Lost record shops of Glasgow

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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby Bridie » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:53 am

SuperJags wrote:
RDR wrote:
Josef wrote:
SuperJags wrote:They were only friendly in the Byres Road shop. At the Cambridge Street & Renfield Street branches they could look down their noses with the best of them



Ah, good, you saved me the bother.


Can't agree there, always found them fine in the Cambridge Street shop and was in there a lot in the mid 70's.


I was speaking to my sister this afternoon and we came to the conclusion that you're right and that I've done the staff of Listen Records Cambridge Street a grave disservice. But I DEFINITELY recall being looked down on in Renfield Street. When I bought Dragnet by The Fall the shop assistant had a good laugh with his mate while he took my money.


I went out with one of them from Cambridge St ....why?... I don't know ...cause the chat up line was along the lines of slagging me off in front of the other staff for buying a record (can't remember which...honest ;))
Wonder what happened to him?
Comic Book Guy springs to mind ;)
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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby RDR » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:26 pm

Bridie wrote:
SuperJags wrote:
RDR wrote:
Josef wrote:
SuperJags wrote:They were only friendly in the Byres Road shop. At the Cambridge Street & Renfield Street branches they could look down their noses with the best of them



Ah, good, you saved me the bother.


Can't agree there, always found them fine in the Cambridge Street shop and was in there a lot in the mid 70's.


I was speaking to my sister this afternoon and we came to the conclusion that you're right and that I've done the staff of Listen Records Cambridge Street a grave disservice. But I DEFINITELY recall being looked down on in Renfield Street. When I bought Dragnet by The Fall the shop assistant had a good laugh with his mate while he took my money.


I went out with one of them from Cambridge St ....why?... I don't know ...cause the chat up line was along the lines of slagging me off in front of the other staff for buying a record (can't remember which...honest ;))
Wonder what happened to him?
Comic Book Guy springs to mind ;)


I don't recall anyone like Comic Book Guy.
Most of them were young and being slightly younger than them I thought they were all cool, working in a record shop.
I always thought most of them were students, but of course I was sterotyping, you know, long haired guys with 28 inch flares and beards must be students, right?
I suspect the coming of punk swept most of them away...
He advocated for the weak against the strong, the poor against the rich and labour against capital.
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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby rabmania » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:18 pm

RDR wrote:
Bridie wrote:
SuperJags wrote:
RDR wrote:
Josef wrote:
SuperJags wrote:They were only friendly in the Byres Road shop. At the Cambridge Street & Renfield Street branches they could look down their noses with the best of them



Ah, good, you saved me the bother.


Can't agree there, always found them fine in the Cambridge Street shop and was in there a lot in the mid 70's.


I was speaking to my sister this afternoon and we came to the conclusion that you're right and that I've done the staff of Listen Records Cambridge Street a grave disservice. But I DEFINITELY recall being looked down on in Renfield Street. When I bought Dragnet by The Fall the shop assistant had a good laugh with his mate while he took my money.


I went out with one of them from Cambridge St ....why?... I don't know ...cause the chat up line was along the lines of slagging me off in front of the other staff for buying a record (can't remember which...honest ;))
Wonder what happened to him?
Comic Book Guy springs to mind ;)


I don't recall anyone like Comic Book Guy.
Most of them were young and being slightly younger than them I thought they were all cool, working in a record shop.
I always thought most of them were students, but of course I was sterotyping, you know, long haired guys with 28 inch flares and beards must be students, right?
I suspect the coming of punk swept most of them away...


I was a full-time staff member at Cambridge Street, the rest at that time were students. The Comic Book Guy thing kinda fits though! Some looked down their noses, but others (like me) loved getting to know the customers' likes and dislikes, and trying to punt them something new. When I started I was told that after a month there'd be a test (you had to know what label pretty much every band was on, what the sleeve looked like, the price band, the 'Listen' price, what major label the little labels were under, where in the shop the sleeve was displayed and so on). I passed the test and got a pay rise.
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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby Bridie » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:07 pm

rabmania wrote:
RDR wrote:
Bridie wrote:
SuperJags wrote:
RDR wrote:
Josef wrote:
SuperJags wrote:They were only friendly in the Byres Road shop. At the Cambridge Street & Renfield Street branches they could look down their noses with the best of them



Ah, good, you saved me the bother.


Can't agree there, always found them fine in the Cambridge Street shop and was in there a lot in the mid 70's.


I was speaking to my sister this afternoon and we came to the conclusion that you're right and that I've done the staff of Listen Records Cambridge Street a grave disservice. But I DEFINITELY recall being looked down on in Renfield Street. When I bought Dragnet by The Fall the shop assistant had a good laugh with his mate while he took my money.


I went out with one of them from Cambridge St ....why?... I don't know ...cause the chat up line was along the lines of slagging me off in front of the other staff for buying a record (can't remember which...honest ;))
Wonder what happened to him?
Comic Book Guy springs to mind ;)


I don't recall anyone like Comic Book Guy.
Most of them were young and being slightly younger than them I thought they were all cool, working in a record shop.
I always thought most of them were students, but of course I was sterotyping, you know, long haired guys with 28 inch flares and beards must be students, right?
I suspect the coming of punk swept most of them away...


I was a full-time staff member at Cambridge Street, the rest at that time were students. The Comic Book Guy thing kinda fits though! Some looked down their noses, but others (like me) loved getting to know the customers' likes and dislikes, and trying to punt them something new. When I started I was told that after a month there'd be a test (you had to know what label pretty much every band was on, what the sleeve looked like, the price band, the 'Listen' price, what major label the little labels were under, where in the shop the sleeve was displayed and so on). I passed the test and got a pay rise.


Did i go out with you? ::):

It was the time (sexist 70's) for a lot of blokes to be up their own arses when it came to music anyway (present company not included) :D whether they were working in a record shop or not. You know the type ...mention you liked a band and they would give you a lecture on why you shouldn't and then God forbid you actually went to touch all that they held precious ie their record collection... stored alphabetically in pristine carboard boxes.
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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby rabmania » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:37 am

No Bridie, you didn't! I didn't go out with any customers- who'd have had me but the girl who followed me to the bus stop several nights in a row? Anyway, i was dead interesting- spent all day listening to records then went home to listen to...hardly a babe magnet.
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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby SuperJags » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:53 am

rabmania wrote:No Bridie, you didn't! I didn't go out with any customers- who'd have had me but the girl who followed me to the bus stop several nights in a row? Anyway, i was dead interesting- spent all day listening to records then went home to listen to...hardly a babe magnet.


You might not have gone out with Bridie, but I bet you served me or one of my siblings at some point. They are 4 & 7 years older than me and between us we spent a fortune in Listen. I remember it just being a really good record shop. They had loads of imports and stuff that was hard to get hold of and the staff for the most part were really friendly and helpful. Hats off to Listen Records. I wish we had a shop as good as that today.
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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby rabmania » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:57 am

SuperJags wrote:
rabmania wrote:No Bridie, you didn't! I didn't go out with any customers- who'd have had me but the girl who followed me to the bus stop several nights in a row? Anyway, i was dead interesting- spent all day listening to records then went home to listen to...hardly a babe magnet.


You might not have gone out with Bridie, but I bet you served me or one of my siblings at some point. They are 4 & 7 years older than me and between us we spent a fortune in Listen. I remember it just being a really good record shop. They had loads of imports and stuff that was hard to get hold of and the staff for the most part were really friendly and helpful. Hats off to Listen Records. I wish we had a shop as good as that today.


Yeah, remember you and your tribe, always at the import section. We looked down our noses at you! :wink:
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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby SuperJags » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:17 am

rabmania wrote:
SuperJags wrote:
rabmania wrote:No Bridie, you didn't! I didn't go out with any customers- who'd have had me but the girl who followed me to the bus stop several nights in a row? Anyway, i was dead interesting- spent all day listening to records then went home to listen to...hardly a babe magnet.


You might not have gone out with Bridie, but I bet you served me or one of my siblings at some point. They are 4 & 7 years older than me and between us we spent a fortune in Listen. I remember it just being a really good record shop. They had loads of imports and stuff that was hard to get hold of and the staff for the most part were really friendly and helpful. Hats off to Listen Records. I wish we had a shop as good as that today.


Yeah, remember you and your tribe, always at the import section. We looked down our noses at you! :wink:


Nice one! That made me chuckle when I got up this morning, ::):
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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby bodie » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:36 pm

First post here, hello to all !

Does anyone remember Soundout Records on Baillieston Main Street (no 162)? This shop appeared around 1984 and sold records, cassettes, stereo accessories and also ZX Spectrum cassettes. Think it only lasted a year or so and always seemed very quiet - not many customers.
The guy who ran the shop was called Wullie, if memory serves. Always remember walking past the shop on the way home after school and we'd see Wullie standing at the counter.

The Post Office is now where it once was. Think James Gildea solicitors occupied the shop after it closed down, after it lay unused for a time.
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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby Twizzle » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:22 am

I loved reading through this thread – I had completely forgotten how judgemental the staff in some record shops could be, and how you needed to be thick-skinned or even brass necked to ask for what you wanted. In our school tuckshop queue, I mentioned I had just bought a Hendrix bootleg. The guy behind me seemed surprised, saying “You don’t look the progressive type....” It wasn’t just in record stores people were snobby about music.

My first memory of records were at my grandfather’s home where he had a wind-up one housed in a large wooden cabinet. Volume was changed by using soft, loud or medium needles (of differing thickness), and by opening or closing doors at the front, behind which was a concealed horn from the “soundbox”. This was a little mechanical contraption whose needle rode the records, converting the sideways vibrations of the record grooves into sound. A wind-up clockwork motor turned the turntable, and speed (nominally 78 rpm) was controlled by a governor - three brass balls which spun on a spindle, controlled by a lever. I was more fascinated by the mechanics than by his taste in music. It had a lovely smell of heavy oil.

Mum and dad eventually got a simple electric record player, simple in that you had to manually lift the “tone arm” (the equivalent of the sound box) on to the records, and take it off again at the end. It could only play one record at a time. I remember mum taking me to my first record store – the basement of Lewis’s in Argyle Street. The records were sold in a little inshot off the main hall, and the most memorable sight was of all these smart pointed shiny shoes (winkle pickers) tapping with the beat of whatever was playing, on the linoleum. In the end, we came away with a kiddies’ record of some songs from Alice in Wonderland. So much for my Rock’n Roll roots!

The next store I remember being taken to was Woolworths in Shawlands, which had a record section. It didn’t take me long to realise that their records were much cheaper because they were cover versions by nonentities recorded on their own Embassy label. I stubbornly insisted I wanted the real thing, so I was hustled off to Shepherds (later Fletchers) in Giffnock, where they had an Alladin’s Cave of a music shop upstairs. The stair was decorated with album covers of such unknown (to me then) artists such as Elvis and Peggy Lee. We bought “Lollipop” by the Mudlarks, which I guess was a step up from our previous purchase.

A friend had some older brothers and he would take me up to look at their record collection, which did contain both 78rpm and 45 rpm discs. Their record player was more sophicticated, as you could load up to five records on its extended central spindle, lift across and drop a stabiliser arm, and press “automatic” – the turntable would start, a record would drop, and miracle of miracle, the tone arm would lift over and drop on to the record all by itself. Even better, once the record had finished, the tone arm would lift off allowing the next record to drop and so on.

I was still in primary school when my ear was caught by the majesty of the Tamla Motown sound. I persuaded mum to replace our ageing record player and we set off into McCormicks of Bath Street, already mentioned in these pages. Mr McCormack had slicked-back Brylcreamed black hair, and was most attentive to my mother. We came away with a Dansette, which not only was automatic, but was much louder than our old player, and even had an additional base or treble tone wheel next to the volume control. In 1965, dad took me to a Tamla Motown UK Tour concert in the Odeon Cinema, which inspired me to buy more of their artists’ pressings, however as I still never went shopping in town by myself, I continued to patronise the local store in Shepherds.
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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby Twizzle » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:40 am

In early secondary school, for some reason, I didn’t get enough pocket money to finance my record-buying aspirations, but a Christmas gift of a Grundig reel-to-reel tape recorder solved that problem, as you could simply borrow LPs from your mates at school and record them. I remember window-shopping however, and Pattersons in Buchanan Street, between St Vincent Street and West George Street always had a great selection of album covers in their window. I particularly remember an early Free album, with a dreamy-looking Paul Rogers staring back at me.

My friend’s dad got me an evening job after school cleaning litter, cans and bottles from the terraces of Hampden Park for ten shillings (50 pence) and hour. This unpleasant job allowed me to again join the record-buying public. Most albums then were 27/6d (£1 37.5 pence), and you earned 30 shillings (£1.50) for three hours smelly work, but you could buy an album a week. My choice had evolved to Cream and Jimi Hendrix by this time, and I was delighted to learn that there were “bootleg” (illegal recordings) if you knew where to look.

In Bath Street, in the next block along from McCormicks, was a “progressive” record shop called Hades (previously mentioned). The decor consisted of oranges and purples and the guy behind the counter looked like he could have played in a rock band. For Glasgow, this seemed very bold and It couldn’t have been more different from the traditional McCormicks along the road. It had a ground level section and a basement and as you walked down the stairs, you were watched by an enormous poster of Rory Gallagher.

The bootleg albums were generally in plain white cardboard covers with the title and artist scrawled in loud felt pen marker, although some others had labels, the “Flying Pig” comes to mind. These up-market pirate copies often had track lists, date and location of the concert they were taken at, but often belied the absolutely atrocious quality of their end production. In earlier shops a prospective buyer could ask for the disc to be played in a booth, but it wasn’t cool to ask for this in Hades – you took your chance. There didn’t seem to be that many people buying these bootlegs, as some would last weeks or months in the racks before I eventually got round to buying them.

The original Virgin store in Argyle Street near the corner of Waterloo Street, has already been well covered in these pages. During a student rag charity day I was dressed as a pirate, with my pet macaw on my shoulder, and I must have missed that they had an “immunity” poster on the way in, banning collections. The guy behind the counter got very angry, telling me to get out as “your bird might get fleas” (I think he meant might have fleas, and it raised a few chuckles from the other customers). Around this time, there was 20th Century Precinct, in a basement shop on the corner of Bath Street and St Vincent Streets, which I think also sold fashionable clothes. Dundas street (already mentioned,which no longer exists, running diagonally between Queen St and Bath St) had an early Listen.
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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby Twizzle » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:03 am

A couple of years later, Hades had closed, and the source of bootlegs had dried up. I went to night classes in a college building in Bath St, and there was a hand-written note on the notice board advertising bootleg albums for sale, with David Bowie material being included in the short list. I got in contact with this guy and started buying some discs at quite inflated prices.

Fate shone on me one Saturday morning, however. I spotted this same guy walking up Sauchiehall Street, and I discretely followed him. He turned into Cambridge St and walked into Listen, where I watched him buy up some more bootleg stock. By this time, store-keepers had become wary of admitting they sold such things, and if they didn’t like the look of you, they would simply deny they had them. I waited until my “friend” had left, then went straight up to the same guy and asked to see what bootlegs were available. He looked at my blankly but I said I had seen the previous guy walking away with an armful, so he had no choice but to sell me what I wanted. Once I became known as a regular buyer, I had no problems there.

I met friends at work who were also Bowie fans, and they told me of some shops in London where they only sold bootleg albums. I seem to remember there were a number of shops in Praed Street – they were like Alladin’s caves compared with stores in Glasgow, and providing you remembered to bring English pound notes, they were happy to take your cash.

Another haunt was in Union Street (I think the first HMV but I could be wrong) across from the Central Station side entrance. This was more commercially oriented (no posters on the walls but plenty for sale in racks) with a wide range of stock. A guy behind the counter for some years was a dead ringer for Ian Hunter, singer with Mott the Hoople, right down to the curly blonde “Shirley Temple” locks. It had two football-style turnstyles to get in and out of the store.
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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby Bridie » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:11 am

Excellent posts Twizzle I enjoyed reading them especially fleas in Virgin records.
I only worked there for a couple of weeks - not long enough to catch fleas or musical snobbery. :D
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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby banjo » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:39 am

twizzle,have you tried counting sheep?
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Re: Lost record shops of Glasgow

Postby Dexter St. Clair » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:05 pm

Twizzle wrote:
I was still in primary school when my ear was caught by the majesty of the Tamla Motown sound. In 1965, dad took me to a Tamla Motown UK Tour concert in the Odeon Cinema, which inspired me to buy more of their artists’ pressings, however as I still never went shopping in town by myself, I continued to patronise the local store in Shepherds.


A misjudged tour where only the London gigs were busy. I understand Glasgow had the next best turn out but those who arrived for the first house were invited to stay and see the show all over again.

The Odeon gig was on Thursday 1st April and this was the line up. Georgie Fame was added in an effort to sell more tickets.

Image

Well done your dad.
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