- 05:50, 24 AUG 2022
Around 40 years ago, or so, there was a vinyl shop in Reading town centre that was much-loved among young music fans in the town. Donny Osmond and Motorhead were thought to have made appearances at the store as did the post-punk band Skids.
Reading-born Hollywood star and comedian Ricky Gervais recently revealed that he reckons he bought his first ever album at the shop. The comedian said he had travelled into town when he was about 12 or 13-year-old to the “Butt’s Centre”, which is now called Broad Street Mall.
Gervais told the story during an online Twitter broadcast which he filmed, live, on Sunday August 21. One of his fans had asked him whether he remembered buying his first-ever album.
The comedian recalled purchasing his first-ever album from a store that was “dark” and “really cool.” He thinks that the shop was Quicksilver, which would make sense as it was definitely “dark” and “cool” back in the day. In 1980 post-punk rock band Skids met fans at the store to sign albums.
Gervais spoke about what album it was that he had bought and said: “It was Stranded by Roxy Music. I went into town. Saved a bit of money. What would I have been? 12? 13? I can’t remember the name of the shop. I think it was Quicksilver. Or another one?
“It was at the Butts Centre in Reading. I know I had to go up the escalator to a little shop. It was cool. It was really cool. It was one of those shops where its like really dark, with a red light, do you know what I mean?
“Lava lamps, joss sticks, it was one of those and I remember I felt so grown up. Yeah, Stranded by Roxy Music. I think I’d only heard one track. I think I’d only heard Street Life and I took a chance, but, it was different in those days because you loved having an album.”
Gervais said that listening to music then was different to listening to music today as you used to buy an entire album on vinyl and listen to it all the way through. The comedian even recalled studying song lyrics and learning about the people in bands as well as the music engineers.
He said: “Then you knew everything. I’d learned the lyrics. I knew the band, I knew who the engineer was. I’d sit there listening to the album like that and reading the notes and now you just don’t. Or some people do.”