What kind of a jerk goes into a neighborhood record shop and steals a Tom Petty 45? Apparently one so proud of his clever scam — all $3 of it — that he leaves the paper sleeve with the Hymie’s tag prominently out in the back room of the store.
When I was a teenager I worked in little drug store, a chain that’s not around anymore, and once I caught a shoplifter. I turned the woman over to my boss, Larry, a single guy who I remember as always having been a kind and fair boss.
I don’t remember what she had in her purse, except that one of the three or four things was a box of tampons. It was all stuff I think you’d call necessities. She was probably in her 20s, and came into the store pretty often, and we’d assumed she lived in one of the apartment buildings nearby.
Larry let her go — with the things she’d stole — and when I asked about it later he said she probably really needed them. No one ever treated her poorly when she came back around, and I’m pretty sure she never stole from the drug store again.
I guess we’ll just take the same attitude towards the people who steal records. But I for one am proud that I can look through my own collection of 45s (and I have one by Tom Petty myself) and know that I didn’t steal any of them.
Besides, the occasional thief is always going to be offset by all the awesome regular customers who make it so much fun to work here. We’re certainly never going to become one of those stores with cameras around every corner.
The single for “You Don’t Know How it Feels” from Petty’s super popular Wildflowers has a B side not heard on the album, a song called “Girl on LSD.” Petty always had a good sense of humor. We’re not really sure if his other 45s also have non-album tracks, like other artists (REM comes to mind) who often offered gems on the flip side of their singles — but now we’re going to take a closer look at any of them.