It’s a sad day indeed… We can now confirm that the Records Fair due to take place on Sunday 20 November will be the last time we’ll host a Vinylman Fair at the Brighton Centre. A farewell quote below from Geoff “Vinylman” Finch, the organiser of the Brighton Records Fair for over 35 years;
“Vinylman is dead*, long live Vinyl!
Vinylman was born in the ashes of prog rock, in a little store near City College where Mods, Rockabillies and Boy George’s were inclined to rub shoulders. The dinosaurs preferred the long player format but the new breed were single by choice; all shapes, colour, 12" gatefold, limited edition, and independents vs majors was the battle front in the industry of fun. Records 45" were a cultural entity and must be bought now. Vinylman had his whole record collection stolen; he lost a complete run of "dead” LPs but he had The Ramones, Talking Heads, Elvis, both Presley and Costello, to console him.
Vinylman saw an opportunity and rode in on the crest of a New Wave in Brighton by the sea, his fair started in a bus depo in Kemptown, a rubbish gig which soon moved to the mighty Brighton Centre in the early 80’s (via the Madeira hotel in Marine Parade).
There was a time in the mid-eighties when up to 3,000 fans piled through the doors of the Centre on a Sunday to buy a slice or two of Vinyl [“bootlegs, I didn't see any bootlegs!, outrageous”], many dressed in the fashions that went with the music, the spiky hair of The Cure, the purple of Prince and the cones of Madonna, ah those were the days…
Vinylman, the caped crustacean, fought the rise of the CD which threatened to kill Vinyl but it would not die and lived, even until this day. Vinyl! The Saviour of HMV! And the independent record shop! And the Vinylman Records Fair (still resident at the Brighton Centre).
During the Vinyl prohibition, when it was sold in backstreet dens and basement shacks, Vinyl lived on (though CDs would try to blow torch it, with its foul digital breath). Through the 90’s and 00’s Vinyl (and Vinylman) survived, still voluntarily imprisoned at the magnificent Brighton Centre; whilst bedroom DJs were busy scratching their 12" [how dare they] and Fatboy was still slim [didn't the Skint Loaded boys start up in my shop loft, making mix tapes?, yeah, they sure did!].
The 12" really did help to save Vinyl during those hungry years. Where did it all go wrong? I should have bought me a football team when I had the money! Still, I did get to see Bruce Springsteen at the Brighton Centre, from the front row, get his autograph, and watch my girlfriend kiss him [on the lips]. And then I got to run across the very same stage that Bruce had played on the night before, at my Records Fair, which was in the same room the very next day.
Now here's a funny story, Michael Jackson’s management rang me, yeah me, Vinylman, and said can Michael come in early to the fair to buy some records? So I said, yeah, sure, why not?, all hush hush etc. etc. Can you believe he didn't show? I was saving all those early Beatles tunes for him, oh gosh, but he already had them… At least Paul Weller, Jimmy Page and that boring snooker player did show up, what was his name now?
Brit pop, what an Oasis for Vinyl collectors that was! People came from all over the World to Britain, to Brighton, to buy Vinyl from the 20(+) record shops (R.I.P) and the brilliant Brighton Records Fair.
I worked at the Fair on my 50th birthday, my wife and 3 children brought me a cake and helium balloons, and I was exactly where I wanted to be… I could go to the party later! Instead I sang “Wild Thing” to the manager of the Centre, I've been to the mountain but I can't go back…
2016 in one era, and out the other, Vinylman [and boy] 37 years in the business, with Vinyl in his blood since the age of 4. DJ, international record dealer, entrepreneur, postman, marathon man, mountain climber, songwriter, modest [no scratch that out...].
Vinylman, he died the way he lived, 3 minutes ahead of his time, always 45 R.P.M.
So THANK YOU one and all, I love you.
(*just confirming that Geoff is not actually dead…)
Thanks for everything Vinylman, we’ve loved having you – all the very best and enjoy the Sunday lay-ins, we know we will!
Brighton Record & CD Fair at the Brighton Centre SYNDICATE WING, RUSSELL ROAD.
Frequented by the frivolous thrifty and famous The Brighton Record and CD Fair offers the very best in new and vintage items on all formats.
At our Brighton Centre SYNDICATE WING Fair we offer the very best in VINYL CDs DVD Music Books Mags and Memorabilia.
For more information call 01273 553966 / 07732279403
PUBLIC ADMISSION TIMES ARE AS FOLLOWS
Admission 9.30am - 3.30pm £2
Early Admission [from 8.30] £5.00
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets can be purchased (subject to availability), in person over the counter at the Brighton Centre Box Office at the front of the venue on Kings Road, which is open Monday to Saturday 10am-4pm. A Credit Card commission fee will be charged on transactions made at the Venue Box Office. Commission Fees or Booking Fees are not applicable on cash payments or Debit Card payments made over the counter (in person) at the Venue Box Office during opening hours. If children under 14yrs are attending an event at the Brighton Centre, they must be accompanied by an adult (18yrs+).
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