Insane in the Brain – Cypress Hill (1992, RCA Records)
Doug is waving at me. I don’t really know Doug that well. Actually he’s not waving at me, he’s calling me over. I am at a record fair, I am 17 years old. The record fair is held in the social club that is next to the chip shop that is next to the newsagents where I used to work (the one owned by the Indian Organised Crime Syndicate).
Doug owns a record shop in Chatham, or he did in 1992, I just looked on Google Maps and found out that where his shop was is now a taxi office. I probably went in his shop once every couple of weeks and spend some of my wages on cheap 7”s. I bought a limited edition copy of ‘One Love’ by the Stone Roses from his shop as it happens. Chris once apparently squirted superglue into his locks because the 12” of ‘Pure’ by the Lightning Seeds that Doug sold him jumped about two minutes in.
One Love – Stone Roses (1990, Silvertone Records)
Pure – The Lightning Seeds (1989, Ghetto Records)
Anyway, I digress, Doug is calling me over at the record fair. “Want to make yourself £10” he asks me. I look at him, “I’m not that sort of boy” I tell him. He laughs at my, frankly, brilliant bit of wit and tells me to look at the chap standing at the stall just off to the right. I clock him, about 40, green corduroy trousers, carrying a Tesco bag, and, hang on, is that a Cliff Richard Tshirt?
Doug nods, “He’s Kevin, a huge Cliff fan. I want to sell him this incredibly rare Australian 12” of ‘Devil Woman’ (it might have been another Cliff single). When he comes over offer me £20 for it…..He’ll offer £25, act disappointed when I take his money and I’ll give you a tenner”.
I look at Kevin and I look at myself. I’m wearing a Pop Will Eat Itself TShirt and have just spent £5 on a Billy Bragg album, I don’t look like a Cliff fan. “What if he doesn’t offer you £25 for it, I don’t have £20 on me…” Doug shoves his hand in a tin and then quickly shoves £20 in my hand.
Greetings to the new Brunette – Billy Bragg (1986, Go! Discs)
Kevin appears stage right and my hand hovers over the ‘incredibly rare’ Cliff record. Kevin looks at me. “Are you a Cliff fan?” he asks. He has a whiny voice, I bet he’s a R.E Teacher I tell myself. I look at him, and for some reason, god knows why, I say “No, but my Dad is, this will make a great birthday present, how much is it, Doug?”
“Its £25” he says rather too quickly
“Oh” I say, and if the Academy Award Committee were there on that wet Sunday morning in April, then I would have been kissing actresses on the stage in some swanky hotel because readers, my performance was remarkable. “I don’t suppose you’ll take £20 and…” I rummaged in my pocket “….27p” I say with a smile so sickly that its dripping treacle.
Kevin literally nudges me out the way, very sharp elbows for a Cliff fan, “I’ll give you £25” and then offers me a smile that would snap a gastric band.
“Sold, sorry mate” Doug says to me, with a very discreet wink.