Rock bands and customers party at ‘wake’ for Ripping Records shop

John Richardson closes the doors at Ripping Records for the last time. Picture Ian Rutherford

John Richardson closes the doors at Ripping Records for the last time. Picture Ian Rutherford

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One of Scotland’s best-loved independent music stores has been given a rousing send-off with a “wake” held in its honour.

Ripping Records was knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door on Friday night, when music fans gathered one last time to honour the record shop stalwart that closed its doors for good in November.

Edinburgh punk band The Valves perform at the farewell party on Friday. Photograph: Peter Mason

Edinburgh punk band The Valves perform at the farewell party on Friday. Photograph: Peter Mason

Historic Scotland snapped up the store sign and other memorabilia from the shop.

Punk legends The Valves were joined by the Apple Beggars and Le Bomb as The Caves venue in Edinburgh stepped back to a time when vinyl was king and carrying an album under your arm was the height of cool.

Shop owner John Richardson was able to draw a line under the Ripping legend which provided generations of music fans with sought-after tickets for must-see gigs.

READ MORE: Edinburgh music institution Ripping Records to close after 41 years

The 61-year-old, from Edinburgh, now plans to concentrate on lowering his golf handicap, walking his dogs and reading one copy of Melody Maker a week from his collection dating back to the golden age of rock from 1970-76.

He said: “I was delighted with the party and I was really emotional because that was definitely the end of Ripping – that was the finish.

“The museum have taken the sign but it still says Ripping above the shop window and I’m thinking of taking that down to mark the end.

“I feel a bit odd because that’s it finally done – we’ve drawn a line under it”.

He added: “I’ll still go into the building to tidy things up and I’ve got to paint the back windows before I rent it out.

“There’s around a dozen people interested in taking over the premises and we haven’t even put a board up yet and it’s not even officially on the market.

“The response since we announced we were closing has been fantastic and I’ve definitely been feeling the love. The wake party on Friday night was fantastic. Everyone in The Caves had a huge smile on their face and the bands were absolutely loving it. It was just great.

“It was really important to me that our customers were at the party, as I wanted to say a big thank you for all their help and support.

“I got up on the stage and shook everyone’s hands at the end. I had prepared a speech but I was a wee bit emotional to be honest, so I just thanked everyone and told them to keep in touch.

“I don’t know what it’s like being a pop star, but I was posing for a lot of selfies.”

Richardson said he has wonderful memories from the shop and described how Oasis fans camped out overnight and queued round the block for their Loch Lomond gig in 1996, and how festival-goers brought the traffic on Edinburgh’s South Bridge to a standstill in the hope of securing T in the Park tickets.

Norman Rowan Jr, managing director of The Caves, said: “It’s a massive honour to put this on for John and Ripping Records. He’s been there for so many years and is an Edinburgh institution.

“There was a great atmosphere and a good mix of ages across at least three generations saying goodbye to Ripping for the last time.”