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"Rocks Off" (where Shane worked) was in Hanway Street, London W1, just behind the Virgin Megastore on Oxford Steet. "Rock On" (where I worked) was beside Camden Town tube station, behind the Electric Ballroom. Both grew out of Ted Carroll's "Rock On" stall in the old Soho Market. Ted set up his business (and another "Rock On" shop in Goldhawk Road) after selling out his interest in Thin Lizzy. Phil Lynnot immortalised his former manager in "The Rocker" - "I get my records at the Rock On stall/Teddy Boy he's got them all". When Soho Market was demolished to make way for a car park, Stan Brennan and Phil Gaston set up their shop in Hanway Street and Ted moved the main shop to Camden. philipchevron Harlequin

Then, when I moved to London it had to be Rocks Off in Soho Market. "Eclectic" selection, a few boots and service by Shane MacGowan ( sometimes). Big stars like Den Hegarty from Darts would hang out too ! Comment:Pairubu

(June 26, 2013) Paul Chester said:Used to buy northern soul 45s from Shane in the early 80s when I was doing the rounds of the London shops. Hanway Street also had Luigi and The Boys when I started shopping for tunes up that way.

(Aug 2, 2012) Brian Nevill said: Sorry, Phil, Ted's original Rock On was in Golborner Road W10, not Goldhawk in Shepherds Bush. Both the Soho market stall and the Camden branch grew out of Golborne. The Soho stall became Rocks Off when Ted divested himself of the interest in it. Eventaully it became Stan's business, and he eventually moved to Hanway Street. One day Hanway would become Vibe (remember Jude?) and in the end, JB's (still going). In between Soho & Hanway was Hereford Road of course, called Vinyl Solution, which Stan also had an interest in. [I worked at Rock On Camden & later for Stan at Hanway]. It could also be mentioned that the Hanway Street shop was once home of Contempo Records, and before that was in the film, Expresso Bongo - when it was a coffee bar!

Shane was working at Stan Brennan’s Rocks Off record store just off Oxford St. at the time, living on a staple diet of fried egg (lots of pepper) sandwiches on brown bread. Restless musically, he was sniffing around for something new and felt a hankering to get back to his roots. His mate, Spider, was playing with ‘The Millwall Chainsaws’ and it was this group, with the addition of friend, Jem Finer (banjo), that was to lose some bodies, gain some bodies and morph into ‘The New Republicans’ in turn morphing into the fragile early line-up of the Pogues then known as Pogue Mahone.
Their first gig was on 4th Oct. 1982 at the Pindar of Wakefield where Shane worked collecting glasses and booking bands and their early rehearsals ramshackle affairs in the Kings X flat of their friend, a pioneer in snakeskin earrings, who kept his stash in Shane’s bath. Memories of this time are dotted by the crashing, banging and chaos of those first rehearsals in the tiny, cramped back-room and marching with an animated Shane from Rocks Off Records up the road to the Black Horse pub

I remember going into rocks off in about 81/82 and asking for a copy of "only the end of the beginning", the nips bootleg album,
I'm sure it was Shane working behind the counter and he pulled a white box up from under the counter with a few copies of the Holy grail in.
I only wish I had asked him to sign it now, I'm sure it was him.
Great tunes from the nipple erectors and even better from the pogues.
Trev Swallow

An old friend invited to move into a squa tin Carol St.,Camden Town in 1976. Stan Brennan& Phil Gaston also lived there. Later,a Belfast friend of theirs, Gerry McIlduff moved in. A drummer,he played on the Pretenders 'Stop your sobbing' before a brief stint with the 'Nips'.
chris walsh

Happy memories of touring Oxford Street and Tottenham court road with my pals as a horrible teenagers in the early eighties and stumbling across Rocks off tucked away in Hanway Street lots of rare stuff white labels ..imports..being the little record collector I was back then I loved all these quaint tucked away record shops proper olde stylee far removed from the megastores shiny but bland store frontages ah the memories come flooding back.
John Oakes


Andrew Carson
18 Feb 2024 at 06:55
Whilst my first job was in The Borough I am sure the record shop on the way to the station was also called rocks off and part of the family. Looking for confirmation. Or not.



36 Hanway St, W1. W1T 9DE Westminster / London
41 Railway Approach SE1 Southwark / London
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