55 songs in 55 days - one for every year of my life...so far.
My predecessor had certainly made a good job of running down his business. On the day of the handover, in the Summer of '86, we did a joint stock take. The count didn't take long and the value of the remaining stock was so low that we eventually agreed on a nominal sum of £1 for the lot. I had no stock of consequence and no record company accounts. Oh, and the shop was painted bright yellow, inside and out!
By 1987, thanks to help from Dad and a visiting Cousin, the outside of the shop was painted blue. It wasn't ideal, it was too dark, but, on the plus side, it wasn't yellow anymore. I'd also accumulated most of the main record company accounts and had gradually been increasing my stock levels. It was tricky. I was a very small business in quite a small town, so I tried to offer a smattering of everything without becoming too esoteric or blowing my buying budget. Mainly, I relied on my knowledge and the ability to source customer orders quickly and efficiently. This was how my reputation grew.
Behind the counter. 1987.
I ploughed practically every penny back into the business in those early years, but every now and then I allowed myself a treat. In 1987, one such treat was the debut import 45 by an Australian band called God. 'My Pal' played at max volume, was the perfect aural onslaught for cashing up and sorting out at the end of the day. The quality of the song is such that it all but overshadowed the rest of the band's brief career and it still sounds electrifying today. A heads up - the repeated guitar motif will worm its way into your ear and staple itself to your brain. You've been warned.