Beloved record store celebrates its last days

PDQ closing

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - While browsing the rows of records at PDQ Records and Tapes, it’s easy for Jason Martinez to get lost in time.

"I can only do like 40 minutes," he said, as he sifted through a treasure trove of music's past. "I'm looking for John Coltrane but he's pretty popular and probably wiped out already."

“Wiped out” and “popular” are words PDQ co-manager Duane Gibson said customers probably haven’t uttered in a while.

“We used to have nine cars in the parking lot, now we have 30,” Gibson said.

That influx happened because the store announced its closure.

They say the city made them change their tune and blamed eminent domain.

In a Facebook post, PDQ said it’s being forced out with the city taking over as part of the Grant Road improvement project.

It's one way the landscape of Tucson continues to change.

“The place and the culture is so unique,” Martinez said. “It’s just starting to look like a lot of other places.”

PDQ records will close its doors to make way for the Grant Road improvement project.
PDQ records will close its doors to make way for the Grant Road improvement project. (Source: KOLD News 13)

The city said the store wasn’t forced to close, though. Store owners turned down money to relocate, thus deciding their own fate.

Still, it was tough news for Gibson to swallow.

“I just kinda wish I still had a job but I’m going to be jobless after this,” Gibson said.

In a place where it's easy to get lost in time, time is also of the essence.

They're left with less than a month to clear out.

“Originally it was supposed to be a year,” Gibson said. “Then it became 90 days.”

The store’s original owner passed away in April 2018. When his wife took over, she said she was told she’d have until May of 2020 to move out. In July, she was given the 90 day notice.

Therefore, change became inevitable.

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