This is late news, but I just found out about it as I was trying to check up on some of my lingering receipts (see previous post).
Daddy's Junky Music was a big chain of stores that bought and sold used musical instruments. They were based in New England. Like many musicians from New England, my first instruments were bought at a Daddy's store, and I'd traded and bought countless other things from them ever since. In fact it was to Daddy's where I traded in a ton of extra musical stuff I was no longer using, sometime in the last year or two (I tried searching for a link to where I might have blogged about it, but I can't find it).
Sadly, Daddy's abruptly closed their doors back in October 2011.
In a way, I'm not really too surprised. The clerks at all these places were typically dicks. Like most music store clerks, they were once-aspiring-and-failed rock stars, bitterly sitting behind a counter and always busy with something or somebody else. The staff at other stores like Guitar Center have almost always been, at least in my experience, more attentive and sometimes more knowledgeable.
Of course, I know that's not the main reason why Daddy's closed. The main reason they closed is the same reason why a lot of brick-and-mortar ("B&M") specialty stores close: not being able to compete with the internet. Even before the internet became a house-hold thing, I knew that if you wanted to buy or especially sell an instrument, it was always better financially to go through the want-ads. If you wanted to sell something, Daddy's would give you next to nothing for it. As my lucrative guitar-trading uncle had always said, "Daddy's is a rip-off". The only reason I sold a bunch of stuff to them that summer was to get rid of the stuff once and for all, instead of having to place a dozen different ads to Craigslist and follow up on all of them.
But the internet had hurt Daddy's in more ways than just providing a forum to buy and sell things 1-on-1. A lot of warehouse places like MusiciansFriend.com can sell you brand new instruments for cheaper than Daddy's and other stores can compete with.
What's the advantage of having a B&M musical instrument store? The first and most obvious one is that get a chance to play something before you buy it. A second advantage is that you get to talk to people who are knowledgeable about the various models of various instruments and can make suggestions for you. Some of them also host clinics, which is when a well-known musician will give a lecture and do Q&A afterwards. Then there's just the joy of not knowing what you'll find when you walk into a used music store.
Unfortunately, it's all too easy for somebody to try out an instrument in a store, get free advice from a clerk, then walk out the door and order the same instrument on-line, without a penny going to the B&M store. Hell, lots of people can whip out their smartphone to go check prices and buy the item on-line, BEFORE even leaving the store!
So while it's sad to see Daddy's go, again I'm not too surprised. As one of the articles below mentions "If you can't make it with a music store across the street from Berklee, you’re pretty much sunk". It does make me wonder how rare used musical instrument brick-and-mortar stores are going to be in the future. There's only so much a teenager can learn by flipping around YouTube.