A Band Of Angels – Hastings Collage 30th October 1964 by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… As its Halloween at the moment, if we think back – this is about the college, here is something that I know will be of interest to many, On Friday evening 30th October 1964, in the old Gymnasium at the College in Archery Road, we held our Halloween Dance – Top of the Bill, A Band of Angels, featuring Mike d’Abo and the supporting band whose name slips my memory for the moment, bass guitar one Noel d’Abo [ student and well known member of the college]. We do not have any press adverts for this, but I have found the following press cutting from the local Observer, about a visit made by the group to AJs show in Queens Road. I am sorry the photo is very dark, but Mike can just be seen in the back row.

Remembering Alan Jensen Disc Jockey Record Shop – by Tony May for Hastings Town Magazine

Remembering Alan Jensen (‘Big Al’ And The ‘DJ’).

In the early 1970’s a local businessman-Johnny Hodgson, owned a record shop in the Old Town of Hastings entitled ‘The Disc Jockey’. The shop was doing very well but Hodgson had other business interests (like the promotion of bands on Hastings Pier) and these were beginning to take up more and more of his time. Johnny decided to put an advert in the local paper for someone to help him run the shop. Alan Jensen (at this point working for Courts) applied for and got the job. Hodgson and his wife (who ran a hairdressers shop in the Old Town) were well known locally and Johnny had political ambitions. In 1972 those political ambitions became a reality when Johnny was duly elected as a Hastings Councillor. Seeing his chance, Alan Jensen offered to buy Johnny out of the shop. His offer was accepted and the pair went their separate ways.

A larger than life character and a born showman, Alan soon managed to make a success of ‘The DJ’ (as it became more commonly known) and swiftly set about moving premises to a more central position in Hastings at the bottom of Queens Rd. For a short time, the shop was renamed ‘The Disc Jockey +1’ but Jensen had another way in mind about how to stamp his personality upon the shop… the invention of ‘Big Al’ – a caricature ‘mascot’ of Jensen himself (the medallion around the ‘creatures’ neck featured the words ‘I Like Big Al’).

‘Big Al’ was a massive success and gave the shop a unique (and very memorable) image. ‘Big Al’ appeared in all the shops newspaper advertisements and on all of the shops printed bags. With his beautiful and glamorous wife Sue at his side, Alan swiftly established ‘The DJ’ as the most popular and trendy place to buy your records in Hastings. A chart of the DJ’s best selling singles and albums appeared weekly in The Hastings Observer and regular ‘competitions and give-aways’ ensured that another smiling picture of Alan (along with the latest winner/s) was frequently in print. In short, Alan Jensen was not just a flamboyant and confident character he was a fine businessman.

Then of course there was the shop’s staff. As conclusively proven by his wife Sue, Alan was definitely a man with an eye for the ladies and invariably the shop would have a bevy of beauties behind the counter. While in today’s day and age such a practice might be frowned upon, (like the similar period practice of offering ladies free entry to nightclubs) it certainly ensured that the DJ was frequented by most of the young male record buyers in the town… including me!

It is worth mentioning here also that in the 70’s and 80’s competition to The DJ was fierce and there was at least 8-10 places (not including second hand outlets) in Hastings town centre alone where you could buy records, tapes (and latterly cd’s)..

Read moreRemembering Alan Jensen Disc Jockey Record Shop – by Tony May for Hastings Town Magazine

The Disc Jockey – Poly Bag , chat & 8 track cartridges

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Pete Fisher… spent a lot of time in the listening booth on Saturday afternoons, 1968-74!

Virginia Davis…  I think I still have some of my records in the Disc Jockey bags

Jim Breeds… So do I 🙂

Nick Prince… I  like Big Al, comes to mind.

Clare Bennett… I think we all must have spent some time in there.

Alan Pepper… Can I go back in time to about 1973 and buy a dozen albums from big Al’s Disc Jockey shop ? I know which ones I’d buy – what about you ?

Kevin Towner…I spent far too many hours – and far too much money here over the years!!

Anyone remember 8 track cartridges…

A-primo-selectionsupplied by http://doyouremember.com/happy-national-eight-track-tape-day/

Anyone got any photos of The Disc Jockey?  Here’s a partial shot with Wards next door. Photo by Chris Meachen.

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photo by Chris Meachen 

Phil Gill…Bought my first electric guitar from the 2 Queens Road shop, a peach coloured Vox Super Ace. 27 guineas in 1969. Roger Carey and Chris Meachen will remember it. Life doesn’t get much better than a peach coloured electric guitar when you’re 13 years old.

Jane Hartley… Loved that shop, but my guitar came from Stylus, never did learn to play it!!!!!

Alan Jensen Disc Jockey Record Shop with one half of Peter & Gordon.

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Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

Jim Hobbs…..Cool photo

Andre Martin…..This was taken in the old shop in Queens Road, does anybody recall the name of the young lady in the picture, she worked in the shop.

Jim Breeds…. Cool picture, still have all my 7″ singles, including “World Without Love”. Please lock me away

Mick Knights….Nice to see that Alan made the effort to tidy up the counter before the vist. Still have a few “I love big Al” dust covers. Does anyone remember the cartoons that Alan used to draw and put in the shop window to illustrate new single releases, I particulary recall one, where a performer was between two electric sockets and neither the guitar or amp lead would reach, the single was of course Elvis Presley and surrender!

Alan Esdaile….Your right Mick, a bit of a mess but I bet Alan knew where everything was. I was one of those customers that would go in and ask for something bizarre that I’ve just heard on Radio Luxembourg but Alan always managed to track down and get what I wanted. His music knowledge and memory was great and likewise the same can be said about Jack London.

Jim Breeds….Have you seen the video of Jack in his shop talking to a customer?

Alan Esdaile…. did post it awhile ago but will post again, as interesting for new people here.

Andre Martin…..Two great record shops and characters within a few yards of each other – we were so lucky.

Jim Breeds….We were indeed.