When the giant inflatable green-and-purple Frankenstein arises from the center of the store to welcome all visitors, you know it's... Halloween at Amoeba L.A.!!!
The store looked spooky for weeks... cobwebs, bats and pumpkins everywhere, skeletons dancing... even a skeleton with a handlebar moustache over the info counter! Hmmm... also an old-timey gentleman skeleton in a top hat lounging above the opera CDs in the Jazz Room. A spectre from beyond the tomb hung over our eerie Halloween section, filled with spooky sound effects, every compilation ever made with "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo on it, and some Jennifer Lopez movies. Creepy!
Halloween dawned bright and sunny (as it sometimes does in L.A.) but we kept it appropriate in the store with some Cramps blasting on the stereo and candy bowls everywhere for trick-or-treaters. Many folks arrived in costume... I was particularly startled by a co-worker dressed as Richard D. James a.k.a the Aphex Twin! Pretty scary... and a really good cardboard robot (the Bot-O-Tron) and a girl with her head in a milk carton that said "Missing", and many more... Minnie Mouse, a mime, an evil clown, a melancholy bumblebee even!
At 3 we kicked the party off with our Halloween DJ, DJ Heebie Jeebies (real name Mike Dehlin, frontman for local psychobilly outfit The Goddamn Gallows). He kept it real (scary) with lots of good old evil tunes from "She's My Witch" by the Sonics to "Run To the Hills" by Iron Maiden, interspersed with amazing horror movie trailers (the one for the transgender "Dr. Jeckyll and Sister Hyde" was my favorite!). Around 5 the excitement was building... it was almost time for our annual Halloween costume contest!
As the many spooky contestants gathered round the stage, I donned my giant silver head with the monocle and purple moustache (no catchy name for this costume... I called it the Old Time Space Gentleman, others thought it looked like Mr. Peanut or the Monopoly Man, but all in aluminum foil). Like Ed McMahon to Johnny Carson, I introduced our host and handed off the mike -- it was our old friend Lance Rock!