Backs Records on Swan Lane - Credit: Archant
Johnny Appel, who has died aged 64, gave groups including The Farmer's Boys and The Higsons a chance to publicise their music nationally. He was regarded as an instrumental figure in the East Anglian music scene, who helped launch the careers of many local bands.
When I was a young kid I lived in Norwich and spent virtually all my pocket money in Backs Records,Norwich’s legendary independent record shop, in the City’s famous Swan Lane, now occupied by the Whiskey Shop. There I was first thunderstruck by the stark graphic and image of anarcho punk and indie/protest. The seven inch record covers were displayed behind the counter in an enormous and ever changing grid of the most potent, political, graphic and human distillation of anger, wry humour, irony and revolt I had ever witnessed. On my Saturday visits I would stand gawping for ages in the middle of the shop, entranced at the artwork that completely covered the walls, lost in an alternative world of hope, humour, anguish and rebellion, a million miles from school, home and the doom laden news of riots and impending nuclear war. Jon Hammer Blog