Lancaster in the 70s was very different from how it is now – less alternative, fewer students, more traditional. But it had one thing we don’t have now, a really good indoor market. And in the market was the best record shop around, Ear Ere.
That’s where I bought my copy of Lou Reed. As far as I can remember Ear Ere was originally up on the balcony overlooking the market. You could go in and browse the albums, listen on headphones, and buy whatever you wanted – and I wanted all of them!
This is when Christine and I lived on Havelock Street, before we moved to Golgotha Village. I can’t remember if it was before or after Matthew was born, but it was definitely around the time. So I took it home and listened to it…….. and I didn’t like it. It wasn’t like the Velvet Underground stuff and felt as though he didn’t really know where he was going without the band. And he had a strange assortment of backing musicians (Steve Howe! Rick Wakeman!). Not exactly cutting edge rock musicians. So I took it back, told them I didn’t like it, and they let me take something else. They were great like that at Ear Ere. I can’t remember what I swapped it for.
Eventually I did get another copy and grew to really like it, especially ‘Ride into the Sun’ and ‘Ocean’. I was very obsessive about music then (At some point I’ll tell the story of Christine and I arguing about whether or not we could afford three albums when we were in town shopping, me storming off home, and her coming back later and flinging the three albums across the room at me).
I think this was before I built my custom stereo. I had separate turntable, amplifier and speakers and at some point I got hold of an old 78 record player cabinet and managed to install all the gear in that so that, when it was closed up, it looked just like an old wind up gramophone.
Just going back to Ear Ere (and I wish I could). One record I kept seeing there was ‘Astral Weeks’ by Van Morrison. The cover always looked intriguing but I somehow had the idea that it would be some kind of middle-of-the-road folk record. How Wrong I was.
I’ll write about ‘Astral Weeks’ at some point.