Thursday 2 February 2023

Record Collection Recollections #5: Charity Cheek

I was off work for the last couple of weeks, dealing with the bureaucratic bunglings that accompany a bereavement. The last doctor to see my dad alive was off ill, so his death was referred to the coroner. There was lots of back and forth in order to get a death certificate sorted so that the funeral could go ahead as planned last Thursday (it did, thankfully). On top of that, the DWP (an initialism that always makes me picture Ian Paisley) recorded my dad's date of death on my mum's pension account, then tried to deny having done so and blame the mistake on "an external agency". Being that they were the only government agency I'd informed at this point, that was impossible. But once again, it took rather a lot of sorting out.

To take my mind off such matters, I went on a brief tour of the area's lesser-visited charity shops. It looked like slim pickings for a while (as opposed to Slim Pickens: I would have happily bought a copy of his 1977 album if I'd come across it); the first couple of shops I visited didn't have any CDs at all!

After a while, things started to improve. Hard times have forced me to sell off large sections of my CD collection over the years, so I'm always on the look out for cheap replacements... or even better, things I've never owned before. I hit a pretty good seam towards the end of my expedition, including albums by Michelle Shocked, the U.S. Girls, Cud, Kate Rusby, Lou Reed, Loretta Lynn, Emiliana Torrini and - best of all! - Gavin Osborn! Charity Chic would be proud.

I had a couple of amusing experiences along the way, including the lady who asked a colleague how much the CDs were (£1 each) who then tried to charge me £2 for an excellent condition copy of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds because it's a 2 disc album.  I would have paid it, to be honest, but her colleague soon stamped down on that. And then, in the very last shop I visited (where I picked up some like-new compilations by Josh Rouse, Van Halen, Prince and John Fogerty), the young girl behind the counter was also unsure what to charge. I showed her the sign that clearly read "£1 each - 2 for £1.50" which soon cleared that up. As I was handing over my cash, she smiled and explained, "we don't sell a lot of these DVDs anymore".

Young people nowadays, eh? They don't even know a CD from a DVD... what hope is there?

Here's a track from the best of the bunch...


  1. I am indeed impressed The number of charity shops not selling CDs seems to be increasing I blame streaming.Fewer folk have CDs to hand in and even fewer are interested in buying them.

  2. The bureaucracy bungling you refer to is sadly not uncommon and adds to the stress.

  3. Whatever happened to the short lived Ian Paisley Underground scene? The combination of jangly guitars and religious bigotry never caught on for some reason

    1. They packed it in and went to build a big park for Prince.

  4. As it turns out we’re in the process of a massive clear out and 16 bags of pretty good stuff have gone to charity shops of late. I did ask if they still took DVDs - they did - but not had the heart to tackle the CD collection yet. Funny that the youngsters can’t really tell the difference nowadays. Glad you got a bit of a haul - CC is jealous I’m sure.

    Sorry to hear of the bureaucracy bungles. I feel as if I spend half my life nowadays in a telephone queue or chat box trying to fix something that didn’t work properly first time around.

  5. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been straining my eyes trying to read every CD spine in that photo...
    Great that you got some real finds there (Emiliana Torrini especially).
    Sorry too to hear about the bureaucracy crap, bad enough at the best of times but with bereavement you really don't need the extra hassles, etc. Seems to be the way of so many things when it comes to dealing with the 'authorities'.


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