Thursday, November 1, 2007

sad, sad news.

last night I recorded josh ritter down at laser's edge. It was great. then this morning, I get this email from fred, the owner of my favorite local record store:

Those of you who were in attendance already know this, but for those of you who we missed at last night's Josh Ritter post-show Halloween extravaganza at the store...well, it was one of the best events in the 16.5 year history of Laser's Edge. No, no, the best. Hands down. And we missed you. Josh was a prince, as always, barefoot and in a toga, and played a marvelous set for us that lasted well after midnight. I stopped counting at a hundred people, but even with the tight crowd and the very late hour - or perhaps because of it - the in-store was intimate and emotional. As Josh is clearly an inspiration to so many of you, he has also been a generous and true friend to me and to this store over the years.

So, today I straggle in as my leftover buzz is numbed by a receding hangover and another more pressing matter at hand. Today is the day that I let you all know that Laser's Edge is closing its doors.

This shouldn't be much of a surprise to anyone who moves about in the real world. We're all reminded daily via NPR segments, TV features, newspaper and magazine editorials, weblogs and conversations that the music business has changed. It used to be merely "changing." Now, for this store, it has indeed "changed."

It has, in fact, been changed for a number of years. What has kept Laser's Edge open and running for the last few years, despite pretty clear financial indicators, is a solid group of loyal patrons. Some of you have been shopping here since 1991, some of you have just recently discovered the store, but all of you bring an energy with you when you visit Laser's Edge that has kept the place going. In essence, you have kept its heart beating.

It has been my pleasure to know you, and my privelege to provide you with a place to find diversion and entertainment. Thank you.

The lease on the building here in Homewood is up in three months, and I do not expect to be open past the Christmas holidays, save possibly for a few special events within the store space during January. I will, of course, inform you of those as they are confirmed.

Meantime, the store will be open Monday through Saturday as usual, but will open one hour later, at 11:00 am. Closing will continue to be 7:00 pm daily.

The store is still fully stocked. I would love for all of the carefully chosen items in the store's inventory to find a home. Maybe this is the year that an iTunes gift card is displaced under the Christmas Tree by a classic Rudy van Gelder Blue Note jazz CD, a Ryan Adams vinyl record, a live Sam Bush performance DVD, or a recording by Josh Ritter. It's all here, and much, much more.

I will entertain any offers you may have on store fixtures or memorabilia, but the store will not be dismantled until it has ceased its function as a store. There are quite a lot of unique signed items and art pieces in the "collection" here that will most likely be auctioned off at a later date.

This is a ridiculously difficult type of letter to write, and I have deleted much more from its text than is being delivered to you. But I do want to thank you again, and I hope to see many of you in the coming weeks.

Humbly,
Fred

please make sure to visit fred often in the coming weeks - tell him thanks for keeping his store open as long as he did - and of course buy as many records from him as you can.

fred - I'll miss your constant supply of tasteful, excellent music, and your relentless support of local musicians. you and your store are irreplaceable, and you will be missed.

5 comments:

Patrick Sewell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carla Jean said...

I didn't get the e-mail yesterday morning, so when I was in the store yesterday afternoon I had no idea. And I am sad. And still processing my thoughts. Because I'm a big pouty baby. And because it's sad.

george said...

I remember when the Magic Platter closed its doors in 2001. I still have one of their bumper stickers.

I've only been to Laser's Edge a handful of times but it always felt like I was at a friend's house. The whole feel of the place and the people there heightened my love of music.

Robert said...

Holy Crap! Laser's Edge is still open?! J/K I used to love the platter. I discovered a ton of jazz there back in the day.

The fact of the matter is that most people have always wanted to parse their favorite art into its smallest possible component: the single.

Andrew Spear said...

I thought about Laser's Edge the other day. I thought about the converstations I've had with Fred over the years. I thought about all my savings going into buying all that music. I thought about how I need to stop in and chat with Fred, and buy another cd. Dang. This news kind of sucks.