For a generation associated with young music fans, Hot Licks records store on Cockburn Street was one of the best places to be and be seen on a Saturday. Renowned for being ahead of the curve the owners of the independent store always seemed to have a knack associated with spotting what was going to be the particular next big thing — and they were seldom wrong.
Those at Very hot Licks had their fingers on the pulse of that which was happening, even managing to attract up and coming groups such as The Jam and The Damned to the shop for album signings and personal appearances.
And for local bands, the particular record store was the true lifeline. At the front associated with the shop was a bulletin board where aspiring young artists could place an advertisement looking for like-minded souls.
The record store was just one of a host of cool shops active on Cockburn Street in the late 1970s. The street, which experienced gained something of a reputation as Edinburgh’s answer to Carnaby Street, was home in order to a number of boutique clothing outlets selling all manner associated with hip threads.
Many of the shops were part of the franchise by local businessmen Fraser Mackay and Alan Wilson, who ran a number of clothes shops on Cockburn Street.
Fraser plus Alan were approached by a man with a vision, Steve Mackie, that suggested the idea of opening a record store on the street. In early 1977, Warm Licks became a reality : plus they were simply in time to capitalise on the popularity of a fresh musical movement the press were calling punk.
The particular store, which was originally located at 32 Cockburn Road, before moving across the road to number 47 around six months later, embraced punk, new wave and reggae and grew to become the go-to place for fans of those styles.
“I think it was Sam Mackie’s offer to set up a shop, ” recalled John Edwards, who started working as singles manager at Sizzling Licks in mid-1977, and would later go on in order to run two legendary capital record stores himself: Vinyl Villains plus Hog’s Head Music.
“[Fraser and Alan] just let us get upon with it. They had been very hands off, and we gradually got more and more independent plus basically rode the punk and new wave motion for quite a while.
“We were really, along with Bruce’s, one of the only shops you could buy punk singles within initially. It had been the centre of the particular weekend with regard to thousands and thousands associated with young people.
“It was a real independent little shop and we loved it. It was a way of life – this wasn’t a job. ”
In that will first year, Steve Mackie managed to pull off the masterstroke simply by persuading Paul Weller of the Jam to stage a list signing in Hot Notes for the band’s debut album In the City. The Jam at this time were the next large thing, plus the event put Popular Licks around the map for an entire generation of music-loving youngsters.
Soon after, punk rock icons The particular Damned made an appearance at the particular shop, sparking scenes the likes of which got never been witnessed on Cockburn Street as hundreds of young punks descended on Scorching Licks.
John Edwards recalls: Ah, Jesus, yeah! It was scary, that, because glass in shop windows is not what it is now and I can remember looking from the window and the glass was shifting back and forward with all these people crammed right up to it.
“It has been just wild – the particular street has been rammed and we were just trapped inside the store. It had been very a major, stressful occasion. There would’ve been 100s there for certain. ”
In a post upon the Lost Edinburgh Facebook group , Fraser Mackay spoke about the shop’s beginnings and revealed that the name had been inspired by a 1960s US band, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks.
He also explained that will while Incredibly hot Licks was hugely-popular, the particular shop struggled to turn a profit – even during its heyday.
He wrote: “Hot Licks was a cool record store on Cockburn Street that brought in hard to get American imports and furthermore put on several gigs in Edinburgh.
“The Jam was one of the organizations that made a personal appearance at the shop another one was the Damned that will brought into the road a shed load associated with punks who were into spitting – that was the hallmark of a true punk rebel. [It] was disgusting and there was a bit of cleaning upward to do with the period. Having said that, punks were cool and that’s coming from the hippy.
inch[Hot Licks] was a great store run simply by Steve, Archie, Jock [John Edwards] and Mel and a great place to hang out. The music the chat and the particular vibes drew people inside. These guys used to bring in rare albums from the US which attracted the bit of a cult following. But there has been no profit in it. You bought in for a £1 and sold for £1. 20. We had been never going to end up being Warren Buffets at these types of margins.
“I loved the place though as well as the guys but it became a bit of a vanity project. Nevertheless this added another dimension in order to the street so perhaps it paid its way to some extent. ”
Working at Heated Licks meant a constant pressure to keep up-to-date with all the latest sounds. The particular best way to do this at the particular height associated with punk, has been by tuning into John Peel’s show on BBC Radio 1.
Whatever Peel played would generally become the next big thing, and regarding John Edwards, staying ahead of the competition designed having his finger simultaneously within the pulse and the record button on the same time.
Steve said: “Being the singles manager, it was my job to find out the thing that was going to happen following. I used to religiously listen to David Peel plus figure out what was the following big point. If Ruben played it, then the particular next morning people were in searching for this.
“Standing at the counter when you’ve got loads of punk and new influx fans coming in, if you wanted in order to be ‘the man’ you had to know what they’re asking intended for and have a person got it or are you getting this. It was quite a bit of stress there.
“We also used to take the record company reps down to the particular Wig plus Pen and ply them with alcohol all day to obtain free product for the shop. The poor guys! The state associated with some of them! inches
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One of many bands to make good use of Hot Licks within the past due 1970s was Edinburgh post-punk outfit Scars. The group completed their own line-up thanks to an ad spotted in the shop’s windows and went on to develop a huge following nationwide culminating in the release of their particular debut album Author! Author! within 1981.
Former Scars guitarist Paul Mackie says Very hot Licks played a vital role in assisting their old band during their formative years.
Speaking to Edinburgh Live , he said: “Hot Notes for me as a teenager was the coolest place in Edinburgh as well as the center of gravity for the whole Saturday.
“We utilized to just go there and flick through record sleeves and listen to what people were talking about plus hopefully bump into like-minded souls.
“I remember hearing Althea and Donna, Uptown Top Ranking ages before it came on Top of the particular Pops. That was like the song of the day in Cockburn Street at the time. Essentially Warm Licks influenced what had been being performed within the stores during the time. ”
He added: “It was one of the particular places you always used to look forward in order to going. My favourite memory of being in Sizzling Licks was one afternoon when I was with Rab King [Scars lead singer] and we started chatting with Stuart [Adamson] and Richard Jobson from the Skids and am remember thinking ‘this is it now, we’re really rubbing shoulders with the greats! ‘.
“It has been very likely that a lot of bands formed from seeing ads in Popular Licks. There was no internet back then, we’re decades away through the internet back then and that was among the just ways to make contact along with like-minded people. ”
While Hot Licks was seen as one of the capital’s leading independent record stores from the punk era, it definitely wasn’t alone. When it arrived to report shops, Edinburgh was positively saturated.
“Even prior to I had been involved in report shops inside Edinburgh, I did ‘the trail’, inch said Bob Edwards. “It started for the Royal Mile and St Mary’s Road with the Other Report Shop, then you proceeded to go up to Ripping Records, then you went to Phoenix, then a person went to Scorching Licks plus Bruce’s. It was a huge Saturday mid-day out. People came from far afield. ”
By 1979, punk’s popularity was in the wane, and it was really beginning to display in Incredibly hot Licks’ sales figures. Desperate to maintain the particular shop afloat, Steve Mackie and the management team decided to pursue the next big songs phenomenon — disco. Their gamble might sadly fail to pay off, and simply by Christmas 1980, the shutters were put up over the store for good.
John Edwards said: “We were in the point where punk and new wave was actually over the top of the hill and the New York disco scene has been really taking off. Trade had been slow for that shop and had in order to start making money to pay the rent, so Dorrie and Archie decided to try and bring in through New York all this 12 inch dance stuff.
“We ended up in this Nyc disco sort of mode for the last six months.. And it was not very good! inches
Edinburgh drugs and sexual health information charitable organisation Crew are now located in the premises originally occupied by Sizzling hot Licks, while the record store’s latter address is right now home in order to clothing store Pie in the Sky.