Wednesday morning, October 2003, somewhere in west-central London
The BT technician had just left the flat. Finally, the internet connection had been restored and upgraded to 2Mb. After almost 48h without a connection, the return to civilization was a great relief. His flat-mate had fallen into an internet coma for the last 2 weeks and the lack of internet connectivity had made him a bit quirky.
He left the flat and walked to the tube station. J* would be meeting him outside the Bond Street HMV store. Last night at the local pub J was telling him that a new vinyl section had been introduced at HMV with second hand vinyl and recent represses. At first he thought it was the lager talking, but J never bullshitted about 2 things: football and vinyl, so it was worth the shot. After all, he would be paying a visit to BM records anyway; HMV would be a minor deviation.
J was late as always, so he decided to enter HMV by himself. After checking the A-Z d’n’b cd section rather indifferently, he headed for the vinyl racks. He started skimming through the records when suddenly time stopped! The Holy Grail, the record he was after for so many years (more about that in part 4) was before his eyes. He lifted it in the air like Maradona lifted the World Cup in Mexico and felt his heart beating in frenzy rates. The condition of the record and the cover was near mint and the price was ridiculous; 1.99£ for a record he was once willing to pay 50 times that price. Life can be funny at times…
He was so ecstatic that the only thing that mattered at the time was to pay for it at the cashier and get out. He left the store almost running, when he bumped into J who was just getting off the bus. J didn’t bother to apologize for being late, since it took him no more than 3 seconds to realize that his friend had completely lost track of time. They both headed for a beer at the pub in the corner and then off to D’ Arblay street.
BM Records was packed at that time of day. Two of his childhood heroes (JJF and RB) were there chatting with the store owner and a young lad was placing the flyers and posters of the weekend beside the counter. He could not focus, nor wait for his turn to listen to a handful of promos J had already picked. He had to go home and listen to the new diamond of his collection. J bought the promos and they both left.
They walked down Ox. Street making their night plans. It was Wednesday, and it was Swerve night! He had attended Swerve the previous week for the first time and overwhelming would be an understatement. Taking place at his favourite London venue (The End), it was a weekly gathering of all the big dogs of the scene, where you could listen to the most fresh beats, watch the crème-de-la-crème of the British pop and underground music dancing and socializing (from Boy George to Goldie) and see young lads handing cds to the djs hoping for a breakthrough and a brighter day. It was the place to be and wouldn’t miss it for the world.
About two months ago, he had no idea that all of this was actually happening. Now he was part of it; in a lesser extent, but still part of it. Life can be funny at times…
* J had been a bedroom dj and a really good one, but was extremely shy when sober, hence he never made a breakthrough nor lived up to his potential. Now, he’s married with 2 kids, has given away his record collection and has never attended a party for the last 5 years