The Employee Interview Part XV: Brad Schelden

Posted by Miss Ess, January 11, 2008 12:40pm | Post a Comment
7ish years of Employment
Rock Buyer

This is a special farewell installment of The Employee Interview.  Don't worry-- you are not going to lose Brad's insightful blogs, it's just that we, the SF store, are losing him to the LA store this week.  Just like in baseball, he's been recruited for their team and will be moving next week. It will be quite a loss for those of us up here in SF to suffer.  Brad, we salute you!  It won't be the same without you.  But at least we will probably still get to watch the Oscars together. (If they happen-- agh what an awards show season!)

ME: What was the first concert you remember going to?

BS: Depeche Mode...Even though my seats were so far away I could barely see them it was one of the highlights of my life. It was just exciting to see that all these other people actually liked the same band as me.

I loved that feeling when I first started going to shows.  I was thinking, "Who ARE all these people?"  I've actually met so many people who work here who were at shows I was also at in the late 90s/early 2000s!  I love it.  That's how I knew Amoeba was my home.  So who was the first artist that really got you into music and why?

I am sure it was probably Morrissey and The Smiths. He was for sure the first person I was obsessed with, other than maybe Michael Jackson or Cyndi Lauper. Morrissey was the first artist where I was actually reading all the liner notes and buying all the magazines with him in it. It was fantastic as a young kid to listen to music and lyrics that you could completely relate to even though they were coming out of a man from a totally different world and reality.

Tell me about the first Oscars you remember watching.

My family watched them every year and I would always make a ballot for us to fill out. I remember making a ballot on a typewriter with corrective tape to fix my mistakes. I was really excited when we got our first computer so I could type it up on there. I was really obsessed from the first time I watched them. I just always loved movies and even though I had not seen half the movies back when I was still 9 years old I still wanted to know who was going to win Best Art Direction and Best Screenplay.

God, that is so adorable! I was the same, but I never made the ballots for some reason-- I used ballots from the Pink Section of the Chronicle or wherever.  Why did we care who won best screenplay when we were 9?  All I know is that I was totally hooked too.  What is it about the Oscars that is so compelling to you? 

I don't even know why I became so obsessed with them. But I am for sure not alone. It is just fun to see the actors as themselves even though I guess they are still scripted and acting for the camera.

Yeah, I love watching the acceptance speeches and seeing who comes unglued.  Who is, in your opinion, the most enjoyable Oscar red carpet interviewer?  I still kinda miss Joan and Melissa, even though Joan's got a few screws loose.

I really love when people like Kathy Griffin or the cast of MadTV try to freak out the stars with weird questions. I absolutely hate most of the people they have on the red carpet these days. I did like it when Roger Ebert was talking to people before the show one year. It is nice when the stars actually like and respect the people asking the questions because then they sort of know what they are talking about.

What about Isaac Mizrahi grabbing Scarlett Johanssen's boob about 3 years ago?  That was cringeworthy!  I just like someone who knows what they are talking about and (important) who they are talking to.  I actually  think Guiliana DiPandi has a good combo of humorous and factoid type questions.  Now, another obsession we share:  How did your enjoyment of Love Boat  begin?

I have long been a big fan of the hour long episode of television. This show was great because it was sort of meaningless and completely unimportant but totally fascinating to me at the same time. I loved all the guests stars even though I didn't really know who half of them were when the show as originally on. It will be fun to go back once it comes out on DVD and to watch the shows with a different perspective. I really wanted to work on a cruise ship for a while because of this show.

Yes, I am waiting with baited breath for those DVDs!  What is your favorite season of Golden Girls and why?  Which girl is your favorite?

The first season is really weird. Sort of like on Roseanne, you can tell that the cast is just getting to know each other and really still getting to know their character. You can actually tell that they are reading jokes. I think Season 2 is really where it all starts to work. Dorothy (Bea Arthur) is of course my favorite.They really gave her some great lines. My favorite episode is hard to figure out...but  maybe the episode where they get mistaken for prostitutes and put into jail and when Blanche gives Rose's stuffed animal away to a girl scout played by Jenny Lewis from Rilo Kiley.

That Jenny Lewis popped up everywhere in the 80s.  I always liked Rose.  When I would watch when I was little I felt sorry for her because everyone made fun of her and I thought she was pretty.  Please tell me about when/how you got into Twin Peaks and your viewing experience when it originally aired.

I really liked this show when it was first on when I was in High School. I watched it whenever I got the chance but my full obsession did not start until College when Bravo showed an episode every night. I watched it almost every night and then had the VHS Box Set and watched it about once a year. I just got the fantastic new DVD set but I am waiting until I move back to Hollywood to break into it. The show really is amazing and I am not sure there will ever be anything like it ever again.

Tell me about how you found Amoeba and how you got hired and what you did here initially.

Everybody knew about Amoeba and I had wanted to work here since the Haight St. store first opened. But my boyfriend at the time got a job here so we didn't really want to work together. I had heard rumors about a Hollywood store but when I knew for sure it was opening up I got in contact with Karen and applied for that store. I was friends with Kara [another LA employee] and I think maybe she helped me get the job or at least talked me into it. I have been up at the Haight St. store for almost 5 years now but now I am going back to Hollywood again. I guess I just like to move every 5 years or so.

Now let's have some San Fran nostalgia questions:

What is your favorite place to see a live show?

So many...but Bimbo's is at the top of the list along with the Great American Music Hall. I do like the Palace of Fine Arts a lot as well. But mostly just because of where it is. The venue itself is just sort or boring like a lecture hall on the inside. But I did meet my boyfriend at a Magnetic Fields show there, so it is pretty special. And I did see Paul Reubens there.

What is your favorite theater to see a movie at?

I do love the Castro and have seen some great movies there. Love the Bridge as well, mostly because of Midnight Mass memories. I like the Lumiere because it is right by my house and it is so small and cute and they show great movies there. I did like the Regency Theater that is now where the Regency Ballroom is. That theater was really amazing looking inside. The Clay is also great and The Vogue. I am also a bit in love with the new Sundance Kabuki that they just redid. I love The Grand Lake in Oakland but don't get out there much. And the Embarcadero is sort of special in my heart as well. I have spent a lot of time there and sort of love that is all dead and quiet around there at night.

You are quite the theater connoisseur.  I knew that would be a good question for you, although I think you named every single theater in the near vicinity!  What has been the best show you have seen while living here in SF?

Probably Sigur Ros at the Paramount in Oakland. I also saw some really great shows at Bottom of the Hill over the years. At the Drive-In was pretty awesome at the Bottom of the Hill. Murder City Devils at Cafe Du Nord. The Cure at the Fillmore.

And finally, how could live so close to Bob's but not like donuts!?

It is weird but I just don't like donuts.

That is completely beyond me.  I'm sure it helped keep you skinny though!  What are you looking forward to about LA/LA Amoeba? (Pinkberry/More star sightings!)

I am looking forward to the warm nights in L.A.  I am a bit sick of the cold weather right now but I will not be looking forward to the summer. I may have to come back to San Francisco during the summer. I do love that store down there a bunch. I love both stores for different reasons. But it will be nice to see all the people that I worked with down there when the store first opened.

What will you miss about SF Amoeba/SF in general? You are such a fixture here.

I will miss the weirdos of San Francisco. But Hollywood for sure has its share of weirdos. I will miss living in a city that does not revolve around cars. I am going to miss my friends in the city and at the store but L.A. is really not that far away. San Francisco is really fun to visit as well.

I doubt you will miss the weirdos once you are off Haight St! Care to talk a little about your own personal Oscar picks for this year?  What has been your favorite movie so far this year?  Favorite acting performances?

I still have not seen There Will Be Blood yet, but I am pretty sure I am going to love it. No Country For Old Men was amazing and still might be my favorite of the year. But I was blown away by I'm Not There. I really did love the Grindhouse movies a lot as well. Both Planet Terror and Death Proof were some of my favorites. Anything with Josh Brolin in it this year was my favorite. But I did also really like Goonies when I was younger. So maybe there is a pattern here.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

I have many but Silence of the Lambs is still close to the top. The ExorcistAlien. Carrie. Escape from New York. The Muppet Movie! Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. My two favorite movies are actually probably Heathers and Tootsie. I don't really know why but I love Tootsie. I seriously watch it whenever I am a bit sad and it really cheers me up.

My mom is obsessed with Tootsie and it's one of the few movies (besides The Muppet Movie!) I was allowed to watch as a kid.  Who is your favorite director?

John Waters of course. Also John Carpenter, David Lynch, Todd Haynes, David Cronenberg.

John Waters is brilliant. I think Todd Haynes is one of the best of the younger generation for sure.  Maybe someday he will be named at the Oscars!  I doubt John ever will though.  Well, actually, with his career who knows!  I guess I would never count him out.  That would rule. What is your favorite thing about working at Amoeba?

I love being surrounded by a bunch of music nerds that love music and movies as much as I do. I really learn something new here every single day.

Thank you for your time!  I'll miss you.

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Golden Girls (5), John Waters (22), Morrissey (46), Oscars (35), Employee Interview (26), Interview (341)