's - I went there once and it was one of the worst experiences ever, I've never gone back. I think part of the problem was I was talked into going by a former friend who then claimed to have forgotten his wallet...so I paid $63 for a terrible meal.

So many people love Tad's, I've been thinking I should give it a second chance, but am too afraid...

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoggla

Well damn. Not a rainbows and unicorns type day. I even found your steak to be a Tad depressing.
Even if one is a big proponent of the inevitable "march of progress", you have to admit that a lot of people get stepped on along the way.

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

@Goggla: Too funny about the White Castle! I probably eat there about once a year too, in fact I'm overdue for a visit, maybe that'll be part of next week's post! Sorry to hear about your Tad's experience, you should try it again, the food's just so-so, but it's usually a good people-watching experience.

csp: "I even found your steak to be a Tad depressing." Ha ha ha! Good one! And I agree, if this is progress, I want nothing to do with it!

August 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I have to say, I haven't been to Colony in a long time, since all the musical instrument stores started shutting down. Don't know about you, but I find myself going to fewer and fewer parts of town...partly because I'm getting old as hell, but also because it's too damn depressing. Guess I'm happier picturing places they way they used to be in my deluded brain than seeing the shiny crap joints that are there now.

For almost all of my time in NYC, I used to get a thrill when I flew back from some vacation or business trip and saw the city out the airplane window. Now...I don't know. It's more like a fondness for an old lover who hasn't aged well. There's still something there, but it's not carnal. The thrill is gone.

I guess I will be, too, at some point. But best scenario, still have to work here for a few years. God knows what new disappointments those years have in store....

And my mom wonders why I drink. This is just one reason, Ma.

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdark1p

Tad's is still better than some of those Halal Carts that serve llama testicles sauteed in a ginger sauce, served over couscous with stir fried veggies. I do Tads about once a year, and I do White Castle about every other week. Gut Bombs(sliders) were made for drunk people, and I've been known to get drunk once or fifty times a month.

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Hunt

@dark1p: I agree with you, the thrill definitely is gone for me too. I may be making exit plans down the road, till then, I'll take things one drink at a time!

@Mike Hunt: I've never eaten from one of those Halal carts, too scary even for me! I'm the same with Tad's, once a year is my limit. I haven't had White Castle gut bomb and need to get one soon, after many drinks of course!

August 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Oh come on, there are some excellent Halal carts out there!
Such a shame about Colony - you paid a nice tribute, Marty. It's sad when the great music & instrument stores go - like Manny's a few years back. If I'm around City Hall I sometimes go to the J&R record floor - I kind of like the strange company of odd older sustomers (like me) who still buy music, & one of the clerks there has a computer that look straight out of the 80s ... Oh & the coffee place at J&R is good.

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteronemorefoldedsunset

" Why in the fuck would anyone come to New York and eat at an Applebee’s?

A year ago, on my way to Marcus Garvey Park for the Charlie Parker Festival, I felt an urgent need for a stiff drink. The only place on that stretch of 125th Street was an Applebee's. Needless to say, the drink was not stiff at all, they used one of those measuring devices on the bottle. And as they say, if it ain't stiff it ain't worth a f*ck.

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Waltie

@onemorefoldedsunset: I'm just not too keen on food trucks in general. I bought my first iMac at J& R's! They were amazed I didn't care what color I got!

@Uncle Waltie: Uncle Waltie in an Applebee's? I have now heard it all! SIP AHOY!

August 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Oh NOOOOO! BOOOOOO! Say it isn't so!

I have a very fond memory of a trip to NYC with my dad. The Colony is where he bought "Cheap Trick - Live At Budokan" and Styx "Paradise Theatre" for me when I was about 10 or 11 years old.

I also remember buying my first Joan Jett album at The Colony when I was there during a class trip.

I will never understand why people flock to the same restaurant chains that they can find at any old suburban mall when they're visiting one of the greatest cities on earth. ::sigh::

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterroadsidewonders

First off I sadly experienced M&M world recently in Vegas. Please forgive me, it was Vegas and I was there with kids, few options. Once was more than enough for me. Second, I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I, I am the person that came to NY and ate at Applebee's. But in my defense, it was really late, we were all starving, there were crying kids involved, it was next door, a sacrifice had to be made. I will say though, eating at an Applebee's in Harlem was not the same as eating at an Applebee's in Utah.

The internet is such a double edge sword. It has put a lot of people out of business and changed a lot of things not for the better, and yet on the other side I wouldn't know you or the other people I have "met" if it wasn't for the internet. Fuckin circle of life I guess.

ps - I REALLY want the Mighty Tiny!

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkari

@roadsidewonders: That's so cool that you bought both a Cheap Trick and a Joan Jett album at Colony Music! I've never understood people going to chain restaurants in New York either. I mean if all your town has is chsins, then I understand, but there's so many good places to go to here that are unique and original, yet Applebees is always crowded. Crazy!

@kari: With kids, it's a little bit of a different thing I guess. I always view life from my perspective as a single guy, so I can understand that. I also agree about the internet, it's cool that we all can connect here and other places, but it's also sad for all the jobs and places that it's killed. We live in a strange time! And I hear you about the Mighty Tiny, I want one too!

August 28, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

That tiny record player is worth it. I bought one. It plays songs that are only a minute or less. I have ADS. It's low-fi but who cares?

August 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

@Marco: Low-fi rules the world!

August 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I was in the M&M store once with my wife to buy a gift for my niece. That's a half hour of my life I'll never get back. I've never been to Tad's and after this review, I probably never will. I do have dining plans for Hector's Diner, however, within the next week. Screw Zagat - I get all my dining recomendations from Marty and haven't had a bad one yet.

August 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave - Everywhere

"Tad’s is a little like White Castle, you have the craving, you eat it and then you won’t have a craving for another year because you feel a little sick afterwards."

Marty you hit the nail right on the head regarding White Castle.

However my only experience with Tad's was much shorter. I was willing to give them a try, walked in and the overwhelming smell of garlic and grease hit me like a baseball bat so I quickly left.

August 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaveW

@Dave - Everywhere: I hear you about the M&M's store, why people flock there for a candy you can buy anywhere is beyond me! And thank you for the compliment on the dining recommendations, very nice!

@DaveW: Glad you agreed with my White Castle assessment! And you you're right on the money about the aroma in Tad's!

August 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Wow nice! and a post thats straight from the heart. Thats why we love your posts Marty! 1 million a month for now....thats a miracle how they do survive already!

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRubenDutch

@RubenDutch: Thank you, my friend! I hear you about their rent, this is one miracle that's coming to an end, sadly.

August 31, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Man, that sucks.

September 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFat Al

@Fat Al: It sucks big time. Not much left in Times Square anymore. At least Jimmy's Corner Bar is still there.

September 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I'm late to the game but great post. I recently bought my nephew a blues guitar sheet music book from Colony. Sad to hear it's closing!

I only went to Tads once before I became a veggie, at their old location on 42nd before the néw Bank of America building was built. I firmly approve your assessment of the establishment.


September 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

@Spike: Glad you were able to make a purchase before they closed. Another one bites the dust! Cheers to you, sir!

September 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Coinkydink that right after (same night or the night after) I read your post, I watched "Midnight Cowboy". I hadn't watched it in quite a while and there were NO commercials. When Jon Voight, great Republican that he is now, gets picked up in Times Square, they walk right in front of Colony Records which is lit up in all its brilliant neon.

September 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

@Marco: Thanks for the heads up about Midnight Cowboy! I've watched that movie dozens of times and never noticed it, I'll check it out on Netflix tonight. Good eyes! Oh, and I wonder if Jon Voight talks to chairs now too?

September 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Jon talks to Chairy once in a while.

September 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

@Marco: Ha ha ha!

September 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Sorry I am very late to the party. Been a lot going on.
Can I bring a niote from my Mom?
It sickens me to see all these great shops/businesses forced to extinction, by the greedy bastards.
I miss especially record/muisc stores.
Near and dear to my heart.
They are the backbone of my collections for the 'Secret Weapon'.
And Fried Bologna?
I loved it as a kid when my Mom would make it.
Must be a Midwestern thang.
Great blog Daddio!

September 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

@"Boris": I know you're busy and appreciate you chiming in, Daddio! I'll only accept that note from your mom if a photo of you snorting pool cue chalk accompanies it! And eating that fried bologna brought back a lot of midwestern memories indeed!

September 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Whitey's is a local joint, so I have some slyders about once a year. Once you get past the 5-minute-in-stomach-cramp, they're not so bad...tasty even. Tad's food looks like it might take a little longer to get over. Sorry to hear about Colony Music. Today's music scene is such a crock of shit. When the easiest way to get that new vinyl smell is via an air freshener, there's something seriously wrong.

September 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

@Biff: About once a year is the limit on the White Castles for me too! Let me know where to get the vinyl air freshener, I'll get a case of that shit!

September 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Thanks to y'all, I had a dream about White Castle last night....I was at work with Stephen Colbert and he had me order some burgers for delivery. We ate them in the office bathroom and I remember saying to him, "This bathroom is the only place I ever eat White castle!" Eh, and I can even remember the taste....lol.

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoggla

UGH, I HATE those M & M stores and you always see those obese people wearing M & M t-shirts and you are so right, why does the store have tio be so damn big...it's only M & Ms people. They have a store like that right on the Las Vegas strip too.

"I wonder if a “happy ending” comes with this John Travolta postcard book?" LOL I love that Marty.

What an amazing store Colony is...just my kind of store absolutely.

I love your excursions they are always so interesting and enlightening. Not having the privlege of living in NYC it is fun seeing all of the amazing shops, stores and restaurants there. Colony truly looks like one of a kind. I wish I could have visited there before they close.

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

@Goggla: Ha ha ha! That's one hilarious dream, and it cracks me up that White Castle leaves that greasy after taste even in a dream!

@Tiki Bar Susie: It never ceases to amaze me that that M & M's store is always packed with tourists. It's like, don't they have M & M's in their town? Glad you liked the John Travolta book and I wish you could've seen Colony Music too. Another link to New York's past is being shut down.

September 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

You probably needed a colonoscopy after going to Tad's Steaks.

September 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNo one

@No one: Ha ha ha! True and afterwards the doctor will say, it smelled like Tad's in there!

September 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Oh man, I love me some Colony Music!

September 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

@meleah: Me too, sadly soon, there won't be anything left to love.

September 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

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