I packed a stack of old records in a Tesco’s bag and took a 109 into Croydon. Some were mine, some were yours; once upon a time we called them ours. Tim looked sad as he opened up that Tesco’s bag and spread out all that vinyl on the counter. He pointed out some scratches in the sunlight to me, shook his head. Then he found another. And another. With disdain, fingering a red wine stain surrounding David Bowie’s face (red wine was not to Tim’s taste), he said, Let’s Dance could never be enhanced by red wine stains or my ex’s name scribbled on the cover. I disagreed. You left me with a stack of bills. All this ringing in my ears shall ain’t wedding bells.
Bowie haunts a handful of pieces I’ve written over the years. This pleases me. Happy birthday xo
cassettes: scratches in the sunlight (2008)
*Beanos was a second-hand record shop that traded from 1975 to 2009 in Croydon; the sign above the door declaring it to be the ‘largest anywhere’. For much of that time it was next to the pet food shop and The Dog & Bull pub on Surrey Street, where the fruit and veg market has traded for over 300 years. I surely recorded the barkers and the buyers on a minidisc player that I was fond of at the time. Beanos was owned by Mr. D. Lashmar, a sort of jolly and approachable Branson lookalike. Several of my dear friends of that period served there: Magic Sam, Keith O’Keefe, Red Sarah, Ray and, of course, Tim.