Long established record shop mainly stocking vinyl. Since opening in 1963, the shop catered for many tastes, from rock and soul in the 1960s, funk and disco in the 1970s, punk and hip hop in the 1980s, house and R&B in the 1990s. Since closing at the end of 2004, the remaining old shop stock was sold online.
Name: Dave Edwards
Comment: I remember Fearnley's on Linthorpe Road back in my years in Middlesbrough. I can distinctly recall buying Van Der Graaf Generator's Pawn Hearts there after spending 23 minutes listening to it on headphones. Also much of my Pink Floyd, YES, Genesis and King Crimson collection came from there - along with the odd Beatles album and Fairport Convention. I bet Gill Denton (long lost school friend) bought Focus's Moving Waves in Fearnley's - then loaned to me so that I too could become a fan of an obscure Dutch band!
This is how we learned of new music - the record store. As well as Radio 1's John Peel, Radio Nordzee International, friends and gigs. No websites or music downloads back then, of course.I remember Alan with his beard - ever knowledgeable and informative. He think he sold tickets for gigs as well - in fact, sure of that as I recall him selling tickets for the student union gigs I organised back in my art college days.
Name: phil & jenny
Comment: Alan Fearnley Records in Middlesbrough, early 1970s. My first single (Popcorn seeing as you ask) followed rather quickly by Electric Warrior then nirvana in the shapes of Space Ritual and more importantly Live Dead which led pretty quickly to informing the rest of my life. Heady stuff for a 15-year-old sprog, let me tell you (especially in Middlesbrough which sure as hell wasn't Haight Ashbury, just hell!)
Comment: Amongst other things it stocked nearly all the obscure (in the UK) Hi-NRG 12"s that were being played in the Northern Gay Clubs and which the mainstream record shops knew nothing about. I could have spent hours (and thousands) in there but, alas, I was a poor gay proto-Goth on the dole and I couldn't always afford the bus fare from Stockton.
Name: Gordon Baxer.
Comment: Saturday mornings in the mid- to late 1970s regularly involved time spent rummaging through the racks of Hamiltons, The Record Shop, and Fearnleys. Fearnleys used to have a numbered, handwritten list of punk/new wave singles just above the counter. Happy days.
Name: Neil Barron.
Comment: Remember late 1970s being a regular customer here, it was a great place to buy rare records, disco, etc.
(22 February 2015)
Name: Michael Reilly.
Comment: My brother used to take me here to look for his records - it was and still is the only shop to let you play your vinyl before you bought it. Beauty tunes & memories, long live VINYL.
(11 December 2015)
Name: Dave Jones
Comment: Memories... used to spend hours here as it was the main place in the Boro' for punk music and new wave, also good heavy metal, Alan would always get hold of punk records which were normally only available in the London area, he got me loads of records from The Damned, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Saxon, Motorhead, etc, it's a shame it's still not there but thinking about it the youth of today don't appreciate real music they listen to rubbish and X Factor... butter horrible, Up The Boro.
(5 November 2016)
Name: Phil Brown
Comment: It was a regular haunt for me when I was a student up there. Always an interesting selection of records and staff who knew what they were talking about and able to point you in new directions. I seem to recall Chris Rea sometimes working there and he introduced me to the excellence of Back Door who used to play at the Lion in Blakey Ridge.
(19 Febrauary 2017)
Name: Steve Norman
Comment: Memories. I used to pop into Fearnley's every Thursday after work on payday.
They used to have two boxes of imported singles from the USA of which I would spend ages choosing and listening to.
My music being jazz/funk/soul. I clearly remember buying my first 12" single from there. Gary's Gang - Keep on Dancing, circa 1978. Life was so simple then!
(29 April 2017)
Name: Dave Little
Comment: I used to drop in to Fearnley's every Friday afternoon when I finished work, I'd walk in and say "Ey up Alan, owt new in?" and he'd always say "i've put a few away for you that you might like." It was such a friendly place, I miss those days.
Name: Trevor Wadlow
Comment: In 1970 I was listening to the John Peel show when he played a couple of tracks from a little-known Frank Zappa discovery called Wild Man Fischer. Less than an hour later, I was in Fearnley's, asking if he had the double album, An Evening with Wild Man Fischer. I was sure he would be stumped. Without batting an eyelid he said, "It's just been released. Come back on Monday." I did, and he had a copy.
Name: John Stafford
Comment: Opening comments says it opened in 1963 - I think Alan was just a lad then!
Name: Martyb Cain
Comment: The 'other' Alan was very good with dance music imports. Always worth a look even though (for me) Hitsville in Newcastle was my store of choice.