supplied by Jim Breeds
John Gale… My dad purchased his first drum kit from The Disc Jockey, in 1956ish seen here…
photo supplied by John Gale
photo supplied by Leigh Kennedy
A great video from Andrew Clifton.
Alan Esdaile…..I can remember buying my first album from Jack. It was the ‘Bee Gees First’ and I paid 6d a week and he wrote the amount on the back of the sleeve until it was paid in full. I’ve still got it. As a kid ,I used to love looking in the window at all the record sleeves.
Jim Breeds….Lovely memories of the man. And I think the video I saw before didn’t have the memorial tribute tagged onto the end, though I had heard that elsewhere. Nice to see it again.
Graham Burfield….first album I got there was Cockney Rebel
Pete Fairless….I used to love the story of how he tracked down the album and went to collect it for you!
Chris Meachen…..Dear old Jack, He would occasionally come out with peculiar questions, like ‘Were you breast-fed?’ he was such a character
Jim Breeds….I mostly used record vouchers and birthday/christmas money when I was a kid and then when I was working from age 17 onwards I used to save up in my post office book 🙂 I particularly remember on one occasion I pre-ordered (as we now call it – I don’t remember that term being used in the ’70s?) a copy of the upcoming limited edition release of The Free Story LP, a best of compilation. I went to the shop on release day and you would have thought his Mum had just died. He was emotionally upset that he had been unable to source a copy due to overwhelming demand. He said he had tried everything, including phoning around to other record shops. He was still apologising for that some weeks late. What a character.
Mick O’Dowd….Jack &Sonia were one of life’s best. He actually sold me my first Dansette record player and knocked 2/6 off the price for my Mum ( God bless Her) as he suddenley found that a bit of the leather cloth was loose! it was precisely 1/8th inches wide. Great couple. He would always call me “Chiefy”. Did he call anyone else this?
Andrew Clifton…..Hello Jim, I’m Andrew’s brother, Steve. We knew Jack and Sonia for many years. We’d go to the Record Shop searching for nostalgic recordings. Unfortunately we missed his retirement in December 2006 and then of course his sad demise in June 2007. I took the video camera to the funeral to chronicle the event as he, Sonia, and The Record Shop became a significant part of Hastings social history. Fortunately the proceedings were light-hearted and sprinkled with anecdotes, so it became a ‘watchable’ record…so much that Sonia asked for several copies for friends and family.
Chris Russel…..Great to see this film of Jack and Son, but so sad to hear that they are both gone. When I worked at Swift in Bexhill in the 80’s and 90’s Jack would come in every Wednesday and buy stock. At first he used to arrive in an orange Morris Marina that was 90% rust but later would get the train over. As far as I know they never had any children but had several cats that Jack would refer to as ‘the kids’, the most famous of which was Monty. Occasionally I would pop into the shop on a Saturday and knew I would be in there at least an hour as Son would insist that I had at least one cup of tea and usually at least one cheese sandwich.
Lauren Gower….The best kind of record shop,along with Alans of course!just before they close they got me a copy of ‘songs for drella’-Lou reed,John cale…when i tried to order it in Hmv(of maybe it was virgin at the time),they asked me who Lou reed was!!! There are no words for that!
Andrew Clifton… Unfortunately Jack and Sonia. Didn’t have any children as for the railway films Jack took. I think a family friend has got them. We got a lot of records through Jack. Also from The Disc Jockey. Both Jack and Al were great people to know.
Sid Saunders… I got all my music from Jack, a true gentleman sadly missed.
Anyone remember this shop?
Pete Fisher… I don’t remember the shop, as I lived the other side of town, and went to the Disc Jockey, but I remember the prices, and how the 11d trick was used to make it look cheaper…
David Edwards… If you lived in Hastings you always shopped at Big Al’s the Disc Jockey.
Sheila Devine… Found this carrier bag in my attic recently
Pauline Richards… I remember big Al
Simon John Paul Ham… I redrew Big Al.
Jane Dorsett… I worked in Chelsea girl, which was opposite Disc Jockey, was always in there
Ralph Town… Al was a lovely bloke and his wife even more so. A real tragedy.
Dave Nattress… Hi Jane – you OK. Catch you soon. Chelsea Girl – remember it so well.
Hastings Pier, 187 Queens Road, 190 Queens Road, Grove Road Ore, Ponswood Ind Estate St Leonards.
Alan Esdaile… Now time for me to get a proper job.
Matt Thomas… I drove past earlier – something drew me to the place today.Sorry it’s come to this. End of an era as Masons Music closes it doors for the last time today, up until last year I had spent nearly 30 years at the place so very sad for me to hear today.
Chris Coleman… That must be a record
Jim Breeds… Really? Gosh. Best wishes for the next venture!
Colin Norton… Sorry to hear this, Alan! Hope that everything works out for you!
Tony May… Oh what a year this has been for you and for me. So sorry to hear this but not surprised in the current climate. If you can please pass on my condolences to all who have lost their jobs today. I may have left a long while ago but part of me shall always belong to Masons Music and the legacy that its existence played in what we all used to recognise as the music industry. Best wishes to you Alan – I will be in touch soon.
Jo Turner… Sorry to hear that
Virginia Davis… Good luck in your next venture
Diane Barton… Have the best memories 🙂 Fun times xxx
Ian Mantel… Every week on pay day in early 80’s I bought records.
Simon Payne… Masons Music played an important part in many of our Hastings lives. Sad to hear of it closing it’s doors today. Sad news Alan, I wasn’t with you long but still remember it fondly. Good luck for the future.
Anyone remember this shop next to Christ Church? I think it was mainly classical records but might be wrong?
Andy Qunta… Don’t actually remember this place.
Tony May… This is a really interesting find Alan! I certainly don’t ever remember a record shop in that position? Mind you, this is from 1972 so I would only have been 7 at the time. If this shop did exist it is faior to assume that it wasn’t in existence for many years. There was a record shop a bit further down on that side on the corner next to where the co-op is now in the 1980’s though. Can’t recall what it was called at the moment but I bought the ‘Candles’ album by Heatwave in there in 1981/2 shortly before it closed.
Clive Garrard… In about May 1973,on a day trip from Tonbridge,i bought “Sweet” -“Hellraiser” on a single in a record shop in London road,St Leonards.It was on the left hand side going up London road,before the large Church.Does anyone remember this shop?
Alan Esdaile… It was probably the above one, Clive.
Judie Struys.. I certainly do. I bought an album with my first ever pay packet. 1972 I think. It was Deep Purple in Rock. Played it over and over again. I can’t remember the name of the shop though.
photo 1 supplied by Clive Richardson, photo 2 supplied by Eva Neuke
Alan Esdaile… This is a shop I ran with Clive and yes we did sell knickers! First time ever I have seen this photo. Anyone remember the shop? What intrigues me is the red poster below the window. This is for The Village Glen Fern Road Bournemouth. Seems very odd to advertise it on the pier unless a local band was on the bill?
Matt Thomas… Still selling knickers as well 🙂
Diane Knight… My dad had a shop on the pier then , you must have been the competition …which side were you on ???
Alan Esdaile… The right hand side Diane. Next to the bookies. What did your dad sell?
Diane Knight… Silly hats and all those necessary things …he also built the model railway on the other side…
Phil Gill… I remember it well.
Nastassja Kaschevsky… Remember it well, when I used to work on the pier. I was working in the Dome on the pier, that summer!
Mick O’Dowd… Yes remember this well Alan. If I remember correctly you specialised in prog rock.
Alan Esdaile… Sold mainly deletions and american overstocks which you could make a bit more money on. The only trouble being the American imports either had a hole punched through them, corner cut or a sticker on the sleeve showing that the import duty had been paid.
Leigh Wieland-Boys… Still have a Yes LP Steve Demetris bought for me on one of our visits to the shop
Andre Palfrey-martin collection
Phil Gill….My grandfather bought me my first electric guitar from the Disc Jockey in 1969 – a Vox Super Ac, 27 guineas…wish I still had it.
Pete Fisher….bought my first singles here, later albums, sheet music, and my first decent acoustc, a 12-string, which was pretty hard to play.
Alan Esdaile ….I used to ring up all the time and see if any jobs were going but was unsuccessful, as Alan mainly wanted girls working in the shop. Mind you thinking about it now I was also turned down by Woolworth and The Green Shield Stamp shop!
Jim Breeds….Some of my vinyl LPs still have their plastic zip lock sleeves with “The Disc Jockey” printed on them.
Pete Fairless….I used to go to Woolies record dept. to buy singles from Louise (Illman?) but with the Disc Jockey, Stylus, Record Shop, Smiths aand Boots all selling records, there was usually never a problem getting a new release. For albums, The Disc Jockey and Stylus were best but with the back up that Jack would always be able to track down anything obscure. Remember this guy?
Andre Martin…..Having looked back in archive – I think this Big Al character did not appear until 1974, that’s the earliest record that I have, round about Christmas that year. I am sure if I had come across [him] it before I would have saved.
Jim Breeds… I was at school with Tony Harris. I used to ask him in the shop what he thought I should buy this week 🙂
Dave Luck… Us oldies certainly remember the Disc Jockey, a proper record shop, and always packed on a Saturday.
Philip Meston… I used to work with Tony Harris, not seen him for ages!
Andre Martin… It would be good to he a Blue Plaque on the site of the Disc Jockey shop at the Memorial end of Queens Road to remember Alan and all that he did for young people in the 1960s & 1970s. I know he was a business man, but a very generous man as I am sure we have all experienced.
Mick O’Dowd…. Totally agree
John Storer… Remember going in there and asking for “Sticky Fingers” and everyone bursting out laughing! Also remember buying “New Rose” by The Damned in late 76 … Alan had heard of “punk” but had decided to keep the 3 or 4 punk singles he had in a tupperware box behind the counter for some reason. However, once he realised there was a market for this stuff, he would get in just about any single you wanted, even though most were being released on obscure indie labels. Most Saturdays I would leave with 3-4 singles and bought classics from Slaughter & The Dogs, Ed Banger & The Nosebleeds as well as the more “established” punk bands. Bought “Anarchy In The UK” there the day it came out (I do hope my sister still has it … an acquaintance recently sold his copy for an astonishing£12,000) and remember playing the Buzzcocks “Spiral Scratch EP” pretty much non-stop for 48 hours 🙂 Tony Harris became a good mate around that time. Last heard, he was living in Cambridge.
Peter Gladwish… As well as going to the Disc Jockey on a regular basis, to listen to all the latest records, I bought my first 12-string guitar from Big Al (c.1968) and I’ve still got it. Yes, he started selling a few musical instruments to supplement the lack of income from record sales!!!