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Name: Anonymous
Comment: Garon Records traded from the covered market in the centre of Oxford but only during university term time as I remember. Lots of interesting stuff, good for classical music too.

Name: Pier
Comment: I used to come to England every few months... The guy running the shop used to save LPs for me in case I would be interested! (We both had a liking for jazz and the more unusual sounds... remember, this was pre-internet time!)
(7 September 2014)

Name: Anonymous
Comment: [I was a] regular customer here when I lived in Wallingford (1984-85), and visited often while still in Oxfordshire 1986-89.

Perhaps one of the most foolish business choices I ever made was not taking up a business proposal Gareth Astley (Ted's son, just a few years my senior) made to me some time in 1985. Looking back, the opportunity to manage that shop, and enjoy the magnificent living room of the flat above, might have made for a very happy business life.

Name: Tony S
Comment: This shop was half of a pair: business partners GAvin and RONald had stores respectively in the old university cities of Cambridge and Oxford.

I was a regular customer of Ron's in the late 1980s, when I worked at County Hall in Oxford.

He carried a magnificent selection of obscure material not carried by the likes of HMV and Our Price, along with superb jazz and blues imports and carefully selected (scratch- and warp-free!) secondhand material, including some more mainstream stuff. Also a very respectable classical section.

Ron was a great music lover, knew his customers' tastes well, and, for a select few of us, was willing to put material by for us until next payday. I remember months when I'd clear the account, only then to see something on the way out, and re-populate 'my space' on the customer shelf before departing.

For those he knew well, there was also a small selection of bootleg material stored out-of-sight.

I also remembering Ron's assistant (Paul?) - great, true music lover with whom you could chat over a cigarette and, occasionally, a beer.

I believe the Cambridge store outlasted the Oxford branch, whose demise I believe was due to swingeing rent increases inflicted on the traders in the Covered Market, 'justified' by Oxford City Council when they gave the place a face-lift sometime in the early 1990s.
(20 October 2015)

Name: Seb Palmer
Comment: Garon Cambridge, in Kings Street, was a favourite of mine in my teens, just when I was discovering music and adult culture at large. As a bookish type I also loved the fact that they sold secondhand reading material; I could browse books and explore music under one roof. The selection of music was what I'd call old-school beatnik: jazz, classical, blues, folk, etc. Totally my bag, baby! Gavin passed away last year (2018). He and his shop are sadly missed.

Name: Graham Franklin
Comment: A regular morning hangout for me 1980-88, go and drink tea/coffee with Ron and Rod, my collection of jazz, rock and avant garde electronic music was constantly enhanced visiting this shop, the two of them always having great recommendations, true musicologists for sure! I seem to remember Ron saying the original Garon Records was on the High although that was before my time, Ron retired to Bournemouth and Rod went to LA to play and teach music, sadly he was murdered in 2008, a tragic loss.

Name: Simon Mitchell
Comment: I had a pub in King Street, Cambridge in the 1980s, The King Street Run. One evening I was watching a television play and the music theme was so lovely I waited until the credits to see who it was by. Alas I was the worse for wear having drunk too much and only caught the name Gymnastic. I called into Garon Records the following day and asked Gavin what this piano piece called Gymnastic could be. Like a flash, Gavin said, 'It's Gymnopodie by Eric Satie.' He had a copy of the LP which I purchased, natch. Lovely bloke Gavin, I have never forgotten him and his encyclopaedic knowledge of music, he was a regular customer of mine and a loss to Cambridge and to me.

Name: Tony Deane
Comment: The LP I've just played (My Generation compilation featuring The Yardbirds etc) still has a small sticker reading 'Garon Records' with the price £1.99 added in biro. I would have bought it in Oxford, I'm sure, but I can't remember the shop at all, not even having seen the photo on this site.


Don Lodge
21 Apr 2024 at 06:53
I remember the Oxford shop in the early 80s. I was newly married, lived in Wendlebury, and did jazz gigs locally. Many times he would be playing a delightful jazz record as I walked in. "What's that?" I would ask. "I'll buy it!"



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