Most mornings I spring out of bed with the bass line from the Dead Milkmen's "Serrated Edge" going through my head. Today was different though; I woke up to the intro of Hüsker Dü's "Friend, You've Got to Fall," for whatever reason. I was compelled to dig that record out and listen to it, when I remembered it was the first piece of music that I shoplifted.

I'd guess there are some people who've never stolen a thing in their life. Is it common practice as an early teen to go though a phase of theft? Stealing from friends is certainly a total bummer, but is shoplifting a recognized rite of passage?


I remember stealing the copy of Hüsker Dü's Warehouse: Songs and Stories. I found myself in one of those mostly tapes music shops of the late 1980s, I think it was called Tape World or maybe Tape Land. It was at Great Northern Mall in North Olmstead, Ohio. I was into skateboarding and girls and I think I was with my friend Tony. The copy that I stole was in a cassette anti-theft plastic keeper, but Tony assured me that we could tear it apart when we were outside. I jammed it into my shirt and we bolted out of the door.

Aside for that, I took a handful of Jam singles from a record store in Kent, Ohio. Also, there was a Fall 7" box set that I took from a record store in Cleveland, Ohio, owned by a really grumpy old guy who would yell at customers almost all of the time. I guess I took that out of spite.

Now I'm feeling pretty awful for contributing in my small way to the collapse of the music industry. What was the first piece of music that you shoplifted?