So, by 1979 I had began my obsession with vinyl records, problem being of course that I was still at school and 'earning' £3 per week pocket money. I probably was able to add to my meagre record collection at the rate of three or four singles per month. My small local Town had a Woolworths and they sold records as long as they were Top 75. They didn't stock anything not in the charts.

I quickly discovered their box of records that housed ex chart singles that nobody seemed to want that much anymore. These were selling at a token price of 20p, sometimes even less. I think they were happy to get rid of old stock.

Good news for me as I was able to afford more records. After school, I would call into Woolworths and snap up ex chart punk and new wave singles at a bargain price. Around about this period I packed in buying football weekly 'Roy of The Rovers' in favour of music weeklies like NME and Sounds.

By the end of 1981 I had accumulated a decent little collection for a 17 year old. If you call about 50 odd singles and a handful of LPs decent... Anyhow, I was happy with it.

I'd also discovered that the streets of Sunderland Town Centre were a veritable oasis of record shops. I'm not kidding, but back then there seemed to be a record shop on every street. It was in some of these shops that I managed to acquire many of the old 1977-78 punk singles by groups that I'd only read about in NME.

Some shops such as "Volume" "Pet Sounds" and "New Record Inn" plus one or two others stocked unknown one-off indie releases on small labels. These shops had a huge influence on me. Most of my spiky jangly pop 45s were bought from "Volume" during the early 80s. Some are pictured....Felt, The Icicle Works and The many more....They were the first shop to stock garage revival discs and cool comps like 'Pebbles', 'Highs In The Mid Sixties' and many records on the French Eva label.

I now had a couple of hundred records bought by 1984...all as a teenager.....but by now I had discovered 60s garage punk and psychedelia. Also the so called mid 80s 'paisley underground' scene from Los direction had changed.


  1. It is great to see a mention of the best weekly - Sounds. They started a little shakily but soon hit their stride. N.M.E. was too cool for it's own good, and Melody Maker still wished it was 1972...But Sounds was great - specially for 45's. Every Friday after work, I would go to the Rough Trade shop and but 4 or 5 of Sound's top picks: Felt, Colors Out Of Time, the Prefects, Crispy Ambulance, Dangerous Girls. Soft Boys, Psylons, Brainiac 5 and countless others. What a time!


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