Beatles' latest warrants midnight sales

By Sarah Garrecht

The Associated Press

Several Arizona record stores remained open after midnight yesterday to sell the Beatles' new album, but at least one Tucson store was so blasĒ about it the store didn't even mind its supply had yet to arrive.

Fred Mills, a sales associate at Zia Records in Tucson, said late Monday the store was ''already underwhelmed by it after a month of hype. There's been a steady stream of phone calls inquiring about it, but nothing more than any other new release.''

Because of a shipping mix-up, the album wasn't to reach his store until sometime yesterday.

But an assistant manager at Arizona's largest Wherehouse outlet said clerks fielded about 100 calls Monday.

''People wanted to reserve copies or buy them immediately,'' said Kathy Slivinski.

And a clerk at a Zia store in Phoenix estimated one of every 10 customers through the day asked about availability of the Beatles album, though he couldn't say how many customers showed up.

Slivinski's store was among those which stayed open past their normal midnight closing to accommodate those who wanted to be sure they got the new album before supplies sold out. One Phoenix-area store closed normally at 10 p.m. Monday but reopened at midnight.

Radio and TV news staffs ranged some of the record stores, broadcasting live.

''We've had all the news stations here,'' said Ken Phillips of a Tower Records outlet in Phoenix. ''Everybody's begging us to go ahead and sell it. It's a big hype.''

How many albums were sold in the first minutes of this day in Arizona couldn't be determined as phones went unanswered after midnight. However, interviews before midnight showed there were hundreds of albums on hand, both in the form of CDs and as cassettes.

There even were a scattering in vinyl. Jonah Firestone of the Tower Records near the Arizona State University campus said people like to buy them ''and then never open them, never play them.'' He had five on hand, along with 350 CDs and 51 cassettes.

Country superstar Garth Brooks also was releasing a new album today, but sales clerks indicated the interest was considerably less in it Monday than in the new Beatles release. Ditto rocker Bruce Springstein's newest, also coming out today.

As with Mills in Tucson, not every store figured the Beatles advent was a big deal.

A Tower Records store in Mesa regularly remains open at least a few minutes late every Monday to sell new releases that go become available on Tuesdays, a clerk said, ''so this isn't a new thing. People know to be here, like, a minute or two before (midnight).''

A Sam Goody record store in Phoenix which offered to reserve Beatles albums for a $1 deposit supplied a free Beatles T-shirt to anyone taking advantage of the offer. The underwhelming result: five deposits, with five T-shirts still on hand late Monday night.

Noah Lopez, a clerk at Zips Entertainment in Tucson, had no doubt about sales prospects, however. He said Zips had ordered 200 Beatles CDs, a rare quantity for a new release. Lopez predicted half would be sold before they finally closed early yesterday morning and that the rest would be gone by the week's end.

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