My name’s Marc & I opened Hey Joe in Brentwood, Essex in Feb 2020. I grew up around record shops, with my parents owning their own chain back before I was born through to my early teens. Naturally my first weekend job at 18 was in our local hmv, which was meant to be for a gap year that accidentally lasted a couple of decades. I decided I wanted to focus on the side that was always of most interest to me & wanted to create something where people would want to spend time, so in early 2019, following a spark of encouragement from my Dad, the idea for Hey Joe Music & Coffee was born.
Opening my own store has 100% been the best thing I’ve ever done & has allowed me to re-explore my own music history & expand my own tastes, while also having the time now to have engaging chats about music with all the lovely folks of Brentwood.

Our customers are all wonderful, supportive & patient, it’s genuinely unlike anything I’ve experienced or expected before opening, but almost every person who has walked through our door has been really lovely. We’ve got a range of most genres in store, and decided we would forgo the traditional genre-ising of our A-Zs, instead having all our catalogue in one big A-Z.  I’d love to have a few more Metal & Hip-Hop customers though, mainly so I’ve got someone to talk to about that stuff. Other than the record side of things, we also have a relaxing, comfy café area & occasional acoustic live music afternoons. Our staff are all family (literally), with my girlfriend Sarah helping me at the shop & online, as well as my sister Lucy covering at the shop so I can have a day off sometimes, as well as helping my Mum doing all of our Homemade Cakes & Desserts that we sell in the store..

The first album sold on our opening day was Portishead’s Dummy (am chuffed to be able to say that), and the last was a copy of White Blood Cells about an hour ago. A particular highlight was selling 8 copies of the Slowdive Blue Day compilation, it felt like a noticeable % of the 3000 pressed & helped me feel like I had a proper record shop here.

That would have to be my parent’s chain of shops ‘Sgt Peppers’, particularly the Ilford & East Ham branches I spend a lot of time in after school & on weekends.  I have a foggy memory of a toddler me wanting to help “the Robin Hood song” stay at number one, so forced my Dad to contribute to Bryan Adams record breaking success. The first thing a teenage me bought though was Americana by The Offspring on CD, and my first LP was an original pressing of Blondie’s Parallel Lines. My music taste today is horribly indefinable these days, but a big part of the foundation definitely comes from Sgt Peppers, be it knowing who Shalamar were at 6 thanks to a PA I happened to be at, hearing about branch manager Kevin’s best friend Norman Cook for years or going to see Eric Clapton, The Eagles & more before I’d hit puberty.

Resident in Brighton was where I bought most things when I lived there a few years ago & is a reason that I still visit Brighton occasionally.

I was working in hmv Selfridges one afternoon that saw Noel Gallagher & Paul Weller come in together, who bumped into Ricky Gervais & Jonathon Ross who were in together, all while Sarah Harding was queuing at the till, oh & they all just missed Liam Howlett & an Appleton.

This will be our first one & we can’t wait!

Sheer Enjoyment: Daft Punk in Hyde Park / Sheer Storytelling Smugness: Prince at Koko

Of Mice & Men / Watchmen / the strategy guide to Final Fantasy 7 (sorry had to get a game in here somewhere)

Almost Famous / Logan / Back To The Future

Roisin Murphy – Overpowered / Pearl Jam – Ten / The Cure – Disintegration / Jimmy Eat World – Chase This Light / The Raveonettes – In & Out Of Control

Nirvana / Tom Petty / Daft Punk / Bruce Springsteen / Jay Z / Wu Tang Clan / Dre & Eminem / Jimmy Eat World / Green Day / Audioslave / Soulwax (plus a bonus late night 2manydjs set) / QOTSA (Songs For The Deaf lineup) & Tom Waits

Pearl Jam – Ten / The Cure – Disintegration