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Rather Ripped Records in Brookline closes |

Rather Ripped Records in Brookline closes

Paul Guggenheimer

Another iconic Pittsburgh record store has gone out of business.

Rather Ripped Records in Brookline closed its doors for the last time on Thursday.

The store had been in business for 50 years, after South Side native Russ Ketter opened at his original location in Berkeley, California in 1969.

He moved back to Pittsburgh in 2012 and opened a store on Butler Street in Lawrenceville. In 2015, the store moved to Brookline Boulevard.

Ketter said multiple factors led to his decision to close the store.

“We had a lot of problems with the Liberty Bridge being closed and the Liberty Tunnel being closed for almost two years,” said Ketter. “We lost business because of that. I saw the change in the pattern immediately.”

Ketter also cited his own health issues as a reason for his decision. He has Parkinson’s disease and was recently hospitalized with heart problems caused by blood clots. “After fifty years of doing it, I just couldn’t do it anymore.”

Ketter said he has no plans to reopen and has sold nearly all of his records.

“I’ll miss the people that came to visit,” he said. “I enjoyed being in Brookline, lots of nice people.”

Paul Guggenheimer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or [email protected].

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