Vale Rocking Horse…
I think that there are a couple of key ingredients every city needs to maintain a healthy live music industry. People who want to (and can) play music. Places to play the music, and places to explore music. Sadly all those indy record shops that I grew up with have disappeared and no doubt the city is worse off because of it. The market has certainly changed over the last few decades and the specialty shops have struggled to survive. Even up to the 90s it was hard work finding past releases or overseas and local indy music. When CDs became everyday the major labels really jumped on the reissue market but b4 then it was a struggle to get old LPs of your fav artists. It was secondhand (often at inflated collectors prices) or imported from more adventerous label manufactures. No ebay/amazon/myspace, just the indy shop guys who slaved over industry mags all day to stock the finest goods any punter could wish for. My first Rocking Horse experience was scoring a couple of Joy Division boots … brilliant covers – shittty as audio live quality but i was stoked!
Many years have I flicked records and CDs at places like Kent Records (Bruce Anton yer a freakin genius), Skinnys (various owners and staff) and Rocking Horse. Where are all those unemployable musos going to get work now??? Sad days indeed.
The old girl is in palliative care for a few weeks so drop in and give your respects and she may even offer up a bargain or two to remember her by. Maybe if enuff ppl spread the love she will spark back to life! Good luck in the future Warwick and thanks for the effort these past decades.
A couple of pages worth of ads for old Brisbane record shops from Time Off street press 25 september 1987.
Reprinted from the fine That Striped Sunlight Sound Brisbane blog