I know we’re a dwindling group, but, like many others, I’ve had a Friday ritual for more years than I care to remember. At some stage during the day, I find my way to the record store and check out the new releases, which always hit the shelves on a Friday. There are fewer and fewer places where we devotees can indulge in this ritual, which makes the remaining ones all the more treasured. My particular place of worship has for many years been Tower Records, once of Wicklow Street and now in a fine emporium in Dawson Street. Anyone lucky enough to live in or near the fine city of Kilkenny can enjoy a similar uplifting experience every Friday in Rollercoaster Records where the esteemed Willie Meighan will steer you in the right direction. There are still a few other dedicated store owners keeping other parts of Ireland safe for rock’n’roll, but, sadly, far fewer than there used to be.
I realise that most people now get their music digitally, sometimes even paying for it, but I’m hooked on the concept of holding a physical CD or record in your hand, enjoying the complete package (including lyrics and decent sleevenotes) and, if you like the artist, building up a collection just like a library of books. My complete collections, whether of the Beatles, Tom Waits or Van Morrison, mean much more to me when I can see them on my shelves.
Anyway, today’s visit to Tower was a very special one for me – my own CDs have pride of place in the New Releases section. Next week they’ll probably be relegated to the Independent Irish section (you’ll find it between Punk and Compilations at the back of the shop) but I enjoyed the moment anyway!