As threatened, throughout April - in celebration of Record Store Day - I offer up a daily post related to all things record shop.
And if any of it sounds like a manifesto, consider it good practice for my election campaign next year.
Day two's steaming pile of japery, kinghell boring bullshit and contentious nonsense...
What's In A Name?
There's a bio of the shop kicking around which I sometimes think I should stick somewhere in the shop to qualify the shop's unwieldly/childish/confusing/crap moniker.
The bio goes something like this: 'me and The Wife were in the back of the van in the wilds of Western Australia, discussing my limited job prospects upon our return to the UK. Opening a record shop and what it would be called came up. Ryan Adams' Heartbreaker record was playing on our ipod and the opening track, the studio banter 'beat up by fascists and left for dead!' struck a chord. One, because I love that record and two, because my third eye stared into THE WHEEL OF TIME to such a time and space when record shops would be literally left for dead on the high street.' I jape. It was meant to be ironic. CRYING FACE EMOJI.
INTERESTING ASIDE: Ethan Johns, the producer and collaborator on Heartbreaker (and great friend to the shop) once told me that he found it disconcerting playing in a shop named after an incident that put him in hospital. Imagine having that on your conscience. CRYING FACE EMOJI TIMES TWO.
And so much for all that...
Of course, ironic (moronic) can also become prophetic, but in the meantime I'd do everything (?) I wanted to to make Left For Dead a success, which leads me to this - I remember someone telling me that successful branding is half the battle. I'm a lover not a fighter so I guess I was on a hiding to nothing on that one; I certainly have no doubt that calling the shop by a single amorphous noncommittal verb would have given the shop better 'optics' (and looked better on a t-shirt), but aren't Coldplay lyrics essentially strings of amorphous noncommittal verbs? And aren't Coldplay bollocks?
I also understand that if someone doesn't get the IRONY of calling a business endeavour Left For Dead, then the chances are they'll only take the negative connotations from the name. Which in my case is catastrophic. I mean, you can't get more negative than being dead, right? And the word 'dead' doesn't feel very nice in the mouth does it?
In the shop I hear this a lot:
Bloke on his phone: "Hiya. Yeah. Oh are you? OK, I'm in Left Fo...*choking sound* er, I'm in that record shop on Wyle Cop."
CRYING FACE EMOJI TIMES THREE.
The Future (if there is one) might possibly see Left For Dead become LFD. I hear acronyms are quite successful too. Oh hang on a minute...
EXTERIOR: THE AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK. IT IS NIGHT TIME. AN ORANGE CAMPER VAN IS PARKED IN A FORESTED CLEARING. FIREFLIES AND CRICKETS ABOUND. A DIM LIGHT CAN BE SEEN INSIDE THE VAN.
INTERIOR: A YOUNG COUPLE SIT IN THE VAN. MUSIC IS PLAYING. WINE IS BEING DRUNK.
FEMALE, ATTRACTIVE, GIDDY, SLIGHTLY DRUNK: 'OK, WHAT WOULD YOU CALL IT?'
MALE, OLDER, SEMI-INCOHERENT, PISSED OUT OF HIS TINY MIND: 'EASY. SMOOTH TRANSACTION'