Monday, February 13, 2012

'The Crossing' to Glasgow (Part 1)

Exactly one week ago I had, perhaps, my top day as a music fan. Granted, this day almost couldn't fail, but the reason this day catapulted from a good day to a great one was because of the hospitality of fellow music blogger The Vinyl Villain. I am forever in your debt.

As some of you out there know, I was given the best surprise Christmas present... a chance to see my beloved Big Country at Barrowland. We were in Scotland a few days, but I would have only one day in Glasgow. What a crime! A couple of weeks before the trip, I innocently wrote The Vinyl Villain to ask him for a few record shop recommendations in his hometown, but he went above and beyond.

The Vinyl Villain hosted us for the entire day. He took the train to Edinburgh and picked us up at our hotel that morning, and we didn't say our goodbyes until the return train at 11:30 that night. Incredible. We hit some of Glasgow's best shops, including Stephen Pastel's Monorail (and yes, I bought an album from the man himself) and Missing Records. One spot in particular, tucked behind a building off of an alley near the University of Glasgow and aptly referred to as "Records," was an absolute treasure chest. I'll play you something I got there in just a bit. There was also a quick stop at HMV so I could pick up the 30th anniversary deluxe edition of 'The Crossing' released that very day.

It wasn't all records shops. We had lunch at the legendary King Tut's Wah Wah Hut. I was able to see the stairs that listed famous alums (like Radiohead, Blur, Suede) that had played in front of 306 fans (if the place was sold out!). The conversation was wonderful. I dig a chap that can talk Postcard Records and American football without missing a beat. Later, at Street Level Photoworks, there was a fantastic looking exhibit called "What Presence! The Rock Photography of Harry Papadopoulos." Although it was closed the day I visited, the lobby was open. So, I was able to view quite a few interesting photographs of Scottish favorites like Roddy Frame, Clare Grogan and Edwyn Collins in candid moments not seen on album covers.

There were other pubs, clubs and museums along the way, but I wanted to mention we had the privilege of meeting Comrade Colin, a good pal of The Vinyl Villain and the man behind the blog And Before the First Kiss.... We thoroughly enjoyed his company at 13th Note, and I highly recommend visiting Colin's site.

One of my album purchases at "Records" was the Jam's
'Dig the New Breed.' I have owned it on cassette for at least 25 years. As you can imagine on such a format, it really needed to be replaced. I dedicate the following song to The Vinyl Villain. Not only was he with me when I bought this, but he was actually at the show that makes up much of this recording (Glasgow Apollo, April 8, 1982). I wish I could have met you then, too. Here's to my pal from across the pond. Cheers, mate!

The Jam - That's Entertainment (Live) (mp3)

Tomorrow I'll give you a recap of Big Country from Barrowland, and expect to hear some of my purchases from Scotland in the coming weeks.


Someone Said said...

Sounds like an awesome day. Love the city. Met Mr. Pastel himself in September. Great store.

Brian said...

Hi Someone Said. I just saw on your profile you're a fan of Local Hero. That was on my list of purchases to make while in Scotland. I love Gregory's Girl and have been searching for the director's followup for years. The Vinyl Villain picked it up for me at another shop while I was looking for records at Missing. No joke. I'll probably watch it tonight. I haven't seen it in at least a decade.

Unknown said...

The pleasure was all mine...I enjoyed the day every bit as much as you guys.

Anyone who flies all the way from Seattle to Glasgow for a gig deserves huge respect....and it's always fun to meet and talk to a fellow vinyl enthusiast.

Hope one day we get to hook up again.

Someone Said said...

I've been trying to find a copy of Comfort and Joy without having to make a mortgage payment for awhile now.