So it seems that Tower Records is pretty much over. In the early-mid 90s I dealt with Tower Records alot in the context of selling them my books and starting the Firecracker Alternative Book Awards along with my book distributor, Koen Books. Tower was just getting into selling books in a big way and Koen was looking for a way to make a splash at the Book Expo America, which at the time was held in Chicago every June. I booked the club (Crobar) and handled most of the on-the-ground details, since everyone else was on the coasts. I got to work with Henry Rollins and meet Suzie Bright, so it was an overall cool experience for a few years until 1999, when it was held in Los Angeles.
The ballots for the awards were at the cash register for every Tower Records store. I had everyone I knew go into Tower and nominate Memo To All Employees for the poetry award. When the awards committee counted the ballots, I won by a landslide. The awards committee thought it wouldn't look good if a founder of the group won the first award. It was easy for them to set aside the fact that the books that they had promoted did win. Bottom line is that I was too cracker/ apple-pie-looking. A book called "In Defense of Mumia" won.
Fixed awards contests. Very alternative. This experience, along with other observations, helped me write my next book, Economics. God bless us all.