Travel Report: Rock ‘N’ Roll Rescue Music Charity Shop – Camden Town, London.
May 2019. I was strolling through Camden Town with Baddi when I caught sight of Rock N’ Roll Rescue. At first glance it was simply a case of “Record store!” and I was off… gleefully heading towards it as if I still had an actual music collection I could add to.
But before I even got through the door I was stopped in my tracks by a basketful of old Q magazines. And they were going for a mere 50p each! I used to religiously subscribe to Q from the mid 1990s right through to 2017 when, prior to my third stint in China, I finally sold off my music empire with a heavy heart. I reckon I had over two hundred of those mags and I used to store them (chronologically of course) in a spotless wooden bookcase right next to all my albums.
May 2019. It didn’t take me long to realise that Rock ‘n’ Roll Rescue is no ordinary record store, but rather a lovingly assembled cave-space of CDs, vinyl, limited edition boxsets, gig posters, flags, stickers and retro collectibles. And the entire place is wallpapered with iconic photos, newspaper clippings and magazine cut outs. There was an impossibly young Kate Bush, a strung-out Sid Vicious, a soloing Hendrix, a beaming In-Memphis-era Dusty Springfield and a group shot of Kiss horsing around in front of Big Ben. Whoever your heroes are, they’ll be here somewhere in between all the treasures.
May 2019. They also have quite the range of second-hand guitars and are always looking to buy more. They’ll take your old keyboards too. And amplifiers, speakers, effect boxes, microphones, stands, drums, leads, connectors and just about anything else you can think of.
If you’re into your music its all very, very cool but the thing that makes Rock ‘N’ Roll Rescue a really special place is that it’s manned by volunteers and the proceeds of stuff sold here goes right back into the local community. Some of the groups they donate to include the local food bank The Trussell Trust, a refuge called Crossroads Women in Kentish Town and The Mayhew Animal Home.
In the back room Rock ‘N’ Roll Rescue descends into proper car boot sale style chaos; dig deep and you could literally find anything. On the day of my visit there was an old NICAM Proline Video Player, a Pioneer DVD player and a 300 watt RAMSA Power amp. On the shelves I unearthed a DVD boxset of Peep Show and a Bettie Paige Notecard Set, while on the floor I had a quick rumble through a box of “ugly, out of fashion” second hand clothes. Rock ‘N’ Roll Rescue’s words, not mine.
The most expensive thing I saw in the whole place was this signed and framed Manuel Almunia Arsenal shirt at a hot £100.
Rock ‘N’ Roll Rescue is located at 96 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7AN. To find out about their eBay shop, their donations deal with Amazon Smile, the live music events they do and to access their Facebook page, pay a visit to their website.
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