By Paige Thompson
It is a rainy Sunday and I stand in a line with my dad, sister, and fellow music lovers at a very different but beloved Ear-X-Tacy. The line moves slowly and I feel like I am in a funeral procession, waiting to pass the casket of a lost best friend. The line is silent except for the occasional murmur from the crowd and the faint sound of Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” being played through the store.
We finally reach the inside and there is a mutual sadness and closure throughout the procession. We stroll around, taking it all in. I make my way to the records, flipping through what is left. I soon spy John D. Timmons, the owner of the store. He is calm, greeting smiles, best wishes, and memories from various people about buying their first record in the store. He hugs some of his employees and kisses his wife, who is dressed in all black.
There is a cameraman from WHAS 11 walking around filming various people, including a staff member taking down a poster from the wall. “Hey! Put that back! Oh wait, it’s an employee,” jokes Timmons. He stands in the middle of his store doing an interview with the crew from WHAS 11. He talks about how his favorite section of the store was always the local artist section. He tells about how many people had come up to him crying about the closure.
Ear-X-Tacy has been a staple place to visit when coming to Louisville. Most of the people that live in the area have some sort of connection to the store. I bought my first two records there, and I said my goodbyes by buying more. Some people had a more musical connection to the store, having seen a band such as My Morning Jacket there and watching them grow and grow.
For me, Ear-X-Tacy has been a place for me to feel a connection to the Highland area in Louisville by being able to support a locally-owned business. What I loved about Ear-X-Tacy was its uniqueness. It was a relaxed place where people came to listen to music and buy their music. Every time I went in there and flipped through the records I felt like I was living back in the 60’s and 70’s when everything was a lot more simple. When flipping through records with my dad he would tell me stories about all of the records he had when he was my age and how he wished he had kept them. Ear-X-Tacy was a great place to go spend the day and get away from it all, surrounding myself with music.
As some final words, Timmons posted on the store Facebook page, “The record store experience has been the only child in my life. Now, it’s time for me to let it fly.”