Page 1 of 2

Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:13 pm
by Pete Fowler
This shop was my heavenly escape route in 1971/72.

I was meant to be reading Althusser and Adorno, seen, for reasons that still escape me, as essential pre-requisites of writing about Chuck Berry at the Centre for Contemporary and Cultural Studies where I was, allegedly, doing a PhD. But, frankly, I was so much happier in Danny Reddington's record shop seizing copies of Get A Job, Little Bitty Pretty One and Western Movies.

And Danny was great, still in his Teds' get-up in those days. He was more important to me than I realised at the time: because I understood, instinctively, that Danny understood Chuck Berry without even thinking. And it was he who showed me the piles of reggae singles that illuminated Birmingham at that time; and he who rang me to tell me he'd got the Chuck Berry EP I craved (Rhythm and Blues with Chuck Berry', the 1956 Chess 'Maybelline' EP). One of those rock'n'roll heroes who are largely invisible.

And a bloody sight more fun than the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory.

This could be some event:

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/mi ... od-7596476

Re: Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:43 pm
by Adam Blake
Thanks for the heads-up, Pete. I wonder if this Brazilian dude knows about the sale:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/magaz ... .html?_r=0

Garth sent me the article a couple of days ago. It's a great read.

Re: Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:29 pm
by NormanD
I used to go there when staying with Deb's parent's in Birmingham. I needed to get out for a bit, as you can imagine, and Reddington's was always a good mooching place. It was the only shop I managed to find an Arthur Alexander LP, at a time when there was virtually nothing of his around - his Warner album, "Rainbow Road". An import! What excitement!

I guess that Lenny Henry's Radio 4 (not so funny) sitcom "Rudy's Rare Records" is a back-handed tribute to the great store.

Re: Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:34 pm
by Chris P
Pete Fowler wrote:showed me the piles of reggae singles that illuminated Birmingham at that time


beautiful

Re: Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:43 pm
by Chris P
NormanD wrote: Lenny Henry's Radio 4 (not so funny) sitcom "Rudy's Rare Records" is a back-handed tribute to the great store.


yup it definitely has some good moments

Re: Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:22 am
by john poole
NormanD wrote:I guess that Lenny Henry's Radio 4 (not so funny) sitcom "Rudy's Rare Records" is a back-handed tribute to the great store.
In an interview Lenny Henry named The Diskery, another long standing Birmingham record shop
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhQVBxvkwwU
as the one he had in mind when the series began (along with, if I remember correctly, Dub Vendor).

Re: Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:33 am
by will vine
Adam Blake wrote:Thanks for the heads-up, Pete. I wonder if this Brazilian dude knows about the sale:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/magaz ... .html?_r=0

Garth sent me the article a couple of days ago. It's a great read.


A collection, a treasure trove, a warehouse, and now a man trying to buy the whole world on vinyl; Where will this madness end? As the baby boomers die off and their treasured records and cd collections are gladly chucked out by their long suffering families there will be enough plastic to fill all the holes in Blackburn, Lancashire.

Rudy's Rare Records - Any time I've ever heard it, there has been little or no reference to records or the nature of collectors, and collectibles. There is surely a better series in there. I think it's really poor. In fact, as I write, what more poignant subject for a play than the breaking up of someone's collection after their death?

Re: Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:46 am
by john poole
will vine wrote:Rudy's Rare Records - Any time I've ever heard it, there has been little or no reference to records or the nature of collectors, and collectibles. There is surely a better series in there. I think it's really poor
It was more about the father and son than the shop I think. I always thought it was OK, if hardly a "must listen" - certainly not one of the worst comedies there has been on R4 in recent years.

I've noted 6th September for a possible visit to Redditch, although I imagine the sale could be rather chaotic, and wonder what exactly might now be left from the stock. I remember reading after the event that when the final (of four locations I can remember) Reddington's shop closed a few years ago the remaining unsold LPs were placed outside and available for anyone to take away for free.

Re: Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:39 pm
by DavidM
..pre-requisites of writing about Chuck Berry at the Centre for Contemporary and Cultural Studies where I was, allegedly, doing a PhD.


Can you really do a PhD on Chuck Berry ? Is that necessary ?

(The PhD, I mean, surely a BA would be sufficient - ?)

Professor Andy... Help me somebody !

Re: Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:44 pm
by Pete Fowler
My heart, I'm afraid, is with Will on this one and you won't find me within five miles of Danny's auction. As I said, I loved the place to bits in the 1970s; but time moves on.

I seemed to buy loads of vinyl between '69 and '75, plugging gaps in the days long before youtube. Old stuff I'd never got. A vague feeling of envy, perhaps, in wandering round the basement at Liston Road and seeing Charlie get an especially big letter box so the daily albums didn't need a knock on the door. Always taking a tape deck down there with me, always on the pinch.

And then, at some point in the 80s, we were particularly broke. Four kids, a wife at home and a teacher's salary never quite cut it; this was our decade of extending the mortgage seemingly annually, pretending we were having this work done, and that work done.

Then thinking, 'you know what, I ought to sell some of my singles...there must be some worth a bit...'

I didn't have a large collection, maybe 500 or so. Some guy came round from Record Collector, the Editor, who, astonishingly, lived within a mile of me in Macclesfield. He looked through the stuff, picked out a few and gave me £40. It paid a gas bill at that time.

I was amazed by what he took, and it took me a while to suss out his reasons. Who in their right minds would have wanted God Save Oz, that terrible Lennon record? But, of course, so naive was I that I didn't realise that this was the single most wanted by the nerds who needed to complete their Apple collections.

My singles sit asleep in the attic these days. As Will said, the kids will probably chuck them out after we're gone. The values of many of them collapsed with the arrival of the Internet because suddenly it was the world where you looked, and not just this country.

When Napster was still around, I replaced the lot, digitally. I could never see why I should pay again for stuff I'd already paid for. And no, many of them don't sound as good as on the old Dansette, even; and yes, every now and again I go up there with some old gear and blast the night away.

But I see utterly no point in collecting. My problem, ever since I began with PCs and Macs in the 1980s, is trying to keep the data I have (including music) in an accessible form.

I'll conclude this by saying I must have lost a romantic streak; which is a shame, but it's how it is.

Re: Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:52 pm
by Pete Fowler
Dave, my 1971 PhD proposal, which was accepted in Birmingham, was actually on youth cultures. I'd written a piece for one of Charlie's books called Skins Rule and I wanted to broaden it to include Teds, Beats and Mods, each of which I'd written on, cursorily, for another of Charlie's things, a bit series called The Story of Pop. My problem was that I felt completely alienated by the culture of what became, because of the Birmingham Centre, 'Media and Cultural Studies': I sided with its first Director, Richard Hoggart, and had no empathy whatsoever with the theoretical emphasis that developed after he left. I just wanted to write a narrative.

I left after a year.

Re: Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:35 pm
by Alan Balfour
Pete Fowler wrote:Dave, my 1971 PhD proposal, which was accepted in Birmingham, was actually on youth cultures. I'd written a piece for one of Charlie's books called Skins Rule.
Rock File 1, pages 10-17. In the same volume is CG's So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Writer (Keep a Carbon) an examination of US and British mainstream and fanzines of the the day.

Re: Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:22 pm
by will vine
I wonder what it was really like to work in a record shop all day. Sure, you'd have had a lot of your favorite toys around you to play with but also endless racks of tired looking, dusty old albums that never shifted and old bores walking in off the street telling telling their "friend of the stars" stories, and buying nothing. I'm as sentimental as the next man but some of them were dumps weren't they? It used to piss me off when the World Music section consisted of discs by Los Paraguayos, Mirielle Mathieu, and a welsh choir.

Re: Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:29 am
by DavidM
It used to piss me off when the World Music section consisted of discs by Los Paraguayos, Mirielle Mathieu, and a welsh choir.


You should copyright that, Will. It's wonderfully quotable.

Re: Reddington's Rare Records

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:29 am
by Adam Blake
Great stuff. I loved that essay by the way, Pete. But at the time it disturbed me deeply. You were the first to shake my faith in Marc.

Not having the money to indulge myself as I would like with collecting records is a blessing. it makes me more picky. I like the original records because "they were there" even if I wasn't. It's the enjoyment of knowing that this is what you would have got had you been in, say, a mom'n'pop store in Detroit in 1963 and bought a Motown single, or a hippie emporium in Portobello in 1969 and forked over for the Quintessence album. I like that. It connects me to the past that matters to me in a way that digital files cannot. Plus it's undoubtedly true that records sound better than digital files.

Of course, if you really WERE there, then I daresay it doesn't matter.