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Ear X-tacy, which has served the music needs of Louisville and beyond for more than a quarter of a century, has reached the end of the record.

After widespread concern voiced both online and in person at a darkened store both Saturday and Sunday, owner John Timmons released an official statement today.

Fans and media outlets waited with bated breath all day before the store’s website, www.earx-tacy.com, went blank at about 5:35 p.m.

Fifteen minutes later, Timmons issued a statement on the website: “The record store experience has been the only child in my life. Now, it's time for me to let it fly.”

He thanked all those patrons and musicians who made ear X-tacy “THE hub for music in Louisville for the past 26 years,” and quoted George Harrison in that “all things must pass.”

“Please take pride in knowing that YOU have been the heart and soul of what this store became,” Timmons wrote. “Thank you for sharing my dream and exceeding all of my expectations!”

No word about the future of the inventory or location was given.

The store, which has sold records and CDs and has hosted countless live in-store concerts since 1985, has faced stiff competition from online music sources (both legal and illegal) and “big box” stores such as Best Buy, reporting perilous financial situations in February of 2010. Despite a move in June of 2010 from the present location of Panera Bread on Bardstown Road to a more affordable space south of the Douglass Loop, last November Timmons said that the store’s future was in danger more than ever.

As recently as this past April, TIME magazine cited ear X-tacy in an article listing “10 Great American Record Shops.” For the piece, Timmons was quoted as saying, “[Musical] artists really do care about the physical, brick-and-mortar stores, and our employees are true music junkies—they can talk to anybody about any sort of music. It’s that personal interaction that’s kept us going.” But with more music living on hard drives than on turntables these days, personal interaction only could take ear X-tacy so far.

Contact the author at [email protected] or www.leecopywriting.com.

Photo: Royal Buttons

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