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Rick Wakeman's Caped Crusades: The Dream Record Shop

We’ve lost our record shops. We’ve also lost record companies as they used to be, and now apart from online you’re left with a limited choice in supermarkets and service stations.

Is the industry really that stupid to have allowed this to happen? It appears so.

Sales are minuscule compared to what they were back in the 70s and 80s, and by losing our record shops, we have lost that wonderful experience of flicking through row after row of albums, reading the covers, and walking out of the shop with something we weren’t expecting to find.

So what’s my dream record shop? We have the capability to store millions of tracks these days. XM Radio started this in America years ago and gave people a choice of what they wanted to listen to.

So listen up record companies. Form a partnership and open loads of record shops all over the country. Have a certain amount of stock, as there always was, but have areas where you can sit at a computer, choose the tracks you want and have them made into a CD for you while you wait, with all the relative track information done on a cover as well. It’s all quick and easy to do, and the technology is there to immediately sort out the various royalty payments necessary. It’s not rocket science.

Have headphone listening areas. Coffee shops, bars, maybe even small performance sections where bands can play. Make it truly interactive.

Music used to be social in every respect. The internet has taken that away.

Back in the 70s, rock music sort of related to those up to the age of 40. Now it’s 90…

The PGA – the Professional Golfers’ Association – recognised this in their sport and formed the Senior’s PGA, which is now huge. Thankfully we have Classic Rock and Prog, so have a rethink, record companies, and be labels again.

Well, I really enjoyed that moan. I’m not usually this serious, of course, so I’ll finish with a gag.

I always inspect my body, especially now I’m a pensioner, and last week, after discovering a mole on the end of my ‘old chap’, I went to the doctor. He examined it carefully and then said, “I’ll remove it this time for you, but I have to warn you that if it happens again, I will have to report you to the RSPCA…”