Name that record store

On Facebook, Arne Adolfsen has been remembering the SoCal record store Licorice Pizza:

Great name, great logo.

The story in brief, from an L.A. Times piece of 4/23/86 about the end of the stores as they once were, “Licorice Pizza Chain Will Be Sold to American Can Unit” by Denise Gellene:

Licorice Pizza, a Southern California record and video store chain that got its name from a 1960s record album, is being sold to the Musicland Group, the nation’s largest specialty retailer of records and tapes.

Musicland, a unit of American Can, said Tuesday that it agreed to buy the Licorice Pizza outlets and 26 other record stores for $13 million.

… Licorice Pizza, based in Glendale, opened its first store in Long Beach in 1969. Founder James Greenwood borrowed the company’s name from remarks made in a comedy sketch on an album by ’60s folk singers Bud and Travis. The entertainers mused about sprinkling their records with sesame seeds and selling them as licorice pizzas.

“Jimmy thought that was funny and that it might make a good name for a store,” said Ruth Sims, senior vice president and general manager of Licorice Pizza.

Back in Columbus, Ohio, we still have the remarkably named Magnolia Thunderpussy. The story of Magnolia Thunderpussy, from Wikipedia:

Magnolia Thunderpussy (c. 1940 – 15 May 1996), born Patricia Donna Mallon, was a San Francisco burlesque performer, radio personality, filmmaker and restaurateur. Thunderpussy operated two San Francisco restaurants in the 1960s: the one at 1398 Haight Street (at the corner of Haight and Masonic), which bore her name, featured a late-night delivery service and erotic desserts such as “The Montana Banana”, which was an unsplit banana, representing a phallus, served “erect” in a food service “boat” with two scoops of ice cream, representing the other components of male genitalia, with shredded coconut, representing pubic hair, and a small dollop of whipped cream at the end of the banana. She created a host of other such delectables that, at the time, seemed incredibly scandalous.

San Francisco columnist Herb Caen was an ardent fan of “Magnolia” and wrote about her often in his daily column for the San Francisco Chronicle. She was also very much appreciated by a legion of rock musicians and bands who came to San Francisco to record at Wally Heider’s studio. Her catering operation would deliver her signature food items to any location in San Francisco at any hour of the night or early morning, which was hugely popular with the bands and their followers. She was also a big hit with the local “Cannabis Culture” who, for obvious reasons, couldn’t get enough of her fare.

… In the mid-1980s, a mixed-influence rock band in Los Angeles took the name Magnolia Thunderpussy. They disbanded in 1986, but reformed in the mid-2000s.

In 1971, an entrepreneur named Chuck Kubat opened a record store in Columbus, Ohio, near the Ohio State University campus named Magnolia Thunderpussy. Though it has changed location over the years [now at 1155 N. High St., in the Short North], it is still in business and now offers online sales.

(After living in Columbus for a while, I became so accustomed to the name that I ceased to realize that there was something provocative about it.)

It appears that there’s a new incarnation of M.T., who posts (mostly) racy old photographs of men on one site as Miss Magnolia Thunderpussy and is celebrated on another site, The League of Miss Magnolia Thunderpussy and Her Admirers, with similar content.

Record stores are fast disappearing, alas, but some of those remaining have entertaining names. In San Francisco, for example, we have Thrillhouse Records, Rooky Ricardo’s Records, Amoeba Music, Black Pancake Records (cf. Licorice Pizza), and Rasputin Music.


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