Viv Albertine,
The TVD First Date

“Hey, did you ever go to the Record and Tape Exchange in Notting Hill Gate? I can still picture it, long and narrow, stacks and stacks of old records and really nice people behind the counter right at the back of the shop. They were older, a bit hippyish.”

“I always seemed to be in there at a crucial junction in my life. There was the time I took about twenty of my records, (Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Donovan that kind of thing) to sell before Sid Vicious came round to my place for our first band meeting when we were forming The Flowers of Romance —that was so funny, we rehearsed the whole summer of 1976, the hottest summer on record—in Joe Strummer’s basement and emerged in September with white faces and no songs. We’re still famous thirty years later for that band, never played a gig either. That’s true punk.

The next time I can remember being in the Tape Exchange was a couple of days after the Slits split up, I was living in a basement flat and was burgled. They took my guitar and all my records. I went straight to Record and Tape exchange to see if the thief had brought them in and he had. You always got your records back for free when that happened, they were very good about that.

Last time I used the shop was when I moved to the coast from London, hoping to give my daughter a healthier happier life. It was a much smaller house, so I took a load of vinyl I didn’t think I’d miss in to the shop. I thought it would be ok because I had the music on CD. Fool.

I wish I still had every record I’ve ever taken in there, some of it was really rare and some of it I just miss.”
Viv Albertine

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PHOTO: MICHAEL PUTLAND

Viv Albertine’s Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.: A Memoir is available now in all brick and mortar book stores—and online.

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  • MichaelReid1

    I used to go there all the time as well and Virgin ,its ironic Reckless was a breakaway from the Record and Tape Exchange , in the 80’s i was a manager at Reckless first US location in SF ,i wanted to have the Slits do an in store /acoustic set ,but the owner vetoed it as he was scared of trouble (we had Genesis P Orridge in and a neighbor had called the cops claiming we were selling porn to kids ,which was absurd ,and they were trying to get us shut down anyway .)

  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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