What’s left of the Music Exchange for sale cheap, in huge quantities

About a week ago, a Kansas City native transplanted to Houston e-mailed The Pitch to say he’d only just learned that Music Exchange owner Ron Rooks had died (on August 28, 2006). “It’s a great loss to KC. Is the Music Exchange still open without him?” he wrote. I told him no. And really, who would have wanted a Music Exchange without Rooks?

Rooks’ store was the sort of institution one took for granted in the best way — it was too big to fail before being too big to fail was a punch line. So for every bemused former Kansas Citian who fires off a short WTF, there likely are a dozen former customers who missed the end and still haven’t heard the bad news.

At the time of his death, Rooks had taken refuge in the West Bottoms, hoping to find a new corner for his record collectors’ paradise. And though I wrote the ex-KC guy to report that the Music Exchange’s contents were gone, long since sold (for a pittance, say people close to the Rooks family), I was wrong: Close to 50,000 records remaining from the transaction were posted for sale on Craigslist March 8.

People who bought remnants when Rooks’ widow, Nancy, still controlled

the collection left with the impression that the good stuff had been

picked clean well before Sunflower stepped in. Still, you never know.

But you’ll need to borrow a forklift from DJ Shadow if you want this vinyl — the lots are broken up into pallets of 27 boxes, each containing up to 100 records, according to the ad. Each pallet goes for $100. Sunflower Auctions president Gregg Pfister didn’t immediately return a call inquiring about the status of this latest liquidation and what’s in the boxes.

Categories: Music