ClashMusic's countdown ends with The Clash in Nottingham...

It’s April 18, and Record Store Day 2009 is finally upon us, raising the awareness of a more than worthy cause within the music industry.

Our countdown to today’s internationally recognised and respected occasion has included insights from our very own scribes in Glasgow, London and Sheffield. We’ve also had contributions from The Race, Official Secrets Act, Brakes, Funeral For A Friend and Underground Railroad.

Our denouement comes from the ultimate record store musketeer, Graham Jones. Graham not only spent most of his career within the record store business, but he also managed to write Last Shop Standing, a best-selling book amassing his intriguing experiences with bands and shop owners alike.

The following excerpt details his experiences with the late Selectadisc of Nottingham, and its confrontation with Joe Strummer.

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Excerpt from Last Shop Standing by Graham Jones…

Nottingham is home to one of the most famous record shops in the country – Selectadisc.

Brian Selby originally opened the shop in 1966 and for 43 years it has been one of the UK’s top record shops. In 1991 they opened a second branch in the heart of London.

The Nottingham store’s manager is a Notts County fanatic called Jim Cooke, whose knowledge of indie music is second to none. I always enjoyed calling on Jim over the years, he has told me some great tales. He has always been a huge fan of The Clash and he is also passionate about politics – his views are certainly left of centre.

One evening he visited The Garage, a club in Nottingham, and noticed that The Clash was drinking at the bar. Jim engaged Joe Strummer in a conversation on music, where they had plenty of common ground. Soon the chat turned to politics and Jim informed Joe of how disappointed he was that The Clash did not better support the miners in their battle against Margaret Thatcher’s Government back in 1984. Unlike bands such as The Redskins, The Housemartins and The Three Johns, The Clash did not do any benefit gigs in support of the miners. Joe Strummer was taken aback and slightly embarrassed by Jim’s onslaught. By the end of the conversation Joe suggested that the band call in Jim’s shop the next day to do a gig. The following day, with Joe Strummer standing on the counter, The Clash rewarded Selectadisc punters with a magnificent performance.

One young man also enjoyed the show, but clearly did not realise he had just witnessed a performance by one of rock’s greatest ever bands. When the gig had finished, he approached Joe Strummer and introduced himself as the social secretary of Clarendon College. He told Joe that he was most impressed with the band’s performance, especially some of the cover versions of Clash songs. He told Joe that he was looking for a good group to play the college ball and was willing to give him £100 if they were prepared to play. Jim can’t recall Joe’s exact answer but remembers it did contain the words “fuck” and “off”.

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Find Record Store Day’s official website HERE.

Read more of’s countdown series by clicking HERE.


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