Sunday, 17 January 2010

The Day The Music Died




Shops come and go in Worcester Park with alarming frequency - most are quickly forgotten when they close down to be replaced, inevitably, by another hairdresser or charity shop.

There are some shops, however, for which there is a genuine sense of sadness when they close because you know you will never see the like of them again.

That can undoubtedly be said about 'Mikes Music' a fixture in Worcester Park for as long as many of us can remember (which is my way of saying I don't actually know how long it's been there).

A trip to Mikes Music is a wonderful journey back in time to when music stores were exciting places of discovery full of joys that today's iTunes generation will never get to appreciate - the feel of the products, the visual splendour of the album artwork and the reassuring crackle of needle on vinyl.

Mike's Music is closing down - closure has been threatened and averted in the past, but Mike is retiring shortly and so will soon be packing away the last of his vinyl and shutting up shop for good. When the store closes, that really will be the end of it. We will never see the like of Mike, or his music, again.

Worcester Park resident and photography student Ashley Grainger has captured the magic of Mikes Music in a series of fantastic photographs. Ashley told the Worcester Park Blog:

"I grew up and still live in Worcester Park, and since I was young that shop always interested me. Now a second year student studying photography at Falmouth University I was very eager to photograph there.

Mike as you probably know, is a fantastic guy, and I felt it was an honour not only to photograph a subject like Mike, but also to capture a shop like his."

You can view the full set of Ashley's photographs of Mike's Music on his Flickr account here. I would, of course, be interested in hearing your memories of time (and pocket money) spent in Mike's Music.

11 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

kingshill billy said...

Sad indeed, I went into the shop just two days ago and Mike confirmed he was retiring hence closeing the shop. However, he cryptically added that he "will continue trading to the end" and offered to take some of my dusty vinyl of my hands.

I sense there will be a hefty addition to E-bay and Gumtree for those of you who want to keep buying your wax from Mike.

I'll keep cheking with the undisputed king of wax in KT4 and update on here when and where he will continue flogging his, and probably your old records.

Amber Jolene said...

I'm so sad to hear that Mike's Music Shop is closing down. I have to say though, every time I have driven past recently I lived in fear the next time I woudl drive past that there would be a big For Sale board outside. I guess that time has now come. There are no shops like this anymore. Nowhere sells vinyl anymore and no one had more devotion to his craft than Mike, bravely hanging on for dear life in the face of current financial difficulties and the demise of the music shop in favour of online legal/illegal downloads. With Beanos now gone, this is really it. I like to hold a record in my hands! Enjoy how carefully the previous owner looked after it. Scrutinse the artwork. What a horrible souless time to live in. I just wish that I had gone to Mike's music store more often than I did. Good luck Mike and I wish you a very happy retirement. You will be missed - it wasn't in vain.

Amber Jolene said...

I'm so sad to hear that Mike's Music Shop is closing down. I have to say though, every time I have driven past recently I lived in fear the next time I woudl drive past that there would be a big For Sale board outside. I guess that time has now come. There are no shops like this anymore. Nowhere sells vinyl anymore and no one had more devotion to his craft than Mike, bravely hanging on for dear life in the face of current financial difficulties and the demise of the music shop in favour of online legal/illegal downloads. With Beanos now gone, this is really it. I like to hold a record in my hands! Enjoy how carefully the previous owner looked after it. Scrutinse the artwork. What a horrible souless time to live in. I just wish that I had gone to Mike's music store more often than I did. Good luck Mike and I wish you a very happy retirement. You will be missed - it wasn't in vain.

Jacey said...

In a few months I'll be able to treat myself hopefully, to a turntable. I have a large collection of LPs and singles and although I've replaced a few with CDs it isn't the same. Well summed up Amber.
I'll miss his shop too. Whilst not wishing to take any trade away from him there is a vinyl shop on Old London Road Kingston, though you wonder how long this will carry on. It never seems overrun with customers.
Good luck to Mike anyway.

Paul said...

Does anyone remember Dave the small, unshaven fellar that used to hang around Mike's shop? Always had a bike with him. I wonder what happened to him. Will miss Mike's shop. Always nice to hear a bit of Soft Machine whilst flicking through the L.P.'s.

Anonymous said...

The only time I ever went in there he was rude to me. I'm glad he's going, maybe someone will come in and clean up that crummy, ugly shop. It smelt in there too.

mike of mikes music said...

could not resist one comment in answer to paul the chap i think he is refering to was raymond who was certainly a larger than life character i think there may be a book there and in retailing some people bring out the worst in one maybe 'anonymous' was one of these but hey did i miss him - i think not

Anonymous said...

Mike's shop will be missed forever by me. When all we have left is itunes i'll think back to the days when there were beautiful little shops like this run with a passion and excitment that a whole generation will never know. Tragic. We have have gained portability with the mp3 but we sure as hell have lost a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if this shop is already closed, I was planing to go there, look for some vinyls from Trance Syndicate :) I bought lots of good vinyls from him like 5 or 6 years ago, when I used to live in south London. Sad news indeed

Huey said...

Vernon at Unilet in New Malden keeps a bit of vinyl in stock I believe. Always worth an ask if you're looking for something in particular.

Alex said...

People have different ways to buy music now I'm afraid. I love the vinyls shop but i understand that technology has had a massive change in music industry. On digital shops this morning I've discovered : https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lullaby-single/id828956439

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