Nick Abadzis

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A Weekly Song Extra - RIP Scott Walker

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I spent this past week in the beautiful city of New Orleans. One of the many excellent music shops I visited while there was Euclid Records, which specialises in both used and new vinyl (and where, coincidentally, an old mate of mine does shifts between writing gigs. I’m saying so upfront so my next statement doesn’t sound too much like blatant nepotism).

Euclid NOLA really is one of the finest record stores I’ve ever been to. Besides having an exhaustive collection of just about every music genre there is, the way it’s set out lends it a friendly, immersive quality that feels like a new friend’s front room. That is, a friend with a massive record collection of exquisite taste. This just encourages you to explore. 

When I’m wandering about the sort of Aladdin’s cave that this place is, there are certain standard behaviours I adopt in an attempt to calm my own nervous excitement. One of those is to look at my all-time favourite artists first, just to check if they have any unusual items I might want.

I asked the gent behind the desk, “Where do I find Scott Walker?”

You see, at the point in time I asked this question, to my knowledge, Scott Walker was still alive.

I went and looked where indicated. There wasn’t anything I didn’t already have, but I recall looking through Euclid’s stock and thinking about Walker’s career, unaware that in two day’s time I’d get the news that made this small personal experience buckle under a grandiose new import.

I returned to Euclid a few days later (to meet my friend for a beer), but this time Scott Walker was dead. My New Orleans trip had turned into something that I’ll always remember with a flavour of acidic Schroedinger, a distant unthinkable possibility that slid remorselessly into a definitive. A fixed point where before there existed potentials, new directions. We always hope for that, of course.

I suppose this is a way of recording that yes, I’m going to write a massive post on Walker at some point (always the plan) partially because I want to talk about how much his music influenced my comics and sense of storytelling, the poetry and opera of his music inspiring a hoped-for direction in my own sensibilities. But also because, well, he was Scott Walker, and there was simply no-one else like him. “God’s lung,” as I once called him.

RIP Scott. “Thank you,” is a woefully inadequate way of recognising your passing, and at some point I’ll find the strip I made years ago that was loosely based upon Plastic Palace People and post it on this blog.

To be continued…

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Euclid Records have two stores, the other in St. Louis MO which I am reliably told does the lion’s share of mail order selling for those of you seeking hard-to-find vinyl.