Like many other lost souls, I traipsed to my local independent record shops today on the hunt for several "exclusive" "one day only" gems from my much-dug favourites. As Newcastle had no fewer than three stores participating in the promotion, I thought I had a decent chance of tracing the records I desired. And so it proved: only the Rolling Stones' 45 proved impossible to source.
So you'd expect me to be happy. I'm not.
For the pleasure and privilege of owning a small handful of 7" and 12" singles, I'm going to have to live on gruel and watta for the rest of the month. This is because I was charged between £6 and £14(!) per single. I passed on my LP choice (Syd) when I saw a price tag of £22 attached to a single album's worth of songs (on two records, but still only a single album's worth) I already had umpteen times over. By the time my wallet had suffered the cost of those singles, I couldn't afford it anyway.
There's no-one more committed to keeping my local indie record shops alive than me, but I'm feeling more than a little ripped off (and pissed off) at the prices I was charged today. No doubt the shops' prices reflected the high cost prices imposed by the "struggling" music industry, but I feel overcome by the harsh stench of greed which permeated each premises.
You pays your money and you takes your choice, of course. And I did just that. But I feel immensely dissatisfied and short-changed by the appalling value for money of a fairly unexceptional clutch of records, whatever their rarity.
Maybe I'm supposed to feel exonerated by the fact that I've done my bit to keep my local record stores alive. A pox on that. At those prices I'll be bankrupt before they are.
And, no doubt, many of the one day exclusives will remain on the shelves long after today, just like last year's Soft Machine release which was still in the racks this afternoon.