A POPULAR Greenock businessman shut up shop for the last time — with a farewell fanfare from grateful musicians.

Joe Baldi has run AdLib for almost 40 years, selling instruments and sheet music and inspiring a new generation of performers.

He announced his retirement, at the age of 74, last year and had hoped to sell the store to someone who shared his love of music.

But sadly he has struggled to attract a buyer and decided to close it down on Saturday.

Singer-songwriter Rod Miller, who is also a neighbour of Joe’s, decided to organise an impromptu street performance as a show of thanks outside the shop in Jamaica Street.

He said: “I posted a suggestion on Facebook that we should turn up on the pavement outside the shop and and give a round of applause.

“It was a way to thank Joe for everything he had done for musicians in the area.”

The idea snowballed, with people saying they would come along to the play the instruments they had bought from Joe.

Rod, who previously played with the Fandangos and The Tabs, said: “Joe helped me out when I bought my first instrument or first PA.

“I bought a lot of stuff from him and we both live in Bawhirley Road, so he is a neighbour of mine.

“I’ve known him since the early 80s and I bought my first instrument from him.

“Joe has had a massive impact on the local community.

“The vast majority of musicians in the area bought their first instrument from Joe or his brother Aldo when they had their shop at the West Station.

“It’s a shame that nobody wanted to take on the shop.

“It’s end of an era.”

Joe established the business with his late brother Aldo 37 years ago before moving it to Jamaica Street 10 years later.
He latterly ran the shop with his wife Margaret and the pair are now looking forward to spending time with their family.

The couple have three daughters – Angela, 46, Emma, 43,and Serena, 38 – and grandchildren Lucy and Tom in Greenock and Beth and Meg in New Zealand.