I started working at Island Records in 1978, after spending the previous four years selling records out of the back of a van for Transatlantic and laterally ABC Records. They were a glorious four years and worthy of their own blog so I will waste no further time here, suffice to say many friends were made along the way. Even though Manchester was far from the city it is now I have very fond memories from that decade many of which have, and will continue to appear both in this blog and my ‘soon come’ book.
So many things happened in my life in that time, getting married, setting up home and embarking on one hell of a professional road trip that took my hobby to my workplace…..none of which I could ever have dreamed of in the sixties. I just thought buying records and going to see bands would be what I did with the cash from my job…..whatever that job might be. I never worried then about having a job, I just didn’t have a clue what job. It’s funny though, looking back I wonder if I hadn’t stumbled in to the music business, what would I have done!
My first day at Island was one hell of a day……I won’t recount it because I’m sure it’s there in the earlier blogs, but I’ll revisit it and proceed accordingly. That day must surely have it’s day,either way !
As previously mentioned 1978, my day job at Island was how I met Tony Wilson. After starting the Factory club in Hulme that same year, Tony got the bug…..he decided he wanted a label. Punk, So it Goes and the whole host of people he met along the way made it a must for him so with long time friend Alan Erasmus, designer pal Peter Saville who had studied in Manchester, and the bizarre genius that was Martin Hannett…… a legend was born. In 1979 Factory Records, or to be more exact Alan’s flat swung open it’s door. They were open for business….. though probably no idea quiet what business, and the subsequent arrival of one of our generations most seminal bands, Joy Division.
Tony had coerced me in to coming down to the Factory club and once I’d gone I was only too happy to return. I remember working the B52′s when they played there..brilliant night, but before long all attention was focused on the label. If I went in to Granada TV to see Tony about the bands I was working and he wasn’t there, I knew where to find him. It got to where, depending on the time of day I would know his whereabouts…… and as Factory was situated halfway between my office and where I lived, I could call in either on my way to work or on my way home.
It wasn’t long before I’d call in regularly once or twice a week……and then one Sunday at a cricket match in Ashley in Cheshire I spoke to Tony about maybe how he should think about promoting his records. I remember it well, it was the tea interval.