It was 10:20 on Friday night when I found out. I had just left the Meyerson when I looked at the clock: 10:00. "Just enough time." The new Aphex Twin album had just dropped and I realized that with the right amount of luck, will and vehicular skill I could just make it to CD Source before its 10:30 closing. This is a race I've run countless times over the last 15 years, always a last-minute dash to grab this or that before closing time. Only this time the finish line looked different.
10:20 on the dot and there it was, draped across the shop's exterior: STORE CLOSING. Inside I ran into an unusually lethargic Kevin Myers, CD Source's Assistant Manager, a man I've seen on a regular basis for nearly 10 years. Crushed might not be the right word to describe his demeanor, but it's not too far off. After reminiscing and gathering the details -- the store will likely close sometime in October; it will not be relocated; this is really the end -- tears weren't too far off either, for both us.
CD Source was the first record shop I ever visited, and the first I frequented. It's where I fell in love with music, the place where a pastime became an obsession, a lifestyle and eventually a career path. For years it has been my therapy when I was bored, depressed or overwhelmed. In college, I would go twice a day. As regulars will tell you, what made CD Source different was its ever-rotating inventory, a feature possible in virtue of the store's continued dedication to buying vast amounts of used music.
If I wanted a shot at the best picks from the 'New Arrivals' section, I knew I had to visit the store as often as possible. Which, for me, meant one visit during lunch, and then another after class. That might sound a touch ridiculous, but at CD Source it wasn't unusual to see the same shoppers twice a day.
It seems every music geek and/or collector the world over has the same sad story. The details vary, but it always centers on the day some great record store died, the one that, for one reason or another, played an instrumental role in their lives. For me, CD Source was THAT record store. It was my first flirt, my first girlfriend, my first marriage and now my first bereavement. And yeah, honestly, I've always found these woeful tales overly dramatic, even corny. I mean, at the end of the day it's just a store, right? Stores close all the time. But, like most things, it's not until you experience it yourself that you can truly understand: It's not just a record store. At least, not for you.
How does a store become more than a place to buy things? The answer is people. You spend enough time somewhere and there's a risk that the employees will become more to you than mere clerks. In some instances, even more than occasional acquaintances. I'm referring to good friends, people that you respect and interact with outside the confines of their employment. The kind of people that call you at home when something special rolls in; the kind of people that you spend hours laughing, talking and joking with.
These are the sort that transforms a record shop into a second home. And CD source was filled with them.
Inside that building off Greenville and Lovers, I've made best friends and lifelong memories. At one time or another, I've introduced every important person in my life to CD Source, from friends to family and everything in between. And I'm hardly an isolated case.
This is a fact I was reminded of once again during a visit to the store yesterday. Given the news of the shop's imminent closure (and the subsequent sale), it was busy. Packed, actually. As usual, it was more of a social environment than a commercial one. The space was alive with a sense of community, and noisy with stories of shared experiences -- some happy, some sad.
Once CD Source's doors close, Dallas will have lost something integral to its musical DNA. A longtime Dallas tastemaker, cultural cornerstone and one of the nation's deepest CD selections will have passed away. Like an organ or an appendage, it's a loss that will never grow back. But a scar will remain. Without question, the city and its people won't forget this place, nor the personalities and memories they gained because of it.
On behalf of myself and countless others, thank you CD Source. Thank you Lance Price, the owner of CD Course. And thanks to all of you who made CD Source possible. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I wouldn't be who I am or what I am without the space you helped create. Your dedication to the love of music will no doubt continue to make ripples long after CD Source's final sale.
I'll leave you with these remarks from Lance Price.
Yesterday I had so many people tell me how their parents first brought them into the store when they were kids, and how they grew up shopping there. How they really learned about music from coming to CD Source and how much the store has meant to them. Hearing these wonderful words has meant a lot to me. Thank you.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.