Sunday, May 02, 2010

The End of an Era...


Yesterday saw the closure of the shop that was once known as Plastic Passion which had opened its doors in the early 80s. About 20 years ago or so, the two partners split the shop down the middle into two camps; creating Minus Zero (Bill Forsyth) and Stand Out (Bill Allerton).It was a strange situation, especially at the beginning when both shops had pretty much the same stock. At times, in order not to show any favouritism, I sometimes discovered a new release in the shop(s) and ended up buying it somewhere else in order not to offend either of the Bills...In the 90s, the choice became easier. Minus Zero was at the forefront of the 90s Powerpop renaissance whilst I saw Stand Out as the embassy of 60s Psych and Garage Punk, although there was some overlap, this cleared things up in my mind and helped to ease my conscience. The Bills were always welcoming and Plastic Passion was the perfect meeting place when friends visited from overseas. Also it was the place to hook up with Jesse Hector as he was always there propping up the counter on Saturdays...Where are we going to go now? Certainly not Intoxica or Rough Trade! A sad day for sure, Plastic Passion was one of a kind and a paradise for record collectors, but life goes on...


.............................................Bill Forsyth ......................................

7 comments:

EXPO67 said...

Living in the North East of England I rarely venture south of Durham but on the odd occasion that I did take a trip to London I would always jump on the tube to go to this Record Emporium to stock up on psych and 60s garage releases.

I remember one time in the mid 80s being most disappointed that they didn't have an LP by Australian outfit The Someloves. I mentioned this to one of the Bill's who calmly shuffled out from behind his counter into the back store room. Minutes later he returned with a mint copy.

In hindsight I should have asked for the look in the back store room for other gems not on display!!!

Jonnie said...

Funny, I worked for a record store in San Francisco in the early 90's owned by to Bills as well

. said...

I remember the pre- and post-split shop well. I always went there first on my "days out in town" to feed my vinyl (and later CD) addiction. Unlike other "collector's shops" which shall be nameless, PP was run by people who knew and loved what they sold, and weren't into ripping you off. I always found what I was looking for on one side or the other, and a glimpse into that back room was always a treat. The number of first-time discoveries I made there are too many to recount, but the Orgone Box and Flying Color spring to mind.

I haven't been there for many years (it's a looooooong way from where I live now) but I wish both Bills well and thank them for flying their freak flag for so long!

bristolboy said...

I too have many fond memories of visiting the 2 Bills & being turned on to many a new (old?) find.
As to where are you gonna go now? Looks like you may be spending time in Fulham @ Dawes rd.

Purepop said...

Only during the season for home matches...

Anonymous said...

Killed By Ebay? I used to visit PP regulary in the 80´s. Being a swede this was the only spot where you could find worldwide picturesleeve 7" without visiting each country individually. People came from all over the world to trade their homegrown pressing with the Bills to get something they desired from somewhere else in the world. It was easier to find a collector friend from italy at PP than go to Milano and find one.
I certainly find some thrill by bidding on Ebay these days, but wasn´t it much more fun when you planned at record week in London half a year in advance. You did not know what was going to happen and which vinyls would join you home.
Per Faeltenborg Hot Stuff Sweden

Anonymous said...

I think I must be alone in finding the two guys who ran this shop quite unwelcoming. I visted once about a year ago - the stock was ok - a bit battered - but after an hour in the shop and much reluctance to engage with me or play any of the vinyl I was interested in, I departed vowing never to return. Some shops don't deserve to die (Avid in Bournemouth/Oxford RIP), many that have didn't understand how important it is to allow customers to try stuff out. Therefore a special mention must go to Sweet Memories in Portsmouth, even if their constant half price sale fools no-one!