The Real Deal New York

The day the music died: NYC’s music row is no more

The last music shop on 48th Street is officially closing

August 02, 2015 04:00PM


For rock icons like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, New York’s Music Row was a one-stop shop. But with the last Music Row store, Alex Musical Instruments, closing in a few months, the area is becoming a ghost town.

“Everyone bought their instruments on 48th. There was no other way,” Rudy Pensa, who opened Rudy’s Music Stop on the block in 1978 after moving from Argentina, told the New York Post. “It wasn’t America I wanted to come to, it was 48th Street, which happened to be in America.”

But high rents and changes in retail have killed most of the block’s businesses over the years. Pensa closed his shop on Friday. Alex Musical Instruments’ landlord increased the rent from $4,000 to $12,000 a month, essentially booting the business, according to the Post.

“When you have different districts you have a diverse city, where you move through the Flower District, the Diamond District, the Garment District. [NYC is] getting bulldozed by this wave of sameness,” Jeremiah Moss, the blogger behind Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, writes. [NYP]Christopher Cameron