Comment: There was Hendersons down Fore St which was way cool - they had the Big Black Headache <ahem> special cover that you had to request to see and loads of great indie/alternative vinyl with some expensive (to me at the time) Zappa too, plus great t-shirts and bootlegs.
Comment: Actually, Henderson's started life in the basement of Mr Bumblebee's Bazaar at the bottom of Fore Street. I bought all my original release Clash Albums there and vividly remember asking Dave to put on Give 'Em Enough Rope so I could check for scratches (he was one of the few record shop owners that would ever do this without a sneer), and as Safe European Home started up, a gorgeous looking punk girl looked round suddenly and nodded in approval at me. I thought I'd pulled, but only came away with a first release Clash LP for £2.50 - not a bad second prize.
Big Black, Swans, Dead Kennedys, Chaotic Dischord, GBH, More Big Black, Swans, Chaos UK, The Damned, Onslaught, Clash, Cult, Pistols, Conflict, The Godfathers and many, many more.
Another burned-in memory, after he'd moved the shop up to the trendy Fore St Arcade where all the Smiths fans bought their clobber from the Real McCoy, was from 1987. Dave said simply one day when me and a mate wandered in, "This will be number one next week." which was SO out of keeping with the shop's underground image. He put on MARRS Pump Up the Volume and in about five minutes, the world seemed to spin a bit faster as the culture which Henderson's both defined and reflected evolved into something new.
Dave of course was right, but the dance music explosion also signified the beginning of the end for shops like his. The relentless drive began to get the latest week's white labels on the decks and out to the stream of DJs meant that punk albums became less marketable. As the 12-inch took over, the clients changed to DJ-oriented youngsters, most of whom didn't know much beyond whatever was released that month.
The saddest part for me was I moved away and one day came back to find that Henderson's was gone and Dave with it. And I never got to say goodbye. So Dave, if you read this, thanks. I've still got all the albums I bought from you, some of which are worth a bloody fortune, some of which are not, but that wasn't why you sold them or we bought them :-)
(8 April 2013)
Name: Dave Henderson
Comment: Lovely comments above, thank you. It was with a heavy heart that we had to close at the time. we were not alone as our good friends at Bards Tavern, Phil at City Surf Tony at the Games Cupboard, we all fell victim to the recession at the time, especially with the implications of the introduction of the poll tax and student loans, but mainly the business rates which were incredibly difficult to accommodate.
I miss those days and loved meeting and seeing customers old and new (I do see the odd one around when i'm in Exeter, especially at The Phoenix). It was a fantastic time in the music scene in Exeter and the many variations of subcultures around at the time, Saturdays in the shop and indeed the arcade were fantastic with a huge melting pot of music styles mixing and enjoying each other's company. Goths, metalheads, rock n roll, psychobillys, indie kids, pop, dance, hip hop, grunge, punk, rock, it was great - and I even had hair!