By the mid seventies Giffords’ had become like a small department store on three floors. The middle floor sold records. At about the time (the early seventies) I started to get interested in pop music; Giffords closed its record department and concentrated on hardware, tools, gardening equipment, cycles and motorcycles and electrical goods, though it persisted with toys (particularly trains and Airfix models). During the process the record department sold off vast quantities of stock at absurd prices. The prices in this ad were to plummet further until every last record was gone from Giffords. I still own singles that I bought at that time.
One of my Giffords purchases was Black Sabbath Volume 4 (on the Vertigo ‘swirl’ label) which I foolishly sold on but I remember acting as an auxiliary sales assistant in Subway a few months later when two menacing-looking builders came in. They asked me (a thirteen-year-old boy) what the best Black Sabbath album was. “Volume 4” I told them without hesitation. (I’d only heard one of the others). They both settled into a listening booth and I put it on and turned it up quite loud at their request. After a few minutes one of them lifted a headphone of his mate and shouted “I’m getting this, it’s fucking great, isn’t it!” For a fleeting moment I was a DJ, a salesman and an authority on contemporary music. Comment Razzle-dazzle.