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Remembering the Record Store
I wonder if music will evoke the same memories for those growing up today as it did for me and my generation, and the ones before me for that matter. I can look back over forty plus years and pinpoint albums that were crucial to my youth, adolescence and everything before, after and in between. I can remember trips in to Manchester to buy certain records on the day of release, visits to my friend Barry’s magnificent record store in Sheffield where I would wade through rack after rack of American imports along with a multitude of other hidden gems. I would bury my head in piles of records for what seemed like hours.
Great shops manned by great staff made my life a lot easier. Their vast knowledge was impressive, they knew what I’d be interested in and were only too happy to help. I wrote a while back about walking in to a record store in Ybor City in Tampa and feeling the thrill all over again, of picking up a record and scrolling through the credits to see who appeared on it, what label it was on. That kind of buzz never goes away and you start to realize how the music business took away the excitement and contributed to people caring less about music. They took away the excitement from those who were ultimately their livelihood.
As the industry changes, evolves, disintegrates the more you grasp on to what made it so unbelievably exciting for us all. There is nothing quite like music to put you in a particular place at a particular time and invariably with a particular person. Whenever I think of a record that was special to me I’m back there dressed in the same clothes doing the same things. We all remember where we were when 911 happened and for people my age where we were when Kennedy and John Lennon were shot. Surrounded with sadness or something to rejoice, music always makes an impact.
I thought it would be worth taking some time out to rediscover some of those magical moments and to re visit some records from my collection. An opportunity to reflect and look at the influence they had on my life. So many of my friends back then became my friends because of the common interest we shared in music. After a lifetime of earning my living from the music industry I often wonder what motivates the people it attracts nowadays, the type of person who goes to work at a record company. Do they feel, as we did back then that they can make a difference? Or is it just a job?
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