Oldest Record Store May Die Of Natural Causes What's thought to be the oldest record store in the world may be on the brink of extinction. Spillers Records in Cardiff, Wales, opened in 1894. Rising rents are forcing it out, and if Spillers doesn't find a new and cheaper location by the end of June, it may just be the day the music dies in Wales. Host Scott Simon speaks with music journalist Phill Jupitus about the store's possible closure.
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Oldest Record Store May Die Of Natural Causes

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Oldest Record Store May Die Of Natural Causes

Oldest Record Store May Die Of Natural Causes

Oldest Record Store May Die Of Natural Causes

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What's thought to be the oldest record store in the world may be on the brink of extinction. Spillers Records in Cardiff, Wales, opened in 1894. Rising rents are forcing it out, and if Spillers doesn't find a new and cheaper location by the end of June, it may just be the day the music dies in Wales. Host Scott Simon speaks with music journalist Phill Jupitus about the store's possible closure.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

What's thought to be the oldest record store in the world may be on the brink of extinction. Spillers Records in Cardiff, Wales, opened in 1894. Rising rents are forcing it out, and if Spillers doesn't find a new and cheaper location by the end of June, it may just be the day the music dies in Wales.

A petition drive saved the store from a similar fate in 2007 and a new campaign aimed at the Cardiff City Council and the store's landlords is underway.

Among those backing that campaign is comedian and broadcaster Phil Jupitus, who joins us now.

Phil, thanks very much for being with us.

Mr. PHIL JUPITUS (Comedian, Broadcaster): Thank you very much indeed, Scott.

SIMON: Why is important to save this old record store?

Mr. JUPITUS: From my point of view, I mean I've been going to Spillers, you know, for years. But it's something personal, the fact that you've got a trusting relationship with someone that runs the shop and you take their advice. I actually like that. There's something quite enriching about that.

SIMON: What do they have at Spillers that, as a generalization, you wouldn't be able to find in one of the big Virgin megastores?

Mr. JUPITUS: You know, they pick up artists. The big stores, you know, if you are a young band up and coming, you stand very little chance of getting your work placed in a big store. Spillers treats the artist whose work that they sell on a much more sort of even basis.

SIMON: Did you work there once for five minutes with Billy Bragg?

Mr. JUPITUS: Yes. Being located in Cardiff, Cardiff was for a while here in the U.K., it was a sporting center. And the pair of us were there, you know, for a football game in Cardiff later that day, but ended up doing a morning behind the counter.

SIMON: Did you sell anything?

Mr. JUPITUS: I did. I seem to recall that it was a Stranglers album. I could be wrong. My memory is not all it could be, Scott.

SIMON: Well...

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Perhaps they have some record of it, or a plaque.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. JUPITUS: There are photographs of me working behind the counter on the wall at Spillers, and that is something as well. You know, the fact that I've got photo on the wall of a record shop is just absolutely - I mean it just makes me seethe with joy. It's just such a wonderful thing for me as a music fan, you know.

SIMON: And what about the fact that as wonderful as Spillers has been for, I guess, more than a hundred years, so much of that stuff is online now?

Mr. JUPITUS: Spillers is more than just a record store. It's almost a cultural rallying point - and not only physically it's in Cardiff - but the idea of it, the notion of a family-run record store, particularly the oldest one in the world.

SIMON: Well, Phil, thanks so much.

Mr. JUPITUS: Scott, thank you very much, sir.

SIMON: Comedian, musician Phil Jupitus.

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