About David's Music
Give us the background... when and why did you decide to open a record shop?
Ashlie: It’s a long story, the beginnings of which neither of us were around for – but the quick(ish) version is: David’s Bookshop was established in early 1963 and began selling records within their first year.
After building up a large selection of used 78s, 7” singles and LPs they began holding the now legendary monthly auctions from the famous Spirella building in Letchworth.
By then, the shop was selling new records as well as second-hand and by 1974 was out-growing the unit they had occupied for over 10 years. 1975 saw the opening of a dedicated music department at David's. By 1984, Andy had joined the ranks and David’s had become the first port of call in the area for post-punk new wave, alternative music and the new indie scene.
I (Ashlie) joined in 2009 at the crest of the vinyl revival wave, as Record Store Day was in its infancy and in true David’s fashion, I strive to improve our selection, reach and overall profile.
The shop has seen a lot of changes over the years, adapting to suit the market, but at the heart of it remains a shop that’s lead by a love of music; new and old, local community and a passion for the vinyl format that has never wavered.
Ashlie: The beauty of David’s Music (I think) is the broadness of its appeal. We sell every genre of music on CD and vinyl, both new and second0hand. We’re just as enthusiastic about the new Kurt Vile album as we are about a second-hand copy of Led Zeppelin I that’s come in, in mint condition! We’ve got a nice bunch of loyal & regular customers, the kind that feel like friends, whose varying tastes and (sometimes) strange requests keep us on our toes.
Ashlie: Ugh, I can’t remember the first one – that’s bad isn’t it? I remember the first Mumford and Sons album was huge the year I started, so it could have been that. And I’ve just sold the Goatman record, ‘Rhythms’ (which is really good!).
Andy: I remember the first ‘big’ album I pre-ordered, which was Duran Duran – Seven and the Ragged Tiger. I might have ordered a hundred… it took a while to sell them!
Do you remember the first record shop you went to? And you do you remember the first record you bought?
Ashlie: FL Moore in Hitchin, which is sadly no longer around. I remember buying ‘K’ by Kula Shaker with birthday money. I spent a lot of time in that shop, at their listening post specifically!
What is your favourite record shop (apart from your own!) and why?
Ashlie: There are so many great record shops, and both of us try to search them out wherever we are. Monorail in Glasgow is always a treat and I love Hot Vinyl Vault in the Holt – every time I’ve been in there, I’ve found a gem.
Andy: Sadly, no longer in existence The Record Shop in Hitchin was where I spent far too many hours in my mid to late teens. Selling Hi-Fi too and with old school Listening Booths, there was much to keep the attention of young and old record lovers alike.
Ashlie: Most of the best moments have happened here at David’s! When you get some of your favourite bands/artists to come and play in the shop, it’s like having a gig in your own living room. For me, Wolf People playing here was really special. Not only are they one of my favourite bands, but it was also one of the first in-stores that I organised too!
Andy: We’ve been very lucky to able to attract some of our personal favourite artists to the store which has become fond memories. Graham Gouldman of 10cc played here on RSD 2017 and we’ve had Kristin Hersh playing and reading when she was over from the U.S. a few years ago.
Having Neil Hannon as Divine Comedy and then later as part of Duckworth Lewis Method playing in the shop was also a massive coup. Most memorable though for its sheer madness was our Hadouken! in-store, with an over-crowded shop and much moshing it could have gone horribly wrong but we just about got away with it. Myself and our rep Jacqui were holding on to the PA speakers for dear life and young children were being pulled from the front for their own safety!
Ashlie: Either Biffy Clyro at Mean Fiddler or Pond at Cargo.
Andy: House Of Love at the ICA in 1989
Ashlie: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Andy: Harpo Speaks! By Harpo Marx
Ashlie: These are impossible, but I’m going with Empire Records. It’s the reason I wanted to work in a record shop!
Andy: Brazil. Terry Gilliam’s futuristic masterpiece with a stellar cast
Ashlie: The Beatles – Revolver / Small Faces – Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake / Elliott Smith – Figure 8 / Sufjan Stevens – Illinois / Janko Nilovic – Soul Impressions / Tool – Aenima / Ty Segall – Manipulator
Andy: The Cure – Faith / Orange Juice – The Orange Juice / Prefab Sprout – Jordan The Comeback / Lilac Time – Astronauts / Divine Comedy – Fin De Scielce / The Smiths – Meat Is Murder / Genesis – Foxtrot / ELO – Out Of The Blue / Supertramp – Crime Of The Century/ 10cc – 10cc. And I’d need a few hundred others too!!
Ashlie: Led Zeppelin / Biffy Clyro / Tool / Tame Impala / Pond
Andy: The Cure / Oasis / The Smiths / Jimi Hendrix / Talking Heads / Prince
Ashlie: That’s almost impossible to answer – but the one that sticks is always Revolver by the Beatles.
Andy: 10cc - Sheet Music