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Worst Record Shop Experiences?


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Today is pretty bad. Among the neatly collated never ending rows of Cliff and Barbara, in the basement of a Cornish junk  store was a low shelf that stank so badly of sh..you know what...it made even me retch and I've been on board in operating theatres with  many a gastrectomy and AP resection, but it made me gip, a broken toilet definitely. 

Two customers iin the shop pne said I've got to come up for air, and a girl with her father said said Daddy it smells really bad in here. I guess she's not going to collect records.

Best thing I got was 2 copies of 12'' funking 4 Jamaica amd now I smell of sh##.all day. 

Anyone had as bad an experience? 

 

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Yes , early 80s  me and my mate was asked to empty a well known record shop in Brighton, called Royce's Radio , occasionally there would be something worthy , placed in a cellphone bag stuck to the inside of the window , if you wanted it you had to knock on the door and if you where lucky , Mr Royce would answer and sell it to you (fortunately it didn't face the sun ) and he wouldn't let you in to check or search for more .

Following his passing , we where asked by his widow to go through the stock and clear out the unwanted into a skip.

3 skips later and 200 copies of every no 1 since the charts began , and out of date radio valves etc the only record of any use we found was a copy of The Flamingoes , Boogaloo Party and a first issue on 78 of Jailhouse Rock by Elvis cracked , and a completely buried upright piano under all the tat .

The only good thing that came out of the experience was that every no 1 , upto then went into the skip probably to landfill , when you think about it , in them days to get to no.1 you had to sell a lot of records, so it was really just scratching the surface , but we left feeling pretty crap because we never found anything apart from The Flamingoes,  anything worth saving from the tip .😞😂

 

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9 hours ago, Happy Feet said:

Yes , early 80s  me and my mate was asked to empty a well known record shop in Brighton, called Royce's Radio , occasionally there would be something worthy , placed in a cellphone bag stuck to the inside of the window , if you wanted it you had to knock on the door and if you where lucky , Mr Royce would answer and sell it to you (fortunately it didn't face the sun ) and he wouldn't let you in to check or search for more .

Following his passing , we where asked by his widow to go through the stock and clear out the unwanted into a skip.

3 skips later and 200 copies of every no 1 since the charts began , and out of date radio valves etc the only record of any use we found was a copy of The Flamingoes , Boogaloo Party and a first issue on 78 of Jailhouse Rock by Elvis cracked , and a completely buried upright piano under all the tat .

The only good thing that came out of the experience was that every no 1 , upto then went into the skip probably to landfill , when you think about it , in them days to get to no.1 you had to sell a lot of records, so it was really just scratching the surface , but we left feeling pretty crap because we never found anything apart from The Flamingoes,  anything worth saving from the tip .😞😂

 

Aah, yes, Royce Records, I remember it - fairly - well,  although one bad experience in a record shop makes me shun them, and he simply didn't deserve to be in business towards the end.

Beanos records in Croydon was dire, too. I recall asking if I could play a record I was thinking of buying as I wasn't sure what it sounded like and the bloke behind the counter refused , even though they had the means to do so, and had a go at me for coming into his shop in first place.

Never visited them again, either.. 

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Going up to Crazy beat in Upminster armed with some dosh and Mr GD playing me an absolutely- amazingly fantastic 7" on a loop. I asked what it was, he said i can't tell you unless you buy it, its £1000. The most id ever spent on a record at that time was about £200, this was about 25 years ago.

I never got to find out what it was, but this was my very first introduction ever to a cover up - never heard of them before this. Leaving without knowing what it was traumatic 😬 and frustrating.

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4 hours ago, Dave Morris said:

In a record shop in Florida quite a good few years ago & was sorting what to buy with guy behind the counter when another customer (American) asks if I'm a Brit. Says yes.. he then goes off on one at me about some British guys who got a load of soul stuff dirt cheap out of his shop in Pittsburgh a while back saying they ripped him off.

He was going on & on so in the end I said to the guy behind the counter put them back as I wanted some peace & quiet from this guy. He just said to me "hang on" & threw the guy out. Apparently he used to do it to any Brits that were in the shop when he was.

Dave,

Was the guy on the small side and probably in his 40s or 50s then. I went into a shop in Pittsburgh and the guy said are you a Brit and I said no I'm Welsh. He said that's ok then as I didn't think he knew where Wales was. He said take no notice of the prices on the covers as I will do you a great deal. I picked out about 15 singles and went to the counter. He had a pencil behind his ear and put in his hand and started re-marking the prices on the sleeves as double. I asked what he was doing and said the prices were old and needed to be updated. I said forget it and started to walk out of the shop. He started following me and said your are a Brit just trying to rip people off, so F off out of my shop. Gutted really as there were some nice records, but hey the principle of it all. Kev

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Recent worst experience:

Backbeat Records in Edinburgh. A shop so crammed you can't enter. You have to tell the owner what you're after and he will carry the respective boxes outside for you to look through. Went there with my 13y old lad who'd just started to show interest in collecting rocksteady and reggae 45s using his pocket money. Told the owner what we're after. He said he doesn't even bother to show us the rocksteady/reggae boxes. That we would be after the rarities for cheap anyway. I said I'm here with my son who wants to buy some cheap 45s. He said he doesn't believe us and basically told us to f*ck off.

Fun fact: apparently this shop is Ian Rankin's favourite Edinburgh record shop.

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Backbeat Records in Edinburgh. A shop so crammed you can't enter. You have to tell the owner what you're after and he will carry the respective boxes outside for you to look through. Went there with my 13y old lad who'd just started to show interest in collecting rocksteady and reggae 45s using his pocket money. Told the owner what we're after. He said he doesn't even bother to show us the rocksteady/reggae boxes. That we would be after the rarities for cheap anyway. I said I'm here with my son who wants to buy some cheap 45s. He said he doesn't believe us and basically told us to f*ck off.

 

I went to this shop last year and agree it is a ridiculous set-up.  The owner wasn't rude to me but did take a very long time  getting his three boxes of soul LPs out onto the pavement. Basically, though, apart from one purchase, it was all very unexciting stuff. 

 

Another shop I won't be going back to...

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Valentine’s Day 2013

I’d gone to London with my wife, Christine, to see an exhibition, do a few shops, and meet up with our niece later on. Time went pretty well so I managed to squeeze in a trip to Music Exchange (the old Record and Tape Exchange), over in Notting Hill. Unusually, Christine came along, and good job she did, as I ended up being blue-lighted to A&E!

We made our way up to the top floor, where the soul singles I was after were to be found. I was happily leafing through, picking the odd one out and stacking them on top of the row beside the ones I was going through. I think I’d found about 15 or so, but Chris was bored to tears by then and urging me to finish up to head off to meet our niece for a meal. So I went through the stack filtering out a few that I thought were maybe a bit more than I’d normally pay, so ended up with maybe a dozen. Job done, just grab my bag that was on the floor, pay, and go.

Reaching down for my bag I jabbed my finger straight down onto a broken wooden box, and cracked off a fat splinter right under the nail of my forefinger. The pain was intense, and I was completely disorientated. Christine could see something was wrong and as there was blood coming out of my finger she came over and tried to see what was up. I got very dizzy and she asked the guy on the counter to come and help, and at first he got me sat on the window ledge. Chris could see that the window wasn’t in great condition and with being a couple of floors up she got him to help get me down onto the floor instead.

At that point it seems I passed out, and Chris directed the guy to call an ambulance (yeah I know, a splinter, what can I say, I’ve got a low pain threshold!). The ambulance was there really promptly. The paramedics came up and went through the basics with me, and due to family history they wanted to check stuff like heart function etc. So they got me to my feet to head down to the ambulance, at which point I suddenly said “what about the records?” The guy from the counter was really flustered and just said “That’s fine, just take them, it’s ok.” Damn! Why did I filter those other ones out before this happened?!

So, down in the ambulance, they had me laid down, talking through various things while wiring me up to check stuff. The one question I remember was about how painful it was, which I thought was excruciating. The woman asking me gave a helpful scale for a 1-10 answer. “If giving birth is around an 8 out of 10, how bad is your finger?” I had to grit my teeth and came up with something like a 4, and even then it was obvious that she felt that was way too high. Like I said, low pain threshold! Anyway, as they wanted to get more detailed checks done, along with thinking the wedge of wood in my finger needs to come out, they got Chris sat down, blue lights and siren on, and off we went to St Mary’s A&E.

Although I could walk, they kept me on the trolley, pushed me past rows of people looking seriously in need of help themselves, and I was seen by a doctor just a few minutes later. He assessed the issue and began to tug at the splinter, then reassessed things based on my reaction and injected my finger with anaesthetic, thankfully. After several goes he did get what seemed to be all of it out, and I was discharged. We were too late to meet up for a meal so just went to the station and got the train home, with my hard-won stash of singles safe in my bag. As the weeks passed, I was convinced there was still something left, as my finger was a bit swollen and pussy. After maybe as much as a month, the last stubborn bit of splinter finally worked its way to a position where I was able to squeeze it out at last.

So, what were the records in the end?

Charles Mann, I Can Feel It (Probe)

Don Covay, Bad Mouthing (Mercury)

The Intruders, Cowboys to Girls (Gamble)

Jerry Butler, A Brand New Me (Mercury, DJ)

Willie Hutch, What You Gonna Do After The Party (Motown, DJ)

Mavis Staples, Love Gone Bad, (Phono Records)

Marc Evans, Reach Out For Love (TSOD)

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1 hour ago, Seano said:

Valentine’s Day 2013

I’d gone to London with my wife, Christine, to see an exhibition, do a few shops, and meet up with our niece later on. Time went pretty well so I managed to squeeze in a trip to Music Exchange (the old Record and Tape Exchange), over in Notting Hill. Unusually, Christine came along, and good job she did, as I ended up being blue-lighted to A&E!

We made our way up to the top floor, where the soul singles I was after were to be found. I was happily leafing through, picking the odd one out and stacking them on top of the row beside the ones I was going through. I think I’d found about 15 or so, but Chris was bored to tears by then and urging me to finish up to head off to meet our niece for a meal. So I went through the stack filtering out a few that I thought were maybe a bit more than I’d normally pay, so ended up with maybe a dozen. Job done, just grab my bag that was on the floor, pay, and go.

Reaching down for my bag I jabbed my finger straight down onto a broken wooden box, and cracked off a fat splinter right under the nail of my forefinger. The pain was intense, and I was completely disorientated. Christine could see something was wrong and as there was blood coming out of my finger she came over and tried to see what was up. I got very dizzy and she asked the guy on the counter to come and help, and at first he got me sat on the window ledge. Chris could see that the window wasn’t in great condition and with being a couple of floors up she got him to help get me down onto the floor instead.

At that point it seems I passed out, and Chris directed the guy to call an ambulance (yeah I know, a splinter, what can I say, I’ve got a low pain threshold!). The ambulance was there really promptly. The paramedics came up and went through the basics with me, and due to family history they wanted to check stuff like heart function etc. So they got me to my feet to head down to the ambulance, at which point I suddenly said “what about the records?” The guy from the counter was really flustered and just said “That’s fine, just take them, it’s ok.” Damn! Why did I filter those other ones out before this happened?!

So, down in the ambulance, they had me laid down, talking through various things while wiring me up to check stuff. The one question I remember was about how painful it was, which I thought was excruciating. The woman asking me gave a helpful scale for a 1-10 answer. “If giving birth is around an 8 out of 10, how bad is your finger?” I had to grit my teeth and came up with something like a 4, and even then it was obvious that she felt that was way too high. Like I said, low pain threshold! Anyway, as they wanted to get more detailed checks done, along with thinking the wedge of wood in my finger needs to come out, they got Chris sat down, blue lights and siren on, and off we went to St Mary’s A&E.

Although I could walk, they kept me on the trolley, pushed me past rows of people looking seriously in need of help themselves, and I was seen by a doctor just a few minutes later. He assessed the issue and began to tug at the splinter, then reassessed things based on my reaction and injected my finger with anaesthetic, thankfully. After several goes he did get what seemed to be all of it out, and I was discharged. We were too late to meet up for a meal so just went to the station and got the train home, with my hard-won stash of singles safe in my bag. As the weeks passed, I was convinced there was still something left, as my finger was a bit swollen and pussy. After maybe as much as a month, the last stubborn bit of splinter finally worked its way to a position where I was able to squeeze it out at last.

So, what were the records in the end?

Charles Mann, I Can Feel It (Probe)

Don Covay, Bad Mouthing (Mercury)

The Intruders, Cowboys to Girls (Gamble)

Jerry Butler, A Brand New Me (Mercury, DJ)

Willie Hutch, What You Gonna Do After The Party (Motown, DJ)

Mavis Staples, Love Gone Bad, (Phono Records)

Marc Evans, Reach Out For Love (TSOD)

The Charles Mann and Don Covay seem apt with the situation lol 

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23 hours ago, Mal C said:

When I walked in there, I had to walk past three tasty looking dudes who had a soundsystem in the boot of their car, the boot was open and they were drapped all over it, so he comes outs out and shots F*** off you lot, customers! I felt a right drip with my little box and harrington jacket...  and your right, he had buggar all that day as well Paul !

I have posted these pictures before, but the bottom level of Neptoon Records in Toronto was an eye opener!

Sure you can look, just watch out for the 'GIMP'!

IMG_1021.JPG

IMG_1018.JPG

Hi Mal,

I went into a record shop in Toronto and what started as a worst experience turned out to be a great experience. The shop was full of all genres of albums, all very nice but all way overpriced. I asked if there were any singles/45s and the guy said in the basement. I went down there and I found boxes and boxes of unplayed records. After about 2 hours of The Partridge Family, Perry Como, The Osmonds and other great delights I came to the last box. In the last few records were Bill Harris, Kurt Harris, Mighty Pope and a Barbara Mcnair. I went upstairs and asked the price. He said "I will just go on the computer and check the values as I know nothing about 45s". My heart sank as he went into the office. Out he came and said the computer has crashed and you will have to come back later. I said that I couldn't as I was due to meet my wife who had gone shopping in the mall. He pulled a awkward face and said "How about $30 for the four" I could have hugged him. I paid the $30 canadian and made a sharp exit. Regards Kev

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Thats a mean hit Kev!  I got a load of stuff out of Neptoon on the day I visited, unopened 25 count boxes of Motown titles, loads of Canadian only tracks, stuff like Sy Risby/Chuck Flintroy, they were all cheap, under $10/5 bucks.  One place I though was crap initially was Calgary but I did find one shop where I had the same sort of experience as yourself, found loads of good stuff, and the lady at the counter didnt know how much to charge, she was sitting in for the owner, so I agreed $3 each, I think there 60 records in total...

I also made a sharp exit! laughing

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Went into a record shop in Malmoe Sweden. Spent half the day trawling through their stock. The records I was going to buy I placed on the floor and it was a whole lot. The guy working in the shop was aware of this. Later another man took his place and all of a sudden I noticed that the records I had put aside were gone. The guy had put them back as he thought someone had left them behind and since the records in the shop were not categorized according to genre or in alphabetical order and he couldn't remember where he put them they were now spersed here and there all over the shop, so half a day's work of crate digging was spoiled and I gave up. I can laugh about it now, but at the time it was very frustrating...lol...

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I don't know if it qualifies for worst experience but definitely a frustrating one.In Athens there's an area with loads of junk shops and stalls.Piles and piles of records, very few in covers,the vast majority very dirty and in poor nick but you live in hope of finding something. Came across a few soul related but not many giving them a miss due to condition.

In one place that was devoted to music with records in better condition plus with sleeves only found a Greek copy of Groovin with Mr Bloe , three euros,tempted for the novelty but passed on it. Another place with better quality stuff up reared the power of the internet, the only record I came across that you'd class as out and out northern the Tempests on Stardust, no big deal but after searching through piles of sh**e for a few hours and Lou itching to get on with the sightseeing i thought I'm not coming away with nothing.In a box where everything was three euros lo and behold the Tempests was twelve euros, when I asked the guy who spoke good English is this one not three like the rest he declared "that's a Northern soul record" .

  Determined not to come home empty handed the next day I bought three twelves for more or less the same as i could have got them over here after leaving them the previous day. In some ways for me it was as near an experience as I'll get to digging in the States regarding the quantity but without the realistic chance of actually finding something, something I should have  realised  after the first half hour.

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Not the worst experience but certainly the strangest. Went to Val Shiveley's shop in Philly in 1991 with Sedge from Stoke. At first he didn't want to know as we didn't have a wants list. After a bit he let us behind the counter to have a look, found a few nice bits eg 3 copies of the Volumes on Impact. Then he said he had just received a shipment from a radio station & hadn't had a chance to go through them. He said if we sorted them as we went along he was happy for us to have a look through. Only condition was we had to take our tops off so we didn't try to steal anything. Took us upstairs which was filled with these unsorted boxes. Just as well we didn't have our tops on as it was a hot as hell!! Spent the next day and a half going through them. Got some nice things pretty cheap but hardly scratched the surface. We were gutted we didn't have more time as who knows what might have been in there. 

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