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Name: Dave Kilworth
Comment: As I have been a collector of vinyl since I left school in 1967, I am sure I may have something of interest to someone? Before I purchased my first piece of vinyl with my first week's wages of £3.15/6d which was The Beatles' Hello, Goodbye, I had about 20 45s, two LPs, and one EP that I got given to me by my elder sister and her friends, who were all original Mods in 1963. the LPs were Animal Tracks by the Animals on Columbia and Hand Clappin, Foot Stompin, Funky-Butt ... Live! by Geno Washington on Piccadilly; the EP was R&B with Booker T Volume 1 on Atlantic.

The 45s were records by The Who, The Animals, Donovan, Mary Wells, Manfred Mann, The Yardbirds, PJ Proby, and so on. Both my elder sister and brother had a big influence over my taste in music, the other big influence was pirate radio, right down to the mid-Atlantic speech of the DJs and the adverts and jingles. Pirate radio was alive and for myself came at the right time when I was 12, as such music entered into my life at the start of my teenage years.

At the age of 16 and because of my elder siblings I got to go to our local dance halls, these were the Hermitage Club in Hitchin and Stevenage Mecca, the latter being even then still very Mod as well as the Bowes Lyon Youth Club; these venues had many top groups play them (the sleeve notes on Quadrophenia even plug the town) for the next few months there was not a club that I did not go to even if it was just one time, Soho clubs, the Dorothy in Cambridge, the California, Dunstable, even the Twisted Wheel had to be ticked off the list, of course by attending such clubs, it was almost a given fact that you wanted to hear the records when you got home, and this need was made more determined by going with my mates to the Jamaican clubs and getting to hear the new Jamaican music called reggae. At that time most if not all white people called Jamaican music bluebeat.

The first record shop I use to go to properly was in Letchworth, at the bottom of Leys Avenue, it was typical of its time as when you entered you walked past TVs, washing machines - a bit like Currys, but right in the back of the shop there was the record department, the person who served you was a Mod, his name was Bruce Wicks and the shop was like no other as he did not sell pop records, he probably did but I can't remember any, however what he did sell was soul and reggae. It is quite apparent now that the shop was a special outlet for both Trojan B&C Records & Pama Records.

Most of the records in the racks were just a few months old and on sale at 2/6 each, at that time he had new records and new labels coming in every week.

In 1968 I spent every penny on these records on Action, Trojan, Hi Note, and so on - I remember so well when I got the first copy of The Horse by Eric Barnet on the new Gas label.

Over the next 18 months I had a record collection of 1,000 records, 75% were reggae...

Name: Mark Griffiths
Comment: Great story Dave - from one reggae fan to another! I also have a copy of The Horse, but it's seen a bit of needle action! I once called in at A1 Records in Holloway Road (I think it's on this site) and found about four unplayed copies of it in the original Pama sleeves at £2 a pop. I left having bought just the one! And of course, I later traded it for something else and ended up getting the scruffy one I've got.




54 Leys Avenue SG6 3EQ Letchworth Garden City / Hertfordshire
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