Honors — February 15, 2022 at 6:56 am

Wax Trax! co-founder’s family wants Chicago to landmark famed record store’s original location


2449 N. Lincoln Ave. | Photo via Wax Trax! Records

The family of Wax Trax! Records co-founder Jim Nash plans to ask the city of Chicago to designate the famed record shop’s original Lincoln Avenue storefront as a historic landmark, a move that would acknowledge the store and record label’s place in music history and preserve the building.

Nash’s daughter Julia has launched a petition to submit to the city, and so far more than 4,500 people have signed. She writes that she hopes to submit a historic landmark application by March 1 so that it can be considered by the city’s Department of Planning and Development at its March 15 meeting.

“If this store or label has meant anything to you at any point in your life, we hope you will join us at preserving this important physical piece of music history,” Julia Nash writes.

Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher opened Wax Trax! Records at 2449 N. Lincoln Ave. in 1978 after selling their Denver record store of the same name — which is still in business 40-plus years later — and moving to Chicago. They ran the shop and its corresponding record label out of that storefront until moving in 1993.

On her petition, Julia Nash makes the case for the historic importance of her father’s record shop and label:

For those not familiar with the WAX TRAX! history, the independent record store was the center of underground music and culture throughout the 1980s and ’90s here in the midwest. Artists such as Robert Plant, Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Black Flag, Buzzcocks, the B-52s and others would shop the Lincoln Avenue location when passing through Chicago.

Before launching the independent label, WAX TRAX! founders Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher would use the North Lincoln Avenue storefront to promote and produce concerts for then unknown artists such as Joy Division, Bauhaus, The Birthday Party, New Order, Einstürzende Neubauten, The Sisters of Mercy, Divine and more. WAX TRAX! was responsible for bringing many seminal artists to Chicago for the first time and most tickets sold ran through this iconic building.

In 1980, WAX TRAX! founders Nash and Flesher extended their reach by starting a record label of the same name from 2449 N. Lincoln Ave. WAX TRAX! RECORDS is credited for creating a new genre called “Industrial Dance,” later to be shortened to “Industrial” music. Artists such as Ministry, Front 242, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Revolting Cocks, KMFDM, Front Line Assembly, The KLF, Underworld, Coil, Psychic TV, Laibach, and more all got their footing here in the U.S. on WAX TRAX! RECORDS.

For more information on the landmarking effort and to sign the petition, visit petitions.com.

 

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2 Comments

  1. I miss record stores.

    Yeah, I know they are still around but it isn’t the same. Part of that is me (I feel so damn old anytime I go into one) and part of it is the music is different.

    A time machine for college in the 80’s, please!

  2. Wax Trax wasn’t just a record store nor merely a label. Wax Trax was way of life and a toxic adventure. Also a 60’s style love-in.

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