Happy Birthday, Virgin Records!

Radio 6 had a really interesting programme on last weekend marking 40 years of Virgin Records. I have to admit that, even though I worked in Virgin Megastore on Princes Street for four or five years, I didn’t actually know that much about the history before listening to the programme.

I can’t really picture the Richard Branson of today smoking pot and sitting on a beanbag listening to music, but that’s how it all started – a small record shop in London to a major record label. I love a bit of pop culture trivia and Richard Branson had some great stories – the shyness of Mike Oldfield, the linguistics of the word ‘bollocks’ (also means ‘priests’ apparently) and the sexual antics of Keith Richards!
Although at times the job was a bit shit, on the whole I loved working at Virgin. For me it was a perfect ‘just finished uni job’  – venturing out into the real world for the first time but not doing it in a scary, serious kind of way. I earned enough money to live on, got discounted CDs and DVDs (still VHS when I first started), maintained the social life of a student and worked with a bunch of really cool (often eccentric) people who were just as passionate about music and films as I am.
I look back on my time working there with a great deal of fondness, and I still have a lot of friends (and also a husband!) from the Virgin Megastore days.
When I wrote Trackman, it seemed an obvious choice to have Davie work in Virgin Megastore on Princes Street. I could write about what I knew and, at the same time, pay tribute to a special time in my life.

Hanging out with Mark Owen.

Mark Owen

Holiday Bookends

Sorry for neglecting the blog recently. I’ve been trying to write my next novel and this has kept me pretty busy for the last few months. I’ve got the bare bones of something now, it just needs a lot(!) of editing done to it. I’ve had a wee break from it for the last three weeks as I’ve been on my official/unofficial (not quite sure) honeymoon. I’m hoping this means that I’ll come back to it with new eyes and go on an editing frenzy.  We spent our time off on a road trip through the Canadian Rockies (Calgary to Vancouver), then ended with a few days in Seattle. It was an ace trip, a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. Although I took a break from writing, I had my notebook handy so maybe I’ll write a Canadian/USA themed story in the future, possibly one about my brush with scary security guards at Sea-Tac airport – ‘gather all your belongings and come with us, ma’am.’

Our holiday was bookended by two great gigs so here’s a couple of music videos in the meantime. One features in Trackman and one doesn’t but should (another of those damn I should have put them in the book moments…)