Sunday, August 9, 2020 -
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Forever 18…when it comes to music

Paul Epstein, in Twist & ShoutPaul Epstein — 6’4”, wavy white hair flowing past his shoulders — bends slightly to greet his guests in the back hallway of Twist and Shout, Denver’s massive, independently owned music store on East Colfax Avenue.

His office, smaller than one might expect for the owner of this local and national landmark, is right down the activity-packed hall. Once inside, he suggests muting the music. “It might be less distracting,” he says with a sympathetic grin.

Epstein, 52, spent the first decade of his life in New York City, where he glued his sensibilities to WABC radio to soak up the strains of the British Invasion rocking the charts, and the world.

He vividly remembers watching the Beatles perform live on the Ed Sullivan show when he was 10. “They were great,” he says. “But beyond that, the miracle of the Beatles is more apparent with each passing year to people who understand music and culture.

“There was something very special going on at that time, and the Beatles were right at the tip of that sphere. They epito- mized that whole era from 1958 to 1968, when something really amazing transpired in Western culture.”

Epstein moved to Denver in 1968 when DU hired his father to teach creative writing. He and his brother immediately discovered a place essential to their concept of the good life: Underground Records at 725 South Pearl Street.

“Underground Records loomed large in my constellation ever since I came here,” he smiles.

After graduating Thomas Jefferson High School, Epstein earned an English degree and teaching certificate at CU and found a position as a public school English teacher. Time passed. He towed the line and kept his hair reasonably short.

The rest of this article is available in the IJN’s print edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at (303) 861-2234 or email.

Andrea Jacobs

IJN Senior Writer |

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