Long before it featured on the cover of the best-selling Oasis album (What's the Story) Morning Glory? London's Berwick Street was a mecca for record collectors.
Hailed as the "Golden Mile" of vinyl, more than twenty independent stores once lined the street, earning this corner of Soho a reputation as host to the greatest concentration of record shops in London.
At the center of them all was Vinyl Junkies – once an essential port of call for DJ's including Gilles Peterson, Norman Jay, Carl Craig and Groove Armada.
After 18 years specializing in selling house music, the shop shuttered its doors in May of 2010.
When walking in Vinyl Junkies, the smell the fish from the nearby market transformed into the musty odor of vintage vinyl. Audiophiles browsed through racks of old records which contained everything from niche Motown to rare Coltrane and Getz albums.
And, sitting behind the desk, you would have found owner John-Paul Cuesta-Vayon dropping a needle on one of four turntables.
You may have even heard him say "This used to be one of the grooviest streets in Soho, but now it's become something of a ghost town."
As if it were the subject of an Alanis Morisette song, what was once it’s greatest asset led to its demise -- the Soho location. Rising rent and the deadly London “congestion charge” ended the nearly two decade run for Vinyl Junkies.
When closing the store, Mr. Cuesta-Vayon stated “It may seem like the end of an era, but make no mistake, we’ll all have died long before vinyl does.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
We raise a Boddingtons in salute to a time when Vinyl Junkies was a London institution and Berwick Street was it’s home.