Sunday, 13 March 2016

THE CHORD IS LOST AND THE PEWTER HAS GONE TO POT...



In the West End of Glasgow was once a pub called The
PEWTER POT.  Some years back, a pal of mine did stints as
a deejay there from time to time and occasionally I'd help him
set up his stuff, then I'd go for a stroll for an hour or so around
that area of 'The Dear Green Place'.  Sadly, when I was in the
neighbourhood a couple of weeks or so back, I noticed that
The Pewter Pot had been demolished and Student ac-
commodation was being erected on the site.


On my way back to the pub after my perambulations,
I'd usually pass a record shop called LOST CHORD.  It was
the kind of place that leapt right out at you, because of the way
the exterior of the premises was decorated.  If I was ever in the
shop on a daytime visit I can no longer recall, but if I was, it was
only once.  I passed it quite a few times 'though, and sometimes
stopped to look in the window to see what was on offer
within.  The place had character.


On the same day that I noticed The Pewter Pot was no
more, I also discovered that Lost Chord had likewise fallen
to a similar fate.  It's still a record shop, but under a new name
and owner - and with a brand-new look both inside and out.  In
fact, at first I didn't click it was the same premises until the pal I
was with informed me of the fact.  Apparently, the original pro-
prietor, after being there for many years, accepted an offer
for the place and Lost Chord ceased to be around the
4th or 5th of September last year.


I've borrowed the accompanying photos from Lost
Chord's FACEBOOK page, so I trust they won't mind me
using them to lament the passing of a Glasgow icon.  I bought a
DOLLY PARTON 12" single from the new shop, as the cover
was just too enticing to resist.  I think it had a Lost Chord price
label on it, perhaps being old stock the previous proprietor had
abandoned.  If so, I'm glad to have a wee souvenir of a shop
one simply couldn't ignore upon catching sight of it.
Anyone got any memories of the place?


And, in case you were wondering, below is what The Pewter
Pot looked like.  Actor DUNCAN MacRAE performed the
opening ceremony and pulled the first pint in 1955.


Photo of the opening in 1955

Wait, don't run off.  Below is the record I bought a couple
of weeks or so ago from Lost Chord's successor.  What can
I say?  How about "Well, hello Dolly!"?

17 comments:

Philip Crawley said...

Though I've never been to Scotland (but intend to visit in the next couple of years on a return to the UK) I can't recount any experiences in connection with this establishment - but as there are, or have been (past tense unfortunately, more often than not)many around the world, I can recall record shops here that I used to frequent. My music tastes formed in the late 60s and into the early 70s as I became addicted to the exhuberent, eclectic and diverse sounds that came out of those times and fed that addiction by haunting a few shops such as this one that looked very much like this once you stepped inside. Racks and racks of vinyl with album covers and posters adorning the walls and eye-catching window displays and signage. Before the 'product' became so compartmentalised, generic and no longer to my tastes. These places had a real character and atmosphere that the bland record chains of today seriously lack. The peole running the old establishments really knew their stuff and lived the music, now it's just a job for some guy or gal in a black t-shirt with the odd piercing and a tatt or two. I saw (and recommend) a documentary on Tower Records in the US a couple of weeks ago that documents the rise of one such 'old school' record chain and it really brought back memories. It's like a link to your past is severed when these places go out of business. Things change, especially in retail where the 'bottom line' rules , but at least in my case and I'm sure in yours, if you hung onto all of that vinyl then that link is not entirely lost. This must be about the longest comment I've left here but music is a subject I feel the most passionate about so this post really struck a 'chord' with me!

Graham said...

Record stores are a dying breed, Kid. I posted about it on my blog awhile back. Bookstores are, too. I used to spend many an hour in those stores, thumbing through albums or discs, or reading through paperbacks of Conan, Edgar Rice Burroughs' various characters, Doc Savage, etc... Whenever I went shopping with the missus, I'd usually bail out and hit one or the other of those stores while she did her shopping. Now, whenever I can find one of either (not the big chain stores, that are dying out too, but the local establishments), I really try to make up for lost time.

Kid said...

It made an impact on people out on the street and drew their attention, PC, so I'll miss that whenever I stroll along the street from now on. The guy who owned the shop started in the '70s in different premises, I believe, but moved into these ones around '91 or so. The street just won't seem the same without that distinctive shop front. I've kept all my vinyl records, but also bought CD versions of them as they're quicker and easier to play. There IS something about the business of taking the inner sleeve out of the LP cover 'though, removing the record and placing it on the turntable. Some companies have started making CDs look like records now, which I heartily approve of.

******

The shop is still a record shop, G, but even 'though it's far tidier and less cluttered, it doesn't call out in the same way as the previous shop front did. I think the original guy would still be there if not for being made an attractive offer he felt he'd be a fool to refuse. He's selling his stock online now, and I think he attends record fayres and the like. In my town, Waterstones and HMV are right next to one another, but they don't quite have the charm of the smaller places. I used to love Southsea and Portsmouth for all the old bookstores they had. I don't know if it's still the case because I haven't been down there in about 20 years. Hopefully it's still the same.

Graham said...

I went to the record store in the local mall during Christmas and they seem to have an identity crisis....they can't decide whether they sell records, or DVDs, or t-shirts, or movie/comic book memorabilia. The stores I liked the best were like the one you described, cluttered and more personal. Bookstores are the same way for the most part. There's one book store within driving distance that sells only books.

I write album reviews for a couple of sites, so I receive promotional copies for the most part these days. What I buy of my own, I get online. I can't find what I listen to in a chain store. Same story with books. All those great books I grew up reading are hard to find anywhere except online. I really miss going to those old places and just discovering something new and going out on a limb making a purchase.

Kid said...

For new stuff, I usually buy from modern shops, but for old stuff, I usually buy from eBay. I think that's why the older places are getting few and far between. Why pay the overheads on a shop when you can sell your stock online to a wider customer base? (That's what Lost Chord are doing now.) It would be good if the old and the new, the small and the large could co-exist 'though.

Arfon Jones said...

Keep the memories precious sir

Kid said...

Thanks, AJ. They're all precious to me.

paul Mcscotty said...

I was talking to the owner of the "Last Chord" early last year and he said then he was packing in as there was no money in LPs etc anymore as downloads, music steaming sites had killed his industry etc. Anyway I wanted a few CDs (soul / rock folk /blues) that weren't priced (good stuff Solomon Burke, Credence Clearwater Revival, BB King etc) so I asked him for a price, he looked at me and said "CD they’re worth all but £1.50 each to you…” the after looking at the titles/artists said “Ah good stuff make that £1 as you have some taste most folk want Phil Collins rubbish ..... etc" made me laugh!

Saying that his shop was way to cluttered and you could never see the stock he had (not as mad as “Futureshock “ was for comics but not much better) and he had some great stuff if you’re not into mainstream /chart music or even is into classic pop stuff – glad it’s still going even if it is under new management. I miss “Lost in Music “ in Glasgow A legendary music shop but there are still a few dotted around the UK.

Kid said...

I'm not sure if I was ever in 'Lost In Music', McS, but there are quite a few shops I miss in Glasgow - and elsewhere. According to the 'Lost Chord' Facebook page, the guy is still going to sell online and attend the odd record fayre, etc. Considering he didn't open until 1p.m. and was (I think) closed on Thursdays, he could probably have increased his chances by keeping more traditional shop hours. Were you ever in The Pewter Pot?

paul Mcscotty said...

I cant recall even seeing the "Pewter Jug" Kid and I m a bit of a pub guy (not so much drinking waaaayyy to much beer I just like visiting different pubs for a quick pint now and then).

Lost in Music was close to Arthurs in Cresswell a great place for good quality vinyl records (and CDs etc) at decent prices. Yeah sadly a lot of the old haunts are going or gone great when someone like you reminds me of them as I forget them so quickly now.

Kid said...

'The Pewter Jug'? I don't recall seeing that either, McS - you're inventing your own pubs now! Your ambition is obviously to one day own your own licensed premises, eh? I've added a photo of 'The Pewter Pot', don't know if you've noticed it yet. It was a different exterior colour scheme at the time it closed 'though. If 'Lost In Music' was close to Artur's then it's more than likely I was in it from time to time.

paul Mcscotty said...

Gawd no I would hate to own / manage a pub the very thought of all those drunk idiots arghh! - I just really enjoy visiting the good pubs for a wee a pint though (my favourite is "The Curlers Rest" in Byres road and not too far away from "City Centre comics" and the Subway back to the city centre.

Kid said...

I'll maybe give 'The Curlers Rest' a try next time I'm in, McS. Looked the place up and it seems to get good reviews for the grub. Me and a pal will probably be in the West End tomorrow, so I'll suggest it to him.

Dougie said...

I only had a pint in the Pewter Pot once: in the early 2000s, I think. Nonetheless, I was sorry to hear more soulless student digs are being thrown up. Those Soviet-style constructions sap the West End of its character.

I bought a few records from the Lost Chord: the Rain Parade's first album in the mid-80s. My best friend at the time and I often mooched around there -and Echo on Byres Road- on Saturdays. But as with Futureshock above, I always found it more of a chore than he did, with the volume of stock.

I was a regular customer of Lost in Music (again from the mid-80s) and in the late 90s, I got a number of rare Dr. Who videos there. The art store that replaced it latterly closed too circa 2012, I think. I bought a nice print of Byres Road there.

Elgin has a record shop in the traditional vein, with secondhand cds and selling both traditional instruments and Goth paraphernalia but it downsized a couple of years ago.

I can remember my mum buying Spanish Eyes by Al Martino in a record shop in EK's Olympia Arcade. Was that a branch of Impulse?

Kid said...

That was 'Rockabilly Records' in Alexandra Arcade (as it was then called), Dougie, and I remember buying 'A Spaceman Came Travelling' by Chris De Burgh (and other records) from there when it first came out. (Still got it too.) My first job after leaving school was in 'The Four As' in the Arcade; I lasted a month before moving on to pastures new. Strangely, in memory, it seems like I was there for much longer.

Dunsade Dave said...

I'm pretty sure Lost in Music was the shop I mentioned on a previous post where I blew the cash I made selling some Silver Age Marvels to Arthur's Comics. They sold loads of really cheap vinyl albums, which was an affordable way for my younger self to discover loads of music I'd never heard before. Embarrassingly, I think I bought Jonathan King's Greatest Hits on vinyl there too, but let's not feel l dwell on that. ..

Kid said...

Fret not, DD, we've all done things like that. In the mid-'70s I bought his single, 'Lazy Bones' 'cos I'd heard it played on the radio. Didn't know who he was, had never heard of him before, but we all know what he was getting up to back then now, don't we?

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