Life in a 1980s Record Shop

OMG ! The Absolute JOY!!!!!!!!! I found it!!!

Memories of my Record shop days. A snapshot of the life of Independent Record shop in the UK  from the 1970s through to 2000. Complete with DIARIES !. Old Invoices and all sorts of shite to back it all up, Prices and Discounts, Distribution info, all sorts of little gems that i thought ended up in the bin. I was nearly in tears when i found it. Couple this with my Record Collection and hey presto ! a box of memories.

I was an avid record collector as a kid, then i did a bit of DJing after school, got a job in a club for a couple of years before transfering to life behind the counter at my local record shop from then i moved onto being a manager and eventually opened my own couple of shops before it all went tits up in the late 90s and people started downloading stuff off the net. By early 2000 it was all over for me.  I didn't think i had kept a proper diary of this time. But i have (sort of) in parts.

Suddenly i know where this  blog is about to go. I had lost interest at one time. You can't post music any more, and if you write, what do you write about ?. I was thinking of writing about my past but could really remember stuff. Well now i have it. A transcript of a snapshot in time. Word for word from my own pen. (terrible spelling i note)

It's not exactly Samual Pepes, but it may interest someone. Some of it i may need to Edit for legal reasons and some names may have to be changed to protect the innocent, I may even add bits so that it all makes sense.  But other than that i'll keep in the references to Record Companies, Industry info Artists, the lot.
And so that it doesn't get boring i'll flit from any moment in theses diaries rather than stay with one year, or just go cronalogical with each post.
It may not mean anything to you  dear reader but it sure as hell does to me.

Sometimes i wrote a line, sometimes i wrote nothing, sometimes i've done a whole bloody page full of stuff. But like a tit i have't always  dated everything and i can't explain why things arn't on sepearate days per day. But i've managed to work out more or less when they were written. Here is a small insignificant entry from sometime in Mar or April 1986 to give you a taste of what rubbish lies within in these diaries. I wish i had written more like this.

Roger from ***** came today with his “portfolio of dreams”. This is what he calls his folder that contains all the singles he is promoting and selling this week. It's just a plastic folder with a copy of a single in each pocket really. “you might want to listen to that one” he says “people seem to be interested in that one, but don't bother sticking that one on unless you wanna clear the shop, it's absolute bollocks”

Most of what he's selling or giving away is shit but there are the odd items we need and sell a lot of. Sinitta (So Macho) and Gary Numan are today’s must haves. Sinitta is still free so we'll have any that's going. But we only want Gary Numan Picture discs, even though he does look like Hitler without a moustache on the front cover. No one is interested in the ordinary black vinyl version, But Roger reminds me that there is a flexi disc free with it so i order some. Everyone really just want the so-called 'limited edition' picture disc. In years to come I suspect the ordinary black plastic single will be rarer than a picture disc because no one buys that fucking
 thing. There again i can't imagine anyone actually plays them. They sound like shit and never sit flat on the turntable, i've had three brought back this week because they are warped. What the hell do the expect?.

 Some Numan fans are like Toyah fans. They turn up at 9.01am on Monday morning (the day of release) and buy every different format of the same song. Sometimes walking out with 3 or 4 copies of the same bloody thing. God knows what they do with them. They surely can't be listeniing to 'em. But buying more than one copy sends the single rocketing up the charts week one. After that it’s all over. No one else buys it and on week two you may as well put everything left over in the 20p dump bin. No self-respecting Toyah or Numan fan buys a single on week two. And as far as I can see no one other than the fans buy their music at all.

Rodger isn’t a pushy rep. I look forward to him coming around. He’s a good laugh. He just dumps his folder on the counter and asks me to “peruse” through the shite and tell me what I want. At the end of the folder, after the albums and cassettes, there are also carpets and curtain fabrics. They are nothing to do with the promotions company he is working for. He’s just added them himself for a little bit of extra cash. Roger is good for cash ;-)


“At Christmas I do Calendars as well” he said “so remember that".

If his boss only knew.

1 comment:

northernbaygirl1981 said...

Brilliant! Stumbled across your blog while searching for lists of Number 1 singles from 81 to date. Don't know how old your blog posts are but I hope it is still active.

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