About Just Dropped In
Give us the background... when and why did you decide to open your store Just Dropped In?
I have a bit of history in record stores … I started as a Christmas temp at Our Price, Northampton in 1989. Then a year later moved up the road to Spinadisc, the best indie in Northampton, working for the lovely Dick and Penny Raybould. Those were fun times at Spinadisc, later going on to manage the Coventry and Rugby stores. But by 2001, times were changing. Sales, margin and footfall were all falling. So, I waved goodbye to working in record stores and found another way to make a living. Sadly, Dick and Penny closed the last Spinadisc in 2003.
I never lost the love of record stores; never been interested in buying online, I always tried to visit independent record stores wherever I was in the country. I take my hat off to stores like Resident, Brighton, they did such an amazing job of building a fantastic record shop during the tough times of the 2000s.
So fast forward 17 years after leaving Spinadisc and Coventry was still without an independent store and now destined to be the City of Culture for 2021.
I did a quick record shop tour of the country and nothing was going to stop me from that moment! With thanks to Adam at Jumbo and Graham at Proper, who were very generous with advice, I was ready to give it a go!
Within weeks Just Dropped In was open in a shipping container at FarGo Village, Coventry. Now 11 months later. I have moved into a much a larger store; in FarGo with room for bands to play and have some real fun!
It’s a fantastic old industrial building in FarGo with lots of natural light. We managed to fit-out the shop with second-hand tables, benches and recycled wood, then add thousands of records too.
All sort of people shop here, Coventry has a population of 370,000 people and with two great Universities too, Coventry is a diverse young city. It's not affluent, but music matters to people here. I am so grateful to the community in Coventry, they have been so generous in their desire to see the store succeed. I’m a lucky chap.
I try to make the music choices as diverse as possible, Indie, Funk, Punk, Jazz, Psych, Dub and beyond! I don’t do Soundtracks as Fantasia Records has a great store opposite. We love shouting about local bands too: Nim Chimskey are fab, Gunther Prague make a noise and The Primitives are still awesome.
It's mainly me who works here, but I have some amazing helpers Gary, Georgie and Ewan. The best part of owning your own record shop is that it doesn't feel like work. It's an absolute privilege to open the shop at 11am!
Pretty sure the first record I sold in the shop was Black Sabbath - Paranoid.
The last was Miles Davis - Kind of Blue.
The first record shop I went to was John Levers in Northampton, where I bought Blondie's Denis 7".
I have memories of skipping school lunches to have money to buy records and then searching through the bargain bins at Boots & WHSmith’s. Then as John Peel's influence on me grew, Spinadisc became my place to go. I used to worship the people behind the counter.
Finding early releases on Creation, Sub Pop and K Records definitely opened a whole new world for me.
Jumbo Records in Leeds because that store makes me happy. A great team and a treasure trove of all sorts of amazing tunes, of incredible variety … Fab!
I think there are some amazing stores out there. Before I opened, I went around lots of record shops like Forever, Specialist Subject, Drift and Banquet who are inspirational in their own way.
When managing Spinadisc Records, one day during opening hours, the speakers were removed and stolen … I didn’t notice! Come to think of it, it did seem to go a bit quiet! Later I looked on the video security and these guys were doing a human pyramid for ages swaying around the shop unscrewing the sound system.
It was a somewhat awkward conversation with the owner!
Pastels / Ride / Pale Saints / Teenage Fanclub (their first gig) ULU 1989 was great!
Dr Seuss - The Cat in the Hat
Everly Brothers: Walk Right Back
Only Ones: Another Girl Another Planet
Jonathon Richman: Affection
Sonic Youth: Teenage Riot
Yola Tengo: My Little Corner of the World
Jesus and The Mary Chain
Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra
Trini Lopez: If I Had a Hammer (Live)