On the same day my favorite used record store got a shout out in Entertainment Weekly, I found out it was closing.
Used record stores come and go, but the Great Escape on Broadway in Nashville, between Music Row and Vandy, had been around since the Carter administration. It closed on Sunday, saying it couldn’t afford an upcoming rent increase.
Of course, the Great Escape on Broadway isn’t Nashville’s only used record store — heck, it isn’t even Nashville’s only Great Escape — but it was a landmark. When a writer from Entertainment Weekly wanted to take Taylor Swift to a record store for a story in this week’s issue, she took her to the Great Escape.
What’s interesting is that you usually didn’t see people as young as Taylor Swift at the Great Escape. (She’s 20.) It was mostly guys my age. (I’m not 20.)
People as young as Taylor Swift are more likely to download than buy CD’s (and trade in their old ones).
Heck, I’m more likely to download, too. In fact, the last few times I went to the Broadway store, it was to sell my old CD’s. (I don’t think I’d listened to the Spin Doctors since Taylor Swift was 2.)
Used to, you’d browse the bins at a place like the Great Escape and find some new music, but lately, it seemed like it was mostly stuff from 10, 15 years ago – the kind of stuff I’d already traded in.
Which is kind of the point to a used CD store, I guess.
You flip through the bins and find stuff you didn’t know you were looking for, maybe something you’d you’d read about in Rolling Stone or something you’d heard about but hadn’t actually heard — except now we’ve got iTunes and Pandora and lots of other ways to hear music.
You don’t need to flip though bins of old CD’s, find a disc you think you might like, take it out of its case and hold it sideways against the light to see whether it’s scratched then buy it, hoping you might actually like it and didn’t just blow $7.
Of course, all of this is beside the point when it comes to the Great Escape’s flagship store on Broadway — iTunes and Pandora aren’t raising the rent — and I can always shop at one of the Great Escape’s other stores around town … but I probably won’t. I don’t need any more 10-year-old CDs. I have a closet full of them.
God bless the Great Escape. I hope it’s around forever, but for me, a music geek who used to have 100′s of CDs, most of which I never played, I think an era’s over.
PHOTO: Image by jbcurio via Flickr.