Photo by Gerard van de IJssel

The news hit me hard: one of the very few decent record stores for us music junkies in The Hague, Plato, is closing. The description ‘decent’ is actually a horrible injustice. Plato is (was) a glorious place to wile away your Saturday afternoons, rummaging endlessly through the neatly lined up cd’s, listening to what the staff have carefully selected to play in the store, asking if your long awaited foreign import has arrived yet and casually checking out the likeminded talent wandering through the isles.

Well, that’s how it was until a few months ago, when financial struggle forced Plato’s owner Harry Hoving to leave his original location and move further up the street, to a hole in the wall not even half the size. And now Plato has received the final blow, it’s closing all together.

Last Sunday I went in, trying to ignore the depressing signs for the 20% off sale. “Do you have the new Hot Chip?” I asked, trying to strike up a casual conversation. “No, I don’t have any new stuff, I’m closing up you know”. “Yes I heard, it’s so sad!” I said, “Where are we supposed to go for real music now? Free Record Store?”. He gave a grim smile and urged me to never go to Free Record Store. That’s a promise!

Even though my bank account is a bright red these days I couldn’t help myself and bought a few cd’s, realising with guilt I haven’t been buying as mush as I used to. I too am part to blame for this tragedy. “Be sure to come back in two weeks when everything will be 50% off” he said, “that’s something to cheer you up at least right?”. How horribly bittersweet I thought, a clearance sale in your favourite store.

Well Harry, here’s hoping you will indeed start something new like you said you might, because I’m struggling to find anywhere else to go now. It’s the end of an era. Thank you for the tunes. And please keep up that great newsletter.

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