Proprietor Myers bows out of music store life after 40 years
Bert Myers, the owner of Vortex Records is in his milieu, surrounded by the jewel cases cataloguing music history, and the scads of vinyl collected in boxes.
A customer walks by him, shares a moment for quick banter, but rues Myers’s New Year.
Vortex Records, which sits atop a gyro shop at the Yonge and Eglinton intersection, is closing.
“It’s one of those sales I don’t relish taking advantage of,” the customer says.
Myers is warm but unequivocal in his response:
“Dive right in.”
The 63-year-old is calling it a career after 40 years due to the lack of interest in CDs. He says he’s seen an uptick in vinyl sales, but it’s not enough to buoy him above a high commercial rent.
Myers smiles sadly as he shares how he got into the business. Vortex was once at 139 Dundas St. East before it moved to the Danforth, and then 27 years ago, to its current home.
That was his most memorable moment, he admits.
“That was quite a chore,” he says, with a smile revealing itself under his grey beard. “That’s why I didn’t want to do it again. I was a much younger man before.”
As the Ting Tings’ “That’s Not My Name” plays on the speakers in the shop, he admits his passion for music has left him out of the loop on more modern loves.
“I tended to go backwards for my thrills, and that left me way behind of what’s currently happening,” he admits. “I became out of synch — like someone singing off key.”
Vortex will be selling its wares until mid-January, and Myers says that if a “sufficient” amount of his merch has been sold, he’ll send off Vortex into the eddy of condominiums that rise at the busy midtown intersection.
Next on his agenda is to take to the easel, with paintbrush in hand.
“I think I might go to some low-key arty school. I do painting as sort of a hobby,” he says. “Abstract impressionism, of course, because you don’t really have to draw then.”
But he won’t forget the customers who have carried him through vinyl, cassettes, CDs and vinyl again.
“I would say, in my characteristic fashion, it’s been more fun than not — to borrow that from Monty Python.”