It’s funny in High Fidelity; not so funny in real life.
And for all the reasons that physical retailers are going extinct, the snooty staffer is unfortunately still one. Here’s an impassioned comment that popped up recently in the Guardian, one that firmly challenges the ‘hagiography’ surrounding physical record stores.
I am growing tired of your constant hagiography of record shops. I have been buying records for 30 years and since the day I foolishly asked for a copy of ‘Love Song’ by The Damned “with Dracula on the cover” (it was lead singer Dave Vanian), I have been sneered at, patronised, ignored and looked down on – not any easy feat when you are 6ft 3in tall.
In contrast to the mystical palaces depicted by your writers, I have found record shops to be untidy and dysfunctional, and the patrons to be accordingly surly, arrogant and disingenuous. Opening hours are obscure and changeable. Prices are vague and often improvised (always upwards – and there are always one or two choice records tantalisingly on view behind the counter, but which are heartbreakingly “not for sale”). Boxes are left unsorted and the racks of vinyl packed so tightly and inaccessibly that I have been left with the gnarled hands of a farm labourer and permanent bad back.
I have now found a record shop that is always open, reasonably priced, well ordered and infinitely varied. It’s called the internet.
Whitby, North Yorkshire