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MTSUBlueraider86

Two Nashville Icons

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I should probably post this in the coffeehouse sub-forum but this is important news.

1) The Great Escape Broadway location closed today as they lost their lease. No news yet on what will go into the building or if the building will be razed for a muti-story apartment building and the like or not. They (The Great escape) will moving all inventory to the Charlotte Avenue location. ESU and I talked about this today. The Great Escape is one of the last quirky, cool, urban and irreverently dirty retail places left! We will miss the dust piled high like snow, the stale odors of smokers creeping in when the door is opened, and the smell of rotting cardboard boxes and dilapidated record sleeves. ESU said one employee told him customers preferred the new cleaner version on Charlotte Avenue which now looks more like a suburban shopping mall store than an urban retail store that one would see in New York or Chicago. I first started going to the great escape in 1977.

Recently we lost Groove in East Nashville Five Points. The only urban record shops we have left that I know of are Grimey's on 8th Avenue, Phonolux on Nolensville Road next to La Hacienda, and New Life Records on Charlotte which is the Hip Hop record store for the city. With ITUNES and the IPOD and MP3's the record store seems to be a dying breed unless they offer other products and services like Grimey's which has live concerts and a bar.

2) WRVU the campus station at Vanderbilt University since 1953 will be shutting down unless enough money can be raised to buy the broadcast license that the University Board Of Directors is going to sell to a religious Evangelical network for religious broadcasting. WRVU will end up being an internet only radio station along with millions of internet radio broadcasts and it will lose all of its cache as a true urban university radio station. Again, radio has been replaced with the IPOD. The shut down date for WRVU has not been set yet but as one may know, the most popular format on traditional radio now is talk whether it be sports, news, politics, or opinion.

I would hate to see such Nashville institutions go away, but I have to be realistic. I never go into the Great Escape. If I buy a cd which is extremely rare, I go to Grimey's where they know me and they have the best selection of Progessive Rock, Krautrock, Punk, and Post Punk music. I never listen to the radio unless I am in the car because I don't have a cd player or an IPOD.

At home I have over 7000 songs in my ITUNES library, or I listen to Pandora Radio which is commercial free internet radio where I choose the music I want to listen too.

In any case, these are two examples of how society is changing. The gathering places are now coffee shops, not record stores. The listening devices have no DJ's and they fit in your front pocket.

Goodbye to a couple of old fiends I have not seen in a long time. It was fun.

BR86

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BR86 nailed it with this assessment. I visited The Great Escape today to say "good-bye" to a dear old friend of about 30 years. As I walked out, I fought back tears. TGE was one of the few "big-city pop culture retail businesses" located in what little true urban fabric Nashville offers. People living nearby (Barbizon or American apartments, anybody?) could actually walk to the Escape from their homes. So cool to have a space that, as BR86 notes, was quirky, funky and old-school and located in a Midtown building. And now it's gone.

The loss of WRVU will be big. It won't be the same on Internet radio.

ESU/WW

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Some of you may remember when the Great Escape had a location on Second Avenue. I used to buy a lot of my punk albums on the Rock Block at Discount Records home of the Jem Import Label. Some of you may also remember the record store called Cheap Records on West End where the Valentino's Italian restaurant is on the south side.

The old school record shops are going away much like the old general store's did back in the 1950's with the coming of age of the Supermarket, and the mom and pop hardware store became Lowes and Home Depot.

Yes, ESU I could fight some tears back myself. That place was the hangout with my old guitar player who is now deceased. We spent many hours in that place.

BR86

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I also miss the following:

Marchetti's Italian Cafe on 19th

D.O.G Percussion on 19th

Petway Revis Mens Clothiers on Church Street

Father Ryan High School (1920's Art Deco Gem)

The Sudakem Building (1929 Art Deco Gem)

So many other heart breaking losses.

BR86

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I also miss the following:

Marchetti's Italian Cafe on 19th

D.O.G Percussion on 19th

Petway Revis Mens Clothiers on Church Street

Father Ryan High School (1920's Art Deco Gem)

The Sudakem Building (1929 Art Deco Gem)

So many other heart breaking losses.

BR86

A strong list, BR86. I miss the old Phillips Toy Mart. Discount Records on Elliston was a gem. Cool vibe. Loved the little downstairs room with the classical and jazz stuff. I also liked the Cats Records on West End Avenue. I got autographs from The Bangles at that Cats in 1987. Of note, I don't recall Great Escape on Second. Where was that? I do remember the cool bookstore on second and that opened in the mid-1980s. A fine magazine selection.

But of all the stores to have closed in the past 20 years (not counting The Great Escape Midtown), my favorite might have been Moskow's on Elliston. Import beer, cool magazines, neat vibe, so big-city (at least by Nashville standards). I still miss it.

Oh, and a distinctive retail shop that has been re-invented: Center of Symmetry on Louise and next to Cafe Coco. Used to be Magical Journey. New owner and manager (the latter is my friend). GREAT overhaul. Very nice.

WW

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So I was walking around midtown yesterday.. and noticed a huge sign on the corner of the property where the buildings sit that housed the Great Escape...

it said "Hill Center Broadway" and advertised build-to-suit leasing opportunities.

If this is to be a Hill Center development.. it makes me a little concerned that these buildings may be torn down?

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Hmm so it looks more or less like it does now.. with maybe some second floor additions and sprucing up?

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Honestly, what's the point of having 10 parking spaces? I just don't get it sometimes.

Although, despite losing TGE, i'm glad this corner is getting some life. It is due for an upgrade. Time will tell if that's what we get.

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