Monday, March 7, 2022

Legendary Denver record store changes hands after 33 years


The time has come. After 33 years of running Twist And Shout, Jill and I have decided it is time to retire. This decision did not come easily, and we do not take our responsibility to our customers and employees lightly. We have understood for a while that our ability to retire had to dovetail with a plan to keep Twist And Shout going far into the future. We believe that the store has become part of Denver life, and if it were to disappear that a huge hole in the cultural and musical life of our city would appear.

In the early months of the pandemic as Jill and I walked around deserted streets we talked a lot about what our stepping down might look like. At the same time, our manager of 30 years, Patrick Brown, stepped up in a life-saving and heroic way. He let us know immediately that he, and a small group of employees would keep the store going. They collected mail, kept the lights on and helped grow our small mail order business into a substantial service. As we slowly came back to life, Patrick’s dedication to the store and energy for the job never waned. Simply put, he has been the employee of a lifetime.

2020 was such a challenge for all of us. We worked so hard to bring the store back, keep the community together, create new ways of doing an old business. And we succeeded! 2021 was our best year in a couple of decades. In spite of lock downs, mask mandates, supply-chain issues and Covid outbreaks we have come back stronger than ever. The store is a bigger refuge for music, musicians and music lovers than it’s ever been. Thanks folks - really. We did this together.

When I approached Patrick about taking over the store, not only did he immediately say yes, he assured me that nothing would change. The employees, product mix, special events, policies and overall vibe of our beloved Twist And Shout will remain the same. Patrick will bring 30 years of institutional knowledge to his management as well as the beating heart of true music scholar. He’s every bit the nut that I am for this stuff, but he is 11 years younger than me and his energy will carry the store way into the future. I’m excited for the store and have no trepidation about this move. Thank you, Patrick. We did this together.

As for me… It’s time. I’ve been in Twist And Shout for more than half my life. I’ve given everything I have to it. I love it so much. I’m so proud of it. I love you, our customers beyond what you could imagine. You, the third generation kid whose grandfather brought you in the first time - I see you. You, who came to all those in-store performances - I see you. First person in line for Record Store Day - I see you. Girl who bought her first record at the store when she was 12 and is now bringing her 12 -year-old in to buy a turntable - I see you. Deadheads who I waved to at so many shows over the years -I see you. I see all of you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I’m not going anywhere. I want to continue living in a city with a great record store. So, I say with full heart for the final time.

See You In The Aisles,
Paul Epstein

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