October 30th 1972 (I)

“Took back H.P. Focus, got money back”

Firstly can I just say that this entry made my brain open a tad.

It suddenly remembered that when I wrote “NOT good” about Hocus Pocus by Focus a few days ago I didn’t mean the song was no good, but that the record I bought was bad. As in “faulty”.

For whatever reason my brain cells kicked in to remind me I had to return the single because it skipped. The high frequency levels of the song (Thijs Van Leer’s yodeling – yes, I said yodeling) most probably responsible for making the stylus jump out of the grooves!

I bought almost all my records from the “Jack Hobbs” store on Eastleigh’s High Street. It was a ramshackle place – as were most record stores in the early seventies – run by a cantankerous bespectacled man by the name of Eric, who was actually a bicycle repair man by trade (the store used to sell bikes AND records).

I have no doubt at all that when I initially tried to return “Hocus Pocus”, Eric would have first tried to argue that the problem was actually my “needle”, that it was probably worn out, and that I needed a new one. (Guess what else he sold?) He would then test the record on the store’s own record player, an ancient beast whose record arm was carefully weighed down with a taped selection of coins… you know, just to make sure the skipping problem was mine and not his.

However, on this occasion, it would appear that even Thijs Van Leer’s yodeling was even too much for a pile of pocket change to cure, so I obtained a refund.

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