Tower Records is long gone, having shut down for good in 2006. But the building that once housed the chain's legendary Sunset Strip location has narrowly avoided being demolished -- and now the guitar manufacturer Gibson plans to turn the location into a rock-n-roll shrine. The L.A. Times writes:
Plans for the property, at 8801 Sunset Blvd., are in early stages, but the Nashville company intends to showcase its musical instruments and consumer electronics in a venue that will also feature live performances, Chief Executive Henry Juszkiewicz announced Monday.
"We want to reinvent this site to be the international phenomenon that its legacy deserves," he said.
Constructed in 1971, the Tower Records building was for decades a center of activity in the Sunset Strip's vibrant music scene. The store's walls were plastered with giant reproductions of album covers. Record labels routinely kicked off new releases by sending bands there to perform.
The good times ended after Tower Records filed for bankruptcy in 2006, but Gibson plans to start a new scene that pays tribute to the old one.
"We are going to honor history and take it to a whole new level," Juszkiewicz said. "We want to retain that crazy vibe of Tower Records."
Gibson has signed a 15-year lease for the rectangular one-story building that would be unremarkable were it not for the mother lode of memories it conjures for generations of music fans who remember the joys of browsing among record racks and pondering eclectic art on album covers.
Juszkiewicz said Gibson would spend at least $1 million to renovate the 8,700-square-foot building for a reopening by the end of the year.
Anything that helps bring back the Strip's glory days is a win, even if it doesn't bring Tower Records back.