And it is with a heavy heart that I bring the news of the passing of Alan Meltzer, the man who opened up the first Titus Oaks in Brooklyn back in the late 60s before launching CD One Stop, one of the largest wholesale distributors of CDs back in the 80s and 90s before starting Wind-Up Records, a label responsible for both one of the best groups of the last 20 years in The Wrens and the absolute worst band quite possibly in American rock history in Creed. Nevertheless, the man was a pioneer of the independent record store template that is slowly growing extinct as the digital format continues to eat through the viability of tangible music goods like CDs and vinyl like MRSA. It was recently announced, however, that American Idol Season 10 finalist James Durbin, the kid responsible for introducing Judas Priest and Zakk Wylde to the Tweeting tweens the world over, signed with Wind-Up for a multi-album deal.
I had the opportunity to speak with Alan about 10 years ago when I was writing a story for SHOUT Magazine about the endangerment of indie record shops and he was as gracious as he was cantankerous and I am very sorry to hear of his passing.
For more information on the death of Alan Meltzer, please check out Matthew Perpetua's piece in Rolling Stone. -Ed.