55 songs in 55 days - one for every year of my life...so far.
Real gone goatee. One last turn behind the mic, 1997.
Large Virgin Records and HMV stores opened in a town 10 miles away. Up to now my business had thrived on my ability to track down, order and receive any available CD quickly and efficiently. From 1997 onwards, the tide subtly turned. Any CD that anyone could possibly want was only a bus-ride or short car journey away - why would they wait? The writing was on the wall, but I was either too close to the wall to read it or was deliberately looking the other way. Those superstores, only 100 yards apart, became engaged in an ongoing battle to outdo each other and caused considerable collateral damage to the independent record shops in the town. 10 miles down the road, the ripples steadily began eroding my business away too.
Sierra Leone musician S.E.Rogie died in 1994, soon after recording what would become his final LP, 'Dead Men Don't Smoke Marijuana'. The album was finally released in 1997 on the Real World label. This is the beautiful title track, 'Dieman Noba Smoke Tafee'.