Ripping Records closes after 41 years

John Richardson - owner of Ripping Records - closed the doors at his shop for the last time today.  Picture Ian Rutherford
John Richardson - owner of Ripping Records - closed the doors at his shop for the last time today. Picture Ian Rutherford
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THE curtain has fallen on a Capital institution as the independent record store that catered for the every need of the discerning music lover closed its doors for the final time.

There will be no encore for Ripping Records now that owner John Richardson has finally pulled the plug after 41 years of vinyl magic and “golden tickets” for those must-see gigs.

The sign at the window of Ripping Records. Picture Ian Rutherford

The sign at the window of Ripping Records. Picture Ian Rutherford

All that remains of a once bustling window display is a hastily arranged homemade banner that reflects the DIY ethos of a bygone musical age – when platform shoes and safety pins were the height of fashion.

In the words of John Lennon after The Beatles final live gig, it reads: “I would like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we’ve passed the audition.”

Generations of music lovers in the Capital can certainly attest to the fact that Ripping ‘passed the audition’.

John said: “It was just magic – the last two weeks have been brilliant.

“We’ve had loads of people coming in, a bin lorry pulled up the other day and a bin man came running into the shop, shook my hand and said ‘thanks for everything’.

“I’ve been feeling the love.

“I also got to do a spot on radio with Bruce Findlay, who has been a sort of hero for me, which was great.

“Bruce has been a friend since we started and gave me a huge amount of advice and help.”

He added: “The shop was absolutely rammed on Saturday, our last day, we were telling people to choose one of the wee divider things that split up the records and CDs for each individual artist and we were signing them.

“The museum have been in wanting the shop sign and the till and a few other things.

“Historic Scotland also came in and photographed the shop, so they now have a proper document for their archives – which is just amazing.

“They asked me for the gold discs that we have but I said, ‘no, I’ll lend you them – but you’re not having them’.”

John said he shut up shop to the strains of the Robert Palmer LP Pressure Drop which was also the first record they played on opening back in 1975.

He added: “I saw customers who have been coming in for years and loads of friends. We didn’t have any balloons up or anything – that’s not my style, but there were cakes and I got a special cushion to sit on.

“The last record we played was the Robert Palmer LP Pressure Drop because that was the first record we ever played in the shop and the opening track is called Give Me an Inch.

“I stayed in the shop till half six because I was making a banner to put on display once we closed, which is a quote from John Lennon at the end of Get Back, when The Beatles played their final live performance on the rooftop of the Apple headquarters.”

John says he now plans to play a bit of golf, do some work in the house and read one copy of Melody Maker a week as he has the entire collection dating from the period 1970-76.

His parting shot was to mention a Ripping Wake party planned for January next year – the hottest ticket in town.