I got the call one Saturday morning a couple of weeks back. It was my sister. Hudson's records was closing down. I stayed pretty deadpan, pretty unemotional, in my defense I hadn't had a lot of sleep and there was still a half empty glass of warm white wine by the side of my bed. my reply was along the lines of 'well it was always going to happen', defeat acknowledged, fate accepted.
It was a short phone call, she said she was going into town (Chesterfield) and asked if I wanted anything from there. I asked her to enquire about the fixtures and fittings, especially the old blank cassette showcase or the counter, I didn't hear back.
It didn't really hit me until I was looking for images to accompany this and now, looking at the picture above I feel like I missed the funeral of a friend.
I touched on the magic of this place last year or the year before when I 'reviewed' Hudsons Record and Tape Centre. Up to the age of about eighteen I spent so much of my life in that shop it is untrue. It was impossible to pass without going in, even if it had only been hours since my last visit. The shop was instrumental, for better or worse for shaping me into who I am today, for pre-defining my priorities as I stumble through this life. It's the reason I am typing these words, it's why I still reach for my camera/phone/camera-phone every time I see a record shop no matter where I am or what the occasion. I have been on dates to that shop. Just looking at the font butted at each end by two treble clefs makes me feel like Scott Bakula in Quantum Leap.
I will refrain from lamenting beyond this as this one really is too personal, what I will do is list my top 5 memories of Hudson's Record & Tape Centre, there are 6 of them:
In no particular order:
6.) Buying Superchunk's 'Seed Toss' album from there very early one morning after staying out all night, possibly at a girls house.
5.) Discovering the original now withdrawn sleeve to The Scorpions 'Virgin Killers'. I also obsessed about the rear sleeve and gatefold of 'Tokyo Tapes' by the same band for a long time around this period and considered a foray into flare wearing off the back of this - Something I did not dare try until 1994.
4.) Christmas 1985, thinking about but not actually buying the picture disc to Red Box 'Lean On Me'.
3.) Going halves on a cassette copy of Suicidal Tendencies 'How Will I Laugh Tomorrow...' with a friend, the idea being that one of us would keep the original cassette and have a photo copied sleeve whilst the other would get the original sleeve with a copied cassette. This technique was employed less successfully for a copy of the Bullet Boys album purchased from Our Price.
2.) Being picked on by another customer for wearing a black and white skull scarf as a belt. In retrospect although this is a motif that has made millions for the Alexander McQueen fashion house my aggressor was right to call this out, it was not a good look. It was on the same visit to the store that I decided against buying Guns n' Roses 'Live Like a Suicide' due to the fact that it only had four tracks on it.
1.) Buying the 12" of 'Girls on Film' by Duran Duran from there in 1984, not my first record but certainly my most significant purchase, not least because it led to an obsession with the band that continues to this day and also because it led to me crying like a girl when Simon Le Bon's yacht capsized a year later.
So there it is, or there it was. Gone just like that. Wow, isn't life a fragile and precious thing...