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doin’ the rounds, innit. Been puttin’ meself about, seeing what was ’appnin’.
Regular readers will remember my close relationship with sexy (?) Harry
Styles, ie, I walked past him once and nearly recognised him. Well, I’ve
been to the same street every day since then, including Christmas day, which my
family was a bit upset about, but I’ve not seen Harry once – is he playing hard
to get? Apparently, what I’m doing is called stalking, and there are laws
against it, but I don’t mean any harm, I just want to touch the hem of his
garment. Surely it can’t really be stalking because I’m not doing it online.
Except here. And I’ve not set fire to any hems of garments for several weeks
now, thanks to the treatment. Anyway, when I went there the other day I walked
past a charity shop, and it had some albums in the window – which hadn’t even
melted. I bought a couple of records. One was Tom Browne’s Love
Approach in really good nick. I already have the best track on 12” and it’s
a bit of a cliché, but I learned something from the sleeve: Tom is a commercial
pilot. Maybe he could front Iron Maiden with his trumpet, and fellow
flyer Bruce Dickinson could make a jazz-funk song, Bring Your Daughter
To The 1980s Suburban Nightclub Wearing White Socks. The other record was a
“special remix” 12” by Maze which sounded about as remixed as a Bing
Crosby 78. Still, at least it brought back memories of nights spent in the
live company of Frankie Beverley and co, while all around me geezers
chanted “woh-oh” all over Maze’s somewhat sensitive soul anthems, in an
ecstatic football crowd rite. You can hear that noise a bit at around six
minutes of this clip,
but believe me, it was deafening in person. Anyone out there remember the
mighty Steve Walsh?
I divest, don’t I? At the weekend I took advantage of an unplanned trip to
Finchley to drop in to Alan’s Records.
(The last time I took advantage and something unplanned came about, it got me
in a lot of trouble.) I’ve been to the shop before, but this time I got talking
to the friendly Mr Alan, who, I am delighted to report, tells me the business
is doing as well as ever, and it’s not hard to see why. The place is stuffed
with great music. I bought a couple of reggae 7”s but really there was too much
choice for my tiny mind to cope with and I had “only nipped round there for a
minute” (ahem). Nice Young-Holt Unlimited and Betty Davis
albums on the wall, chaps in there talking about Pink Floyd rarities,
heaps of old hip-hop, more prog than you could shake Aleister Crowley’s wand
at, listening decks… I’d recommend a visit, but don’t buy anything I’m looking
for. If only Alan didn’t support Arsenal, the place would be ideal.
music biz has definitely changed. The major corporations are putting money into
it in the hope a bit of glamour rubs off onto them (don’t remember them doing
that when I went to see Edgar Broughton Band, although Edgar was making
a nasty rubbing gesture of his own on stage, the naughty boy). Last year big
business put £100m into festival sponsorship and that figure is likely to rise
for 2013. Emeli Sande was sponsored by Mastercard (as well as the Olympics),
Rihanna was backed by Budweiser, and PiL were made possible by Country
Life (I may have made this last one up, but probably didn’t). I suppose the
interesting thing here is that Emeli was a comparatively untried artist at the
time. Does this mean your local singer-songwriter will soon have American
Express behind her? Where was the flexible friendship
of Access in the 70s when Joan Armatrading was the voice of the
sensitive bedsit dweller? There are still fortunes to be made in the music
industry, but you have to have the right connections. If I knew how to make
them, I wouldn’t be writing this, I’d be in a yacht in the Seychelles having my
toes nibbled by highly-trained piscine clinicians. Ozzy Osbourne tried
this spa gimmick, but all the fish leapt out. Clearly those traumatised fish
need to see Brian Wilson’s therapist – and I’m really happy to tell you
that a sparky Brian talks to RC in the next issue, as part of a
remarkably in-depth and dazzling Beach Boys interview.
enough nonsense from me. Hope you have a great week – and please don’t forget
our psych all-dayer.
Ian McCann, Editor Record Collector