It’s true that it wasn’t the job I’d always wanted, but, as I confidently expected to become a rock star in the very near future, I thought it would be good enough in the meantime. So, the job in the record shop, initially part-time while I waited for my big break, felt close enough to being in the music business for me to keep my dream alive.
In a way, I kept telling myself, it was almost the next-best thing to being a musician. Meanwhile, of course, I kept up with my guitar practice for when my big break came. I even played in a handful of bands as the years went by and the dream slowly faded and then died as each band fizzled out without ever setting the world, or even the local pubs, alight.
These days, though, I own the place. Well, I rent the shop space, but Stylus Records is my shop. Initially, Dan, the original owner used to come around just curse me – and his luck – during the CD boom that came along a year or so after he’d retired and sold out to me. Now, if he were still alive, he’d be laughing his arse off at how it has all collapsed….
No… to be fair – which Dan always was – that cursing was done always with a smile of genuine glee that I was doing so well. No, Dan would be there, staring out through the front display window next to me, shaking his head slowly… wondering – as I do – what has happened, what has gone wrong.
Actually, no, I do know what happened. It’s simple really – we don’t get the kids, not any more. They don’t need us because they don’t have the record buying habit, the CD buying habit. It’s not just – as people say – the downloading, illegal or legal, that is the problem. No, I think now the music is over and it is time for us to turn out the light. We have reached the stop sign at the end of the long and winding road. It is the end, beautiful friend. The long strange trip has reached the terminal and it is time to dismount from the Magic Bus. They still call it rock music, I know, but these days it no longer means what it used to, if it means anything at all.
“I’m closing the shop,” I said to Mark and Debbie, late one Saturday afternoon at the end of a long quiet period. Actually, to tell the truth, the whole day had been just one long quiet period. When I think back to those hectic Saturdays in the seventies when Dan, Karen and I would long for even a couple of minutes of peace and quiet to drink our now stone-cold mugs of tea behind the counter, I realise just how much times have changed.
Continues at Wattpad.