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Letters / Record shop lit up something inside me

I was a teenager in the early 1980s and I think I did most of my growing up in Clive’s tiny record shop on Commercial Street opposite Bains Beach [Clive the ‘music man’ looks back 40 years after opening first record shop; SN, 29/11/19].

I still get a warm feeling every time I pass that shop to this day. So many memories of sitting in the window having deep discussions about music with Clive, other customers and my group of friends (some of whom are not with us any more).

Clive was a great teacher, introducing me to many bands I might not have got into. He got to know my tastes, like all good pushers. He tolerated my love of Genesis (it paid the bills) and gently nudged me into the Paisley Underground with new bands such as The Longryders, The Rain Parade and Green on Red.

Of course I had to do my ‘homework’ with Neil Young, Dylan and The Band but there were up and coming bands like Simple Minds and U2 the took me down new roads. I bought REM’s first album from Clive because I liked the cover and took a punt (which Clive was very good at encouraging).

That peerie shop lit something up inside me that has never gone out. It put the first quarter in my internal jukebox which is now permanently switched on (King Creosote on while I type this).

I have kids of my own who are nearly all grown up now and I think they would have enjoyed the experience. Unfortunately they have to make do with a digital version in the ether which is just not the same. You can’t smell an MP3. It doesn’t crackle and pop differently every time you play it and you certainly wouldn’t sit in a draughty window seat on a crappy Saturday afternoon conversing with complete strangers of all ages about them.

Time moves on and we have to move with it. That doesn’t mean that some good things don’t get lost on the way. Clive’s was one of those things.

Iain Malcolmson
South Nesting