Meep Records and a Changing Denver. Look at that image. Do you recognize it?
From 1917 until 2014, Gates Industrial Corporation hulked over several blocks of South Broadway and defined the look and feel of that stretch of Denver. It wasn’t the prettiest, especially once they started closing buildings and the natural urban decay started happening, but it looms large in my architectural memory. It, as well as the Bredan Butter factory and the Montgomery Ward on the other side of I-25 defined Broadway to me as a teenager. Now when I drive past that stretch of Broadway, I feel I could be in any city in America, unfortunately. It’s just a canyon of apartments. This isn’t a crime, and it isn’t unexpected. People have to live somewhere, and there’s no room for old, antiquated stuff. It just makes me melancholy to look at that picture for some reason.
Something that doesn’t make me sad though is the success that Meep Records (https://meeprecords.com) has had. Meep is the brainchild of Adam Baumeister a local musician and character who worked for me at Twist And Shout once upon a time. This 45 RPM picture disc (pictured above) that Adam made reflects the end of the Gates complex era. I reached out to him to describe the recording to me, and here’s what he said: “It is a sound collage of me playing guitar with various construction noises and a little noisy jam poppin’ in. Construction/Destruction. Made when they took down the whole Gates Complex: a lament for a quickly changing Denver was the sentiment. Five made and dropped at record stores / thrift stores. One-sided square picture disc.”
Adam was always collecting interesting instruments and recording equipment, and when he got a record cutting lathe, he seemed to really find a niche. His Denver company will custom cut records with a variety of artistic variables—length, color, imagery—and do small runs quickly which makes them unique in the current recording environment. Asked about his company, Adam states: “We started Meep Records in 2012 to make Lathe Cut Records for bands in Colorado. Since then, we have cut thousands of records for professional bands & amateur musicians all over the world. Whether you need fifty copies quickly for a tour or just one copy of a song for your lover, we can get it to you quick!”
This album represents a lot of qualities I appreciate. It’s Denver-centric; it’s homemade; it marks the passage of time; and it’s highly limited (the secret sauce of collecting). So gaze upon this weird, rare record, and remember the Colorado that used to be.
– Paul Epstein, Co-Chair, Colorado Music Hall of Fame; founder/former owner of Twist & Shout; music historian and archivist
“I moved to Colorado in 1968 and started going to concerts almost immediately. I eagerly grabbed posters, flyers, ticket stubs, advertisements, concert recordings, pretty much any proof I could find that the event happened. In 1988, I started a record store called Twist & Shout, and my collecting of memorabilia went into even higher gear. Over the next 34 years, I had rare access to memorabilia of all types and sizes. Now that I’ve retired, the time seems right to start sharing these things, and the stories that go with them. So, every other Tuesday, I will ask you to Let Me Take You Down (to the basement) to check out some of the good stuff!” – Paul Epstein