|Ad from Ratsack fanzine : vol2-crastak .page 24 circa '82|
I think that there are a couple of key ingredients every city needs to maintain a healthy live music industry. People who want to (and can) play music. Places to play the music, and places to explore music. Sadly all those indy record shops that I grew up with have disappeared and no doubt the city is worse off because of it. The market has certainly changed over the last few decades and the specialty shops have struggled to survive. Even up to the 90's it was hard work finding past releases or overseas and local indy music. When cds became evryday the major labels really jumped on the reissue market but b4 then it was a struggle to get old LPs of your fav artists. It was secondhand (often at inflated collectors prices) or imported from more adventerous label manufactures. No ebay/ amazon/ myspace. just the indy shop guys who slaved over industry mags all day to stock the finest goods any punter could wish for. My first Rocking Horse experience was scoring a couple of Joy Division boots.. brilliant covers - shittty as audio live quality but i was stoked!
Many years have I flicked records and cds at places like Kent records (Bruce Anthon yer a freakin genius), Skinnys (various owners and staff) and Rocking Horse. Where are all those unemployable musos going to get work now??? sad days indeed.
The old girl is in palliative care for a few weeks so drop in and give your respects and she may even offer up a bargain or 2 to remember her by. Maybe if enuff ppl spread the love she will spark back to life! Good luck in the future Warick and thanks for the effort these past decades.
Time Off street press 25 september 1987.
update: Well it seems lots of love was spread and the shop trades on... hopefully the customers keep frequenting the shop and this near death experience wasn't in vain... I'm suprised at how many ppl saw this blog post as a death sentence as opposed to a wake up call. Yes the shop very well could have closed but ppl needed to be motivated to show their respect for an iconic institution (not just some faceless retailer)..Stay motivated ppl!.. use it or lose it!.. keep up the good work RRR!