I decided to visit the Broadway shopping experience in New Haven, Ct. this afternoon. Little did I realize after stopping in the Apple Store to assess the Mac Book Pro with Retina display ($weet “must have” $olution) and trying to find to no avail the latest Uncut music magazine at the Yale Bookstore (July 2012 issue with Patti Smith on the cover…) what lie in store just down the block.
I smiled as I walked towards my final destination, Cutler’s Record Store. I saw the famous sign above the door and as I checked out the front window display, I said, “Oh no”, reading in utter disbelief as the banners stated, “Retirement Celebration, Closing”. It dawned on me that my favorite music retailer was leaving the retail landscape too. I processed the signs 40% off everything in the store so I decided to go inside and pay my respects to the best local music store ever!
I saw Phil Cutler hard at work, as always, he was consolidating CDs into stacks as he got ready for the last 12 days of business (Cutler’s will close forever on June 30th, 2012). How many times had I flipped through these hallowed music bins? I had spent hours walking those long aisles looking for that special recording on vinyl, cassette or CD these past 40 years.
I struck up a conversation just like always with Phil Cutler who has always commanded my respect. I told him that I was disappointed but that I respected his business decision. He thanked me for the appreciation. I then asked if I could snap a picture of him on my iPhone. He gladly obliged. I mentioned to him that I would write this music blog article about him and his store. I gave him the URL. I sure hope he stops by and writes a comment 😉
I then realized I should buy something to honor my customer relationship with Phil Cutler. I recalled that I had meant to stop by and buy some Record Store Day collectibles. So I did that and if you look at the next two pictures below you’ll see what I purchased. I bought one other gift for our son because Cutler’s had become one of our favorite record stores these past few years. It’s a secret, shhhhhhh 😉
I spoke to Phil Cutler one more time adding how much the store meant to me these past 40 years. I asked him if he planned an online version of Cutler’s, he was too busy with the merchandise consolidation to discuss that suggestion. He shared with me he was tired and that he welcomed the time off ahead (running a 7 days a week, day/night retail business is grueling). I told him I know just how you feel retail is demanding and that I had 16 years of retail experience in common with him (I ran a record department, not a full store, years back myself) I then said, “God Bless You Phil.” He said thanks very much and I proceeded to the register. I purchased the commemorative Cutler’s Record Store T-Shirt.
Thanks for the music memories Phil Cutler and staff. Nobody Does It Better.
I look forward to learning more about the next phase of your career, Phil, especially as it relates to music.