Name: Simon Maguire
Comment: I worked part-time in Hell Records Thistle Street for 2-3 years, 1976-79. It was owned by Douglas MacFarlane and possibly his brother Alan and/or father. I think they opened the Thistle Street shop in 1974 or 1975. Alan later left the Thistle Street shop and opened his own Hell Records in Lady Lawson Street, later renaming it The Last Record Shop.
Douglas had a garage on Corstorphine Rd (Thoroughbred Car Company) and never worked in the shop. Virgin Records was originally only a few doors down Thistle Street so it was a popular along with Bruces Records in Rose Steet. The orange bags had a drawing of ‘Satan’ with the slogan ‘Go To Hell’, the artwork was done by an Edinburgh artist who had just designed Steve Winwood's 1977 album cover - I can’t remember his name.
A good friend, Anji worked for some time in The Last Record Shop. Apart from rare bootlegs that were sold as second-hands, both shops sold lots of badges made mostly by Alan using pictures of album covers from the record company catalogues and anything people wanted, and latterly concert photos taken by Alan and a few by myself.
After Alan moved to Lady Lawson Street, the Thistle Street shop was managed by a friend, Karl Stern, and latterly Chris Nelson who was also an active musician (saxophonist) who played in a band, ‘Jack Easy’, at that time.
Out of interest, new albums sold for around £2.80 at that time, profit was usually a mere 60p!