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1979 – 1989

“Why don’t we open a record shop?” thought Mike and Gareth (Gaz) and so ‘Rockers’ first came to open its doors in Hurst Street, Birmingham in the summer of 1979 selling punk, post-punk & later New Romantic on vinyl. It was more of a place to hang out for music lovers and local bands than a business.

Hurst Street at that time, before its makeover in the 1990’s, was an eclectic mix of both old established and new independent shops e.g. Khan & Belle and the Hosteria Wine Bar. Here we started a record label and put out our first release by The Scarecrows and records followed by The Surf Drums, Godflesh, Lilac Time (Stephen Duffy) Zodiac Motel, Dave Kusworth, Belfast Cowboys and a huge acid house club classic with ‘Jesus Loves The Acid’ by The Ecstasy Club (Carl-boy)

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Just read the sad news that Gareth/Gaz Owen of Swordfish Records in Birmingham died last week.

https://twitter.com/petepaphides/status/1422489887316529155/photo/1

Like many others I spent a large chunk of my life and income in Swordfish and whilst I found Mike the more chatty of the two had some good conversations with him. He didn't seem too keen when I gave him a bottle of my home-made record cleaning fluid as a sample and offered to supply him with more, but hey ho, he probably thought it was like Peckham Spring water.

Very spooky also for me as just this morning I was wondering how Mike is, since his arthritis had all but crippled him last time I saw him, making visits to the shop infrequent. Gaz on the other hand looked as fit as a butcher's dog and would park his bike in there.

RIP Gaz. Thanks for the music.


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