"He probably was the best customer we ever had," Solomon said of the pop star. "He was in one of our stores every week, literally, wherever he was -- in L.A., in Atlanta when he lived in Atlanta, and in New York."
The chain thrived on massive demand for physical music -- first records and then CDs. Solomon built sprawling mega stores where fans could find everything from pop hits to obscure albums.
But the retailer was soon undermined by dramatic changes in the music industry.
The rise of music sharing sites such as Napster put it under pressure, and the company's debt ballooned. Tower declared bankruptcy in 2004, and was liquidated in 2006.
"The banks said 'we don't need a visionary,'" Solomon lamented in "All Things Must Pass," which was directed by Colin Hanks.
"When we met Russ," Hanks told Billboard in 2015, "it took less than a second to realize this guy is a great character and one of the most humble people I had ever met."