Our History




Check out the history of one of La Crosse's historic retail establishments going strong after over 35 years!


Established in 1978, Deaf Ear Records has had several locations in Downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin.  From it's humble beginnings in an alley behind Fayze's Restaurant over thirty five years ago to a long-term spot on 3rd Street, then to the corner on 4th and Jay the store has done some traveling in it's day.  Deaf Ear now resides at it's permanent home in the building located at 112 4th Street South near the intersection of Main.

The company now owns and is the only tenant of the historic building which was constructed in 1879.  Formerly known as the Linker Hotel this beautiful old low-rise has a lovely neo-classical design.  It's sturdy, old masonry speaks to a time gone by while the solid brick walls make it a perfect establishment to fight the establishment and listen to some rock and roll!

Since moving into this location Deaf Ear has expanded by finishing the basement floor and turning it into an expansive gaming space for all to enjoy.  The Gaming Dungeon is now happily host to tabletop gaming, Magic the Gathering, Warhammer, Flames of War, Malifaux competitions and the occasional Geek Rummage Sale. 

Over the store's long tenure it has seen the revitalization of the vinyl market as well as a growing nostalgic appreciation for vintage music, toys and collectibles.  Simultaneously it has managed to keep up with the demand for new novelties and passions by going from selling underground comics as early as the 70's to selling the mainstream comic book titles we all love!

Throughout it's impressive chronology Deaf Ear Records has been a fixture of Downtown La Crosse and continuously strives to make music and popular culture easily and locally accessible.  The store sells tickets to local events and takes pride in celebrating La Crosse's music scene.  Deaf Ear proudly hosts a vast CD library of local music and never charges local artists to sell their music on Deaf Ear's main floor.  

The store has also hosted an array of events from a World Record attempt at longest sustained musical note, to product signings by artists as well as small concerts. For it's 35th year birthday bash at the Cavalier Lounge the store hosted a concert of local musicians.  When shows are in town it's worth stopping through because artists love music stores too!  Deaf Ear has seen famous visitors such as band members from Slipknot, The Styx and Everclear come through it's doors!

Deaf Ear continues to evolve each and every day as it has for over three decades.  We do this in part by venturing to annual trade shows, conventions and sales all over the country.  Because of this we are able to find the most up to date trends and products and them bring back to Wisconsin.  The store also attends events all over the state to find glass pieces from local artists, independent games to be demoed, and all sorts of long forgotten vintage treasures in our community!

There's no doubt that Ye Olde Deaf Ear is a historic fixture of La Crosse that you can rely on.  We also wouldn't have lasted this long without all of our loyal customers and for that we send our love and immense gratitude!  Stick with us to see how we will continue to change, grow and serve our community for many more decades to come!  

We love you La Crosse!  Keep on rockin'!

YouTube Video


Video Credit:  Jason Robertson

Historic photo of Deaf Ear's building at 112 4th Street South


Kyle Gas (aka the Rage Cage (KG) from Tenacious D stopped by 
on Record Store Day 2016


Construction of Deaf Ear's main floor at it's permanent home!



Tommy Shaw of Styx taking a pic with Deaf Ear crew!



Our beloved customers waiting outside before store opening 
for Record Store Day 2015!

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