Autographed photos of bands, old and new, are framed along the walls of Lipham Music. A photo from The Charlie Daniels Band reads, “To Buster Lipham. God Bless.”
Lipham Music, a retail store inspiring Gainesville with rock ‘n’ roll music since 1954, is closing on April 15.
Lipham’s customers have included bands, such as The Allman Brothers and Iron Butterfly. Gainesville’s own Tom Petty worked at the establishment in 1967, according to an interview with the store owner.
Buster T.H. Lipham, 70, owner, said he will be closing the store and spending more time with his grandchildren.
Employees were notified last week that the store would be shutting down, said Tom Holtz. Holtz has worked with sales and guitar repairs at Lipham Music for 26 years.
The store sold and repaired instruments. Six of the store’s eight employees are current musicians. Music lessons were also offered.
Holtz said sales have dropped by half in the past six years due to the crash of the economy.
The owner’s decision to close the store has been the “hardest decision of his life,” Holtz said.
Lipham Music has been a big part of musical history. It gained popularity by offering rock instruments to locals. The band Blackfoot, a loyal customer, placed Buster’s name on its albums.
Holtz said he has known for years that the business was going to close.
“You know things aren’t working as well as they should, but you don’t want to admit it,” he said. “You don’t want to let go.”