Leave it out John

This fine example of a Jamaican ska/pop tune was bought for the bargain price of 10p in what I used to know as “John’s” second hand shop in the Hillfields district of Coventry in the late 1970’s. I was then working in a factory which used to knock off at midday on a Friday so in the afternoon I would spend my wages on second-hand records and clothes (hey, what’s changed!)

The shop had two or three floors filled full of musty smelling women’s dresses, old tailor’s dummies with arms missing and big wooden wardrobes amongst other bric-a-brac and the shop owner looked like a thin Giant Haystacks.

My favourite part of the shop was the big boxes of 7″ records, most without sleeves next to cardboard boxes of mouldy, well thumbed adult magazines and the owner’s heavily moulting Alsatian dog who growled aggressively at you in the corner (nice!)

A good few of my reggae records were found there and I know of other people who shopped at this quality establishment too (a studio 1, 7″ blank with “Mittoo” scrawled across the label in felt tip which I overlooked is sitting in the rhythm doctor’s record boxes even as I write. Hi Chris!)

I rarely get misty eyed about damp smelling second-hand shops and this place is probably well knocked down and built over today, but this gaff still has a place in my heart. RIP “John’s.”


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