Tag Archives: jack hobbs

September 23rd 1975

“Started English – got exercise book, did essay on ambition. Went up Nig’s in the evening – actually got my Strawbs album – wow!! (sarcastic)”

An essay on ambition? I bet that didn’t end well.

It took me a while to remember why I tagged the return of my Strawbs album with “wow! (sarcastic)”

It was because it was probably the 6th copy of it I had swapped out at Jack Hobbs Records, all previous ones skipping halfway through the title track at the start of Side 2.

It’s not a great album, but it’s the only Strawbs album I ever warmed to and the only one that has remained with me into my middle-age. It’s actually quite ‘moody and gothy’ in several places, an attitude which manages to be a little undermined by Dave Cousins’ breathy folksy vocals.

However, “Shine on Silver Sun” remains a top notch Grade-A golden hit single from the 70’s…


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May 22nd 1975

“Nig came round – brought my new copy of Human Menagerie”

Funny how a simple diary entry will remind you of something.

Reading this reminded me that I went through several copies of Human Menagerie before I found one that didn’t suffer very noisy surface noise on the opening track.

It was a recurring ‘issue’ back in the days of vinyl. Unlike now where any ‘faulty’ product is immediately discussed and disseminated at online message boards – resulting in swift withdrawal and replacement by manufacturers – news of a bad pressing would often take weeks to filter through to record companies.

I think I must have gone through 6 or 7 copies of “Human Menagerie” before I struck Cockney Rebel gold. I’m guessing that Nig must have worked in Eastleigh to have swapped my album out at Jack Hobbs… either that or I was simply getting embarrassed at the number of times I had already done the deed?

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(1974 Album) Various Artists – Bradley’s Roadshow Live

I’ll openly admit I had to look this up, not knowing what the hell my entry referred to.

“Bradley”? “Live”?

A google search eventually managed to jog my memory as what album I bought. I remembered the sleeve when I saw it…. but absolutely nothing else whatsoever.

Further research informed me that Bradley’s Roadshow was a concert album showcasing some of the peculiarly diverse acts on the short-lived Bradley Record label, which was an offsoot of the more famous ATV music publishing group.

Apparently, the acts on this album were Paul Brett (a guitarist), Hunter Muskett (a folk-rocker) and Kala (a prog-rock act). No I haven’t heard of any of them either.

I have no doubt in my mind that I bought this album based on the retail price of just 95p – indeed, I may have even bought it cheaper from the clearance bins near the front door of Jack Hobbs’ record shop in Eastleigh.

If Jack Hobbs were still in business I suspect there would STILL be copies of this album gathering dust somewhere on the premises.

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February 3rd 1973

“TIB W-end” / “Trev turned up lunchtime – went round all the churches” / “dad brort my tape recorder – took ‘ome camera, shirt etc” / “Played football lost 7-6 (Huh)” / “I’m gonna hit Ray S so hard” / “Angela + THE question”

A part of me remembers visiting all the various churches in Eastleigh. Why?

Because a bigger part of me also remembers going to Jack Hobbs Records and buying a sale copy of Strawbs’ hit single “Part of the Union”

Don’t ask me why I associate the two. Clueless, as usual.

Likewise why I coerced my Dad into hauling away my apparently unwanted shirt and camera and bringing me my faithful little tape deck.

No surprise at being on the losing football team – I wonder if something went on during the match that made me want to hit Ray S so hard?

As for THE question, I will claim nonchalant forgetfulness.

You don’t get me, I’m Part of the Union…

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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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