Drummer and Texas transplant Simon has been working at the Hollywood Amoeba Music store for a little over a year now. Recently I caught up with the SoCal Amoebite, whose "best of" lists include AC/DC and Iron Maiden, to ask him about his all time favorite albums and films and the first album he bought (and if he still likes it? -- he doesn't). I also talked with him about living in LA as an artist, about his experience working at Amoeba, and what he sees as the future of the music business. Simon also offered his recommendation for a good spot to grab a bite to eat near Amoeba Hollywood.
AMOEBLOG: How'd you end up working at Amoeba and what exactly is your job there?
SIMON: Well, I was working in the service industry for about a year fixing security systems when I found Amoeba Music. I didn't like my job at all and always liked working in record stores. I decided to give Amoeba my resume and in three months I was hired. I was hired April 10th 2006 and I work in the video department, new rock, and on the registers as a clerk.
AMOEBLOG: When not working at Amoeba, what music or other creative type things do you do?
SIMON: When not working at Amoeba I play drums in two metal bands: Lethal Acts Properly Demonstrated and Mercenary Angel.
AMOEBLOG: What makes working at Amoeba unique compared to other jobs you've had?
SIMON: Amoeba is unique due to the fact that everybody is great to work with and there is no stress at all. I've never worked in a job where i can relax around the owners and managers. They are awesome!
AMOEBLOG: What items are particularly hot this past week at Amoeba Hollywood?
SIMON: I don't know what the top sellers are this week, but I do know that Monster Squad is a huge hit right now.
AMOEBLOG: How would you describe the LA music and/or arts community to people who know nothing about living in LA?
SIMON: Well, coming from Houston, TX, I think the music scene in LA needs a lot of work. The place is so big that nobody can really connect. In LA you have a ton of people wanting to be in bands and make it but you only have 10% that can play their instrument. I've noticed that most people can't play, they just want a free ride. You don't get that in other states. It's a real shame.
AMOEBLOG: What's a good spot to grab a bite to eat near Amoeba Hollywood?
SIMON: Bossa Nova on Sunset (7181 West Sunset).
AMOEBLOG: What do you think will be the future of the music biz and how people will get their music (online vs. brick and mortar)?
SIMON: I believe people will resort to getting everything online. You will have those die hards that still want to go to record stores to buy their CDs and such, but as technology progresses, so do we. It's sad but true.
SIMON'S FAVE MUSIC & MOVIES + FIRST ALBUM HE BOUGHT:
Best album ever: AC/DC's Back in Black
Released in July 1980, Back in Black was the seventh album by Australian hard-rockers AC/DC and their first without former lead singer Bon Scott, who died earlier that same year. Brian Johnson took his place. Featuring such hits as the title track, "You Shook Me All Night Long" and "Hell's Bells," Back in Black was the band's most popular album and to date has sold in excess of 42 million copies, making it one of the best selling albums of all time.
Best album cover art of all time: Iron Maiden Killers
Album Facts: Iron Maiden's ten-song classic album Killers was released on EMI in 1981 and captures the UK metal group at their finest, according to many diehard fans. It was before Bruce Dickenson replaced vocalist Paul Dianno (who was fired from the group). The cover art for Killers and others by Maiden was done by artist Derek Riggs and features Maiden mascot Eddie, who surfaces in many other Iron Maiden paintings done by Riggs.
Favorite movie soundtrack: The Empire Strikes Back.
Album facts: The famous soundtrack to the 1980 Star Wars series film was composed by the prolific John Williams, who is also responsible for such other blockbuster movie soundtracks of that era as Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET, Superman, and Return of the Jedi. However, most fans, like Simon, seem to agree that The Empire Strikes Back, recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, was Williams' finest soundtrack of all.
Favorite movie: Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
Movie facts: The 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark with Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones is classic adventure cinema. Directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by George Lucas with soundtrack by John Williams, it was deliberately styled in the tradition of the movie serials of the 1930's and 40's (only modernized a bit). Raiders was a huge success when it was released and grossed $384 million worldwide -- which was a lot at the time! The major production included scenes shot all over including in England and Tunisia (which was used as the backdrop for the Egypt scenes) and interestingly many of the backdrops were the exact same ones used for during the filming of Star Wars.
First record Simon ever bought?
"First record I ever bought was Def Leppard's Hysteria.
And does he still like it?
"No. I hate it today. It's such a bad record."
Album facts: Released in 1987, it was the fourth full-length from the Sheffield, England rock group.