A letter to SEQ: Rocking Horse Records
by Andrew Stafford
Dear Music Lovers
Despite the Courier-Mail‘s misleading headline (‘Rocking No More At Iconic Retailer’) inferring that Rocking Horse‘s demise was imminent, the fact is it’s still open for business.
Yes, the outlook’s not that great. It pays a fortune in rent for a large space in a premium location, and it has been burnt like every other large music retailer by the slow death of the CD format, the boom in downloading (an interesting comment on the average punter’s ears: they’re dispensing with one shoddy way of listening to music for an even shoddier one), the growth of online sales and probably also the high Australian dollar.
But hold the obituaries. Let me repeat: the store is in trouble, but it’s not closing yet.
If Rocking Horse means something to you, you actually have the power to save it.
Go down to the city and buy a record. Two, even. That’s what I’m going to do when I get paid on Thursday. [I believe the store has launched a half-price sale – Ed]
If you don’t have a turntable, buy three CDs instead. You know how cheap they are, and Rocking Horse probably can’t get rid of them quick enough before, hopefully, moving to a vinyl-only format, considering sales in that format remain steady.
Don’t have a turntable? Make it a priority. It might cost you a few hundred bucks for a half-decent one, but it’ll be the best few hundred you ever spend this year, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it before (or why you ever got rid of your old one). And buy a record anyway – a really special one that you already know you’ll love, so you can have the pleasure of christening your soon-to-be-purchased turntable with it. The past increasingly looks like the future.
If you’ve started buying your music online, think about why you’re doing it. Is it really cheaper? Are you sure? What are you gaining from it and what, just as important, might you be losing? Sure, knock yourself out on ebay for those things you just can’t find anywhere else, but if Rocking Horse and its history (and, more importantly, ongoing place) in Brisbane’s musical firmament means something to you, YOU HAVE A CHOICE.
Go ahead and exercise it. Then, even if the store doesn’t survive in its current form, it’s more likely to maintain a presence in Brisbane, even if it has to go back to a tiny shop in Rowes Arcade. Even if it means some jobs are lost in the transition, a smaller store still has a role to play in Brisbane.
All it needs is a dedicated clientele. And that’s where you come in.
Photography courtesy of Brisbane Daily Photo