5 Aug 2016

"Strange Requests and Comic Tales from Record Shops" by Graham Jones

And the prize for most fitting book title goes to...
During his career as sales representative for various record companies, Graham Jones has visited more record stores in the UK than most people. Throughout his (mis)adventures he's been gathering up stories from the various store owners, managers and employees he has come across, and finally he has put all these in book form as Strange Requests and Comic Tales from Record Shops. It serves as a collection of lively stories of impossible guesswork, colourful characters and regulars, misheard lyrics, singing music fans and die hard employees.

Strange Requests... is above all a fun read, but I fear the humour will be lost on those who've never set foot in a record shop. As bathroom reading or coffee table litterature Jones' book is absolutely vital for any frequenter of music stores. Each little anecdote is like its own timepocket, a look into the heydays of the music industry.

"...you most certainly don't have to have been employed in the field to thoroughly enjoy Strange Requests..."

There's this notion that people working in the music business, particularly in record stores, come off as entitled snobs more interested in their music than their customers, and this book might strengthen that notion to some. As someone who has worked for almost four years in a record store, I can confirm that these incidents are widespread. It is, however, usually all in good fun, and you most certainly don't have to have been employed in the field to thoroughly enjoy Strange Requests...

As a former employee at a record shop I can definitely recognize many of these tales of requests that are completely bonkers. That's all in the nature of the music industry, and one of its many charms. Accompanied by the charming and amusing cartoons by artist Kipper Williams, Graham Jones' book is a fun and easy read I'd recommend to any music fan.


Released in 2013 by Proper Music Publishing


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