Gordie Budd has been in business almost two decades selling instruments and vinyl, both old and new, and leading a crew of instructors teaching lessons in the studios at the back of his beloved music store, closing later this month. Kristyn Anthony /VICTORIA NEWS

Gordies Music preparing to play its final tune in Victoria

Vintage guitar and vinyl shop closing the doors after 20 years in business

These are dark days for Victoria music fans as another Canadian Gord ends his reign.

Gordie’s Music, the city’s source for vintage guitars and vinyl records, will close later this month after almost two decades in business. Originally from Saskatoon, Gordie Budd landed on the island in the late ’90s and opened his guitar shop in 1998, offering lessons, repairs and rentals. He says he always dreamed of owning a record store, starting from scratch with a small crate of vinyl in the corner.

As the popularity of analog saw a resurgence with a younger audience, Budd says the collection grew until one day he looked out to rows and rows of records and thought, “I own a record store.”

“True audiophiles never left vinyl,” he says, and true customers never left Budd. When the News stopped in to visit, an old regular walked through the door and called out, “I’ve got two questions! Is it true? And, who do we shoot first?”

Budd’s shop at 1519 Pandora Ave. isn’t overly big, but the first thing you notice is the empty wall on the left near the back where guitars and ukuleles used to hang for sale. Everything is 30 per cent off these days as Budd hopes to lighten the load he’ll haul away when the door locks one last time, Nov. 30.

“There’s many layers involved,” he says of the decision to close, some of which date back to the financial crisis of 2008. “We lost a third of our students then. It was an uphill climb after that.”

Three landlords – the last of which came with a management company that played middle man – steadily increased Budd’s rent while online giant Amazon was slowly plucking customers from the grip of independent businesses like his.

And as the “the big guys” like Long & McQuade and Tom Lee Music moved into town, it wasn’t just the rent that increased. Budd says insurance, hydro, bank and CRD fees – all those pesky responsibilities an online-based business like Amazon doesn’t encounter – played a role too.

The closure of Gordie’s Music comes just months after Larsen Music on Cook Street played their final note back in July.

READ: Iconic Victoria music store closing, owner plans to keep on playing

“I’m going to go into what they call semi-retirement,” Budd says, adding that he may try his hand at buying and selling on a smaller scale, maybe even online.

That business model never appealed to him because he didn’t want to see the instruments leave Victoria.

When folks would ask about a return policy, he says he’d tell them to spend enough time with the instrument before you take it home, that way you know it’s the right purchase. Not exactly a concept transferable to online sales.

“That’s part of our downfall,” Budd says.

“I can’t pay the rent selling records, but I can’t sit here and be sour grapes.”

He jokes that he might just play Steely Dan’s “Everything Must Go” on repeat in the coming days as he continues to stock the shelves with “new” old records.

And when he makes that final sale, he says he’ll be okay, that he has a sense of peace about it.

“The only thing constant is change,” he shrugs.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Former Westshore Rebels kicker is traded in free agency

Quinn van Gylswyk finds a new home with the Montreal Alouettes.

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

No foul play suspected in death of Stanley Okumoto, 79

Centre gives breast cancer patients new outlook on life

The Victoria Breast Health Centre at VGH connects patients to services

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

Snow cancels, alters transit routes across Greater Victoria

Buses will not be stopping on steep hills, says BC Transit

B.C Games athletes head up to Kamloops

Athletes representing Zone 6 will start competition on Friday

Two Haida men detained for crossing U.S.-Canada border

Edenshaw and Frisby travelled from Alaska to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

B.C. teacher suspended over allegedly using N-word in worksheets

Trafalgar Elementary teacher under investigation by Vancouver School Board

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

Inside the Olympic performance of the Island’s Teal Harle

Islander finishes fifth in Olympic Men’s Slopestyle final in Pyeong Chang

BC BUDGET: New money helps seniors’ care shortage

Job stability for care aides key to recruitment, union leader says

Mixed messages on B.C.’s efforts to cool hot housing market

Economist says undersupply of homes in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna will keep prices high

Questions raised over B.C. NDP’s childcare budget plan

Advocates concerned how to fill 22,000 new spaces for early childhood educators

Most Read