So why should we bothered about bygone & current Northampton record shops, they were not the live music, the groups of the various eras that we grew up with, we could hear all of that music on the radio, TV, youth clubs, clubs, dance halls or even sit on factory steps listening to a cassette player and today MP3s.Well record shops were in a sense the fabric, the background to where us music fans could go and spend our hard earned cash and buy the latest releases or simply look through 100s of records.. These shops came and went, almost like fashion accessories; they were owned or staffed by knowledgeable, and often eccentric people who added fully to the urban myths surrounding record shops.
One of my earliest memories was John Levers with the listening booths, and spending so much each week on the new releases, could only afford a single or 2. Or my visit to Memory Lane on the Derngate and driving my more knowledgeable mates mad by asking what labels is that what type of music is that. I think it was then that I fell in love with the UK Tamla Motown Label, and had to own everyone of that labels releases, and I still worship them to this day. We will all have memories of when we could afford to buy records, when we were skint and we had to accept pennies back for the loves of our lives to buy a pint or pay the rent. Some of us will still have sagging ceilings where attics hide our abandoned vinyl treasures.
A particular record will stir up emotions, bring back memories of our first love, broken hearts and great and happy days, they help us date events. We may ask ourselves where is that picture cover to an EP, why did I bin it, why did I write all over the label or cover, why did I lean it against that radiator, why did I lend my records to.... Not so many shops these days its on line sales, drop through your letterbox style, all to easy, yet there are still Record Shops dotted around the country, the globe, the Universe, and even a Record Shop Day each year, and vinyl records are still being pressed, and year on year sales are still going up from when they peaked pre CD days. So is love really the drug, for a short period of time but I would say vinyl is the drug, and as John Miles sang; Music was my first love.
Thanks to John Atkinson from NORTHAMPTON EPHEMERA WORLD & book SHOP for many of the images, memories and the introduction. B.R.S.A would also like me to acknowledge Mick Murphy and Graham Moseley in helping John providing information for the Northampton page.