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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

Bustling Bascom Blooms:
Can Campbell's South Bascom really be the next Telegraph Avenue? Rasputin Music thinks so

WITH THE ADDITION of Rasputin Music, Campbell may be the newest Bay Area record-shopping magnet. The huge specialty music store is opening a new outlet the first week in December at 1820 S. Bascom Ave., right across from Tower Records. Ken Sarachan's record store empire began in 1971 with a store in Pleasant Hill and has since expanded to San Mateo, Berkeley and now Campbell. "Of all the cities of America, and I've been to thousands, I picked Campbell as a town that most appreciates music and music stores," Sarachan explains. "It's more of a party town. It's like the Wild West."

Sarachan feels no stress at moving to an area that boasts Streetlight, Rowe's, Tower, Solid Grooves and, for a short while, Pirate Cat. "There really aren't any good record stores there," Sarachan claims. "You have a tiny Tower store, if you take out the video. They don't have a large Latin department or a 12-inch department. ... We're going to be the biggest record store in terms of the most product. It's 12,000 feet of nothing but CDs. We'll have twice the inventory of new stuff as Tower, twice as many used CDs as Streetlight."

From competing stores' perspective, Rasputin's arrival is a positive. "We welcome them because they're going for a slightly different clientele," says Streetlight employee Alan Salmassian. "Their presence will mean more people will come to Bascom for record shopping--like Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue." Even Tower manager Larry Knudson had good things to say of the new neighbor. "I'm not worried," Knudson says. "I'll probably be shopping there for seven-inch singles when they open up. There's a big difference in our stock and clientele. They lend toward more eclectic music. We're a rock/pop shop. We carry the hits; they carry the leftovers."

Besides "different colored bags," Sarachan promises expanded sections devoted to Latin, dance, international, R&B, soul and rap as well as rock and jazz. He also says Rasputin Music will be a place where people can meet musicians (in-store appearances) and interact with local radio stations and clubs. "We're going to have Metallica play on the roof," Sarachan says, in a tone drier than a gin martini. "We'll make Campbell the No. 1 city for fun and good times. They know how to enjoy life. They're not your tired bedroom community."

Christopher Gardner

Buzz Awhile: Opening-night at South First Street's B-Hive.

B+ for B-Hive

A quarter to 6, and the door still was closed. "We're going to be left with the skunky beer," grumbled one of the VIPs awaiting last Thursday's opening of the B-Hive Kafe on South First Street in San Jose, in the space formerly known as the Ajax Lounge. Finally, the door opened, and the crowd pounded upstairs. The main cogs of B-Hive stood in a receiving line greeting customers as if it were opening day at the Stanford Bloomingdale's.

Owner Jacek Rosicki, who apparently boned up on Leo Buscaglia books before the opening, hugged everybody in sight. And as if to cement his owner/janitor status, Rosicki dutifully picked up black plastic plates and gingerly returned dirty glasses to the bar throughout the night--that is, when he wasn't hugging somebody.

Bud E. Luv and his orchestra worked the crowd with a cheesy mix of disco and standards--much like B-Hive itself, which is elegant and fancy with a smirk. The sound system was tops. The space has always been a good-sounding room and, with the added cash flow, stands to sound even better. B-Hive's new environmental embellishments were working as hard as the buffet hoarders. With the low-wattage lighting sprouting out of the ceiling every few feet, the B-Hive could double as an art gallery or a fashion boutique. The ventilation sucks all the trendy cigar smoke as soon as it's exhaled. Super Diamond performs Friday (Nov. 22).

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From the November 21-27, 1996 issue of Metro

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