Sad news to hear today that Melbourne's Missing Link Records is closing its doors and ceasing trading as of Friday October 7th. Having been in operation in Melborune's CBD for the past 30 years, Missing Link's shelves were stocked with a wide range of punk and hardcore releases for many years. Along with countless in-store shows and a record label that pumped out music from bands such as The Coue Method, The Huntsman, Mutiny, Agents of Abhorrence, Terror Firma, The Focus and many more, the store also served as an information source for Melbournites wanting to know what shows were happening in their fair city.

The shop first opened in 1971, but was then called Archie and Jughead's, named after the comic. The shop's co-founders, David Pepperell and Keith Glass, established the shop as a much-needed rock record shop. The original aim for the shop was to stock imported records from the United States that were not readily available in Australia at that time. In 1978, Archie and Jughead's became Missing Link (after a brief stint of being called Dr. Peppers). The name was being used by Keith Glass for a record label. The name was taken from a wild 60s Australian rock band, The Missing Links.

Missing Link was later purchased by Nigel Rennard and his sister Diane in 1981. Missing Link has undergone several location changes over the years, including a shift to the basement of 405 Bourke Street. Ahead of the imminent redevelopment of its current Bourke Street premises, Missing Link was put on the market in March.

The news was confirmed by owner Nigel Rennard in a statement sent to Mess+Noise this morning:

"After 30 years of retail, in the Melbourne CBD, Missing Link Records will cease trading on Friday 7th October.

The doors at 405 Bourke Street will be closing for the last time, however the store will continue under the management of Collectors Corner, as it has traded for the last year, in a new location to be announced shortly.

Adverse trading conditions, over the past few years and the continued decline in hardcopy music sales, the ever present theft of music and digital options have combined to bring about the decision. The owners wish to thank all those that have supported us over a very long journey and hope that in return our support for Australian and overseas independent music will be remembered."

The news of Missing Link closing down, comes on the back of the almost recent closure of Rocking Horse Records in Brisbane (saved by an investor in the 11th hour), sounding an ominous alarm for the much beloved independent record stores around the country. The next time you're in a chain store purchasing music, think about the power of your dollar spend, and the effect it has. Sure you may be saving a buck or two buying from a chain store that can afford to undercut other retailers by ordering bulk numbers of releases to stock across their varoius nationwide outlets, but who exactly benfits from your spend. Ask yourself if the store has ever funded a release for a local band, put on an instore show you've been too, or toured a band you wanted to see. Are they investing back in the music scene you love or are they simply taking from it? Is saving yourself a couple of bucks really worth it in the long run?


Above is some artwork done for a light box outside the store by the legendary Mike Bukowski


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