Sunday, July 01, 2007

Another one bites the dust

Or, should that be, another 105 bite the dust... with the closure of Fopp, another highly regarded music chain. Music shops are very close to my heart, I grew up with them - and I owned a couple in my time, the last one having closed, exactly a year ago today, to be precise.
I took the decision to get out, a decision I made, in retrospect, about 3 or 4 years too late. Trouble is, it was the most enjoyable job I had ever had.
Good for the mind, great fun, but not good for the finances or stress level ! Now Fopp has gone, following all the others - Our Price, Tower, and the like. The writing was on the wall (in huge capital letters) many years ago, we all knew that - it's just that none of us 'Record Shop types' wanted to read it.
It's the staff I feel for - told to go by email from the powers above, and also told there will be no wages for them either. This is where my sympathy stops dead for the likes of Fopp. Become corporate and separate from the people who build your business up from a market stall to a conglomerate, and then stamp on them when times get rough. I am quite sure the men at the top will not be short of wages, yes ?
I know, it's not as simple as that, but it does make me angry.
A good barometer, here in London, was Berwick Street in the Soho district, and it's environs.
The largest concentration of Record/CD Shops in London, just a few years ago, and suddenly, 3 Shops remain, from around 15. And that, in 5 years.
I understand the need, necessity, popularity for downloads, I really do - hey, I do it myself. What gets me, is the muscling in of supermarkets, and similar, to sell music. That is what I believe helped to destroy 'my industry' more than anything else. Maybe I should have started selling vegetables in my music store, ha ha ! Wouldn't have looked too good alongside the Album covers though, methinks.
Oh, Amazon and Ebay too, but I see the need for them, and they are so good in many many ways, too. They have made the marketplace of this planet a much smaller place. Anywhere in this world, is now 'local'.
But I am of the 'old school', I admit it, and am proud of it. I like Record Shops.
I like the fact I still get a buzz from opening that Album cover of a particular fave, and still get a buzz from it. That's one thing they can never take away.
A sad fact though, that my music knowledge, built up throughout my life, is, sadly, rather redundant now. Not required. Ouch, ouch, ouch. So, if you hear me on any of my shows spouting forth about some music trivia or other, forgive me. It's information that needs to get out, or my head will explode :)
To the weekend here in drizzly old London town, and it's back to the business of radio shows. My own cold/flu/sore throat infested show, cough splutter, airs tonight, Sunday. I don't think you can catch flu through a radio, satellite tv, or via the net, so hey, you should be fine. Tune in, if you can. I'd love you to !
It'll be on the Pod afterwards, for anyone wanting to tune in, any other time.
The link to that will be on my page, and links to my colleagues too, as part of this thing we do, called The Album Zone.
And wherever you are, please take care. My current town, London, and my dear hometown of Glasgow, have both been in the news in recent days, for all the wrong reasons. What a world this is.
Here's tonights playlist, and have a safe weekend.
Johnny x
Johnny Reece Show
Sunday 1st July 2007
20.00 hrs (UK time)
via, and Sky channel 0195 :
Buck-O-Nine - Record Store
Elvis Costello and The Attractions - High Fidelity
White Stripes - The Air Near My Fingers
Ambrose Slade - Knocking Nails Into My House
The Who - Heinz Baked Beans / Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hand
Alice Cooper - Lost In America
Fleetwood Mac - Need Your Love So Bad
Suzanne Vega - Pornographers Dream
Georgie Fame - Get On The Right Track, Baby
Counting Crows - Colourblind
Roy Buchanan - Black Autumn
Bill Nelson - Do You Dream In Colour ?
Simon and Garfunkel - Leaves That Are Green
T.Rex - Teenage Dream
Death Cab For Cutie - Your Heart Is An Empty Room
The Dukes Of Stratosphear - Vanishing Girl
Alton Ellis - Muriel
Roxy Music - Just Like You
Sylvie Vartan - La Maritza
The Enid - Golden Earrings
Spencer Davis Group - I'm A Man
Neil Finn - She Will Have Her Way
Flash and The Pan - Down Among The Dead Men
Tom Waits - Jersey Girl
Style Council feat. Tracey Thorn - The Paris Match
Not The Nine O'Clock News - Headbanger
The Philadelphia Orchestra - (Prokofiev) : Montagues and Capulets
The Beatles - It Won't Be Long