Colorado

Dec 4, 2012 2:06 AM by Zach Thaxton

Leechpit record shop spinning its final tune

Supporters are "sending out an SOS" for a shop where it's possible to buy the vinyl record by The Police containing the song Message in a Bottle, featuring those famous lyrics. "Save Our Store" is the SOS rallying cry to preserve a dying breed: the mom-and-pop record shop.

The building at Nevada and Dale in Colorado Springs currently occupied by The Leechpit record store is owned by Colorado College, and CC is terminating its lease agreement with The Leechpit when it expires at the end of July 2013.

"It's kind of the last of its species," said owner Adam Leech. "We're one of the last mom-and-pop record stores standing." Leech says he has spent much of his adult life in the building at 802 N. Nevada Avenue. "I got one of my first jobs here when I was 15 years old. This building was a record store called Toons," Leech said.

In the Leechpit, you can not only pick up a rare vinyl copy of your favorite record, but also find obscure cassette tapes from the 1980s and '90s, vintage secondhand sports apparrel, an "ugly Christmas sweater" for theme parties, and countless other obscurities.

However, by mid-summer, The Leechpit will be gone. The building is owned by Colorado College, and they want it back.

"We're going to honor the terms of the lease until it expires," said Colorado College News Director Leslie Weddell, "but then it's our property, and we'd like to use it for our students." Specifically, the college would like to turn the building into an activity center. "Some of these would be small band practices, collaborative art projects, things of that nature," Weddell said.

A group of customers and supporters Monday rallied outside The Leechpit, hoping one of their favorite hangouts will steer clear of the chopping block, but Leech himself says he knows the days are numbered. "We have no interest in getting in the way of progress," Leech said. "We just want to make sure (Colorado College) has thought it through all the way."

The Leechpit's lease expires July 31, 2013. Weddell says Colorado College has made a "good-faith effort" to try to find a new location for The Leechpit, but talks with Leech broke down. Leech says he wants to either go "bigger and better" or not go on at all.

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