As some of you will know, Bandwagon music store in Perth has closed because its owner, Pete Caban, is retiring. Today was the last day of trading, bringing to an end 42 years of business. In the last decade Perth has lost 4 music shops, including Bandwagon and Wilkie’s. It now has none. BFG always tried to take business to the local stores, and they gave us excellent advice and discounts in return.
Pete Caban has always been a huge supporter of what we do at BFG and has provided advice on PA systems and numerous other things. I went in to see him today, to give him a retirement card and bottle of wine from BFG. I came out with his last stocks of fiddle strings, rosin, a 4/4 fiddle case and other sundries. Unless you need/want a fretless banjo, or a tenor guitar, there’s not much left.
I can remember 20 years ago being able to get help and advice from real musicians in the various music shops in Perth and Stirling. But where will we go now? Online shopping can never replace the exchanges face to face with experts. Our tradition of music is based on the direct handing on of what we know to each other. Music shops have always been a hub for exchanges too. We need to treasure such places, as well as our own sessions and events. Its too late for Bandwagon, but I hope someone else will take on the role in Perth before too long. And I hope we can all start meeting up, even in small groups, to share the music as it should be – face to face.