Re: The death of retail music stores
Living in relatively rural Idaho, there have never been any good drum shops to die off. Even down south in Boise, the only decent place I knew about, Idaho Percussion, went under several years ago. The closest I have to a "real" drum shop is guitar center over in Spokane, WA. Seattle is the next closest decent city, and I get over there once in a blue moon.
Sadly, any serious percussion shopping is done via internet. Only viable alternative, really.