Wednesday, May 17, 2006



Starship Records and Tapes Memorial Mural


I've updated my Starship photoset with a few pictures of the new building including the fantastic "memorial" mural that has been airbrushed on the North side of the otherwise painfully plain metal/cinderblock building. I only hope they can someday do something with that ugly corregated metal storefront.

The newly dubbed Starship Music and Gifts seems to have transitioned nicely to their new location at 12th and S. Lewis. Having ample room to spread out really makes it a lot easier to browse around. The place looks neat, clean and modern. But they've made sure to place the incense section near the front door, so you're greeted with that familiar Starship smell. They've definitely increased their inventory both for music and items such as shirts. They've got a ton more wall art as well. I guess that's an advantage of putting a shop in a huge former lumberyard...lots of space to work with. The "other building" has been consolidated into a separate room discreetly set off to one side with age restrictions for entry. This allows the huge main showroom to be family friendly, while preventing new stores like The Bag from taking away the crown of "Tulsa's Headkeeper". Another big advantage of the new location is Starship's proximity to HWY 51. With 15th St. just down Lewis, you can exit and enter the B.A. expressway quite easily. I love the way the new mural is clearly visible as you drive across the expressway overpass, too.

I wish the guys at Starship continued success. Hopefully this transition will be a positive one. They can never compete with the Walmarts and Best Buys when it comes to volume, but they still have a personal quality about them that should keep loyal customers coming back again.

Read more about the history of Starship, Honest John's and Oz on this Tulsa TV Memories Counterculture page. Some great stories and pictures of the people behind Tulsa's "record stores" before the big corporations took over.

Comments:
It is great to see Starship up and running again. Starship is actually what lead me to your site. I was born and raised near Tulsa and my parents still live in Broken Arrow. I was visiting over Christmas 2005 and a trip to Tulsa is never complete w/o a visit to Starship...imagine my shock and horror when the buildings simply weren't there. I was so sad and shocked at how a Tulsa icon could simply be torn down and thrown away. Well...nevertheless when I returned home (to Maine), I started my qwest to find out if the destruction of Starship was documented. To my surprise I found your site and have been hooked since. Thanks so much for your site..keep up the incredibly interesting work!
 
amongst the people i know, comments on the new starship building have run from "creepy" to "awful" to "i guess it's bigger now." perhaps the newness of it all has added the sterility of the ugly building. sheesh, it took me weeks to even figure out where the hell the new joint was.

on the other hand, a buddy of mine was comforted by the fact that the inside still smells the same (thanks to the incense) and that the staff all seems doped up just like they were before. it's business as usual if you can get past the front door.
 
The only good thing about the new location is the parking, but the building is as boring as can get. The charm of Starship and OZ was creeking around in someones old house. No more of Matts clever radio ads, and Leons genius OZ promotions brought an end to an era of fun novelty shops. Surprised that Starship doesn't buy and sell used CDs. I didn't see anything in there that really caught my eye. I guess their will always be a market for smoking gear, but 2 10 foot countertops in a building that big just ain't the same. Painting of the 2 houses on the south end of the bland building doens't help either. They should have moved into one of many of the art deco buildings that line 11th Street.
 
Starship is a great place with a great music selection
theyve moved (thanks a lot TU !)
the building is very clean but it doesnt have the charm of the old place that was like walking into a nice old hippies house.
but on the other hand they have more selection and more stuff now.
they can also order anything you want and its a lot better than the corperate owned stores that have a bunch of clueless teenagers working there who dont care about music or the lifestyle that comes with it.
the only problems i have with starship
(besides the new building)is all the cds are behind glass so you have to really want something otherwise youre bothering an employee for nothing so you cant browse like you can at other places.
 
1977. I took the bus from my nice upper middle class neighborhood in Holiday Hills to 11th street, and ate at the Middle Path Cafe. (The old hippie eatery with organic food) I wandered over to the Starship(Than Honest Johns) Bought a Black Sabbath T shirt, and the first Boston Album.
Wandered next store to Oz, and bought some incense and a pack of strawberry rolling papers. (Didn't smoke much, but wanted the pretty hippie salesgirl to think I did!)
Hopped back on the bus to my 60th St. suburban home. I thought I was the coolest 15 year old on the planet!
 
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