Brighton Rock, 11 Sydney Street

Formerly Brighton Rock, 11 Sydney Street, Brighton
Photo by Debbie Lias

Not a big haunt of mine as it specialised very much in second hand rock records with a small section of soul only.

However, I think the premises was later occupied by a completely different store – much more of a collectors’ shop. This would have been around 1987 or 1988 and, while I can picture the inside of the store easily enough, I cannot recall the name.

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  • Brighton Rock was run by a young couple George and his lovely, blonde girlfriend, Diane. Whilst the upstairs was indeed a second-hand record shop, the basement was sound proofed with egg-cartons (I helped do that) and was used as a practice room, rented out to local bands. I was in a fair number of bands back then (check and rehearsed down there with several groups.

    By Paul Martin (07/05/2009)
  • I remember Brighton Rock very well. George and Diana (reputedly the daughter of an aristocrat) were the owners. The shop opened in the later years of the 1970s; I don’t remember when it finally closed. Myself, Cliff Morgan and ‘Dirty’ Dick Munday used to hang around listening to the LPs and occasionaly being left ‘in charge’ to serve the customers (we never ever got paid for our services!). We’d also frequent the ‘Copper Kettle’ cafe in Sydney Street (now called ‘The Dumb Waiter’) for a bite to eat and a good cup of tea. The cafe was run by Jean and Dave Anderson but that’s another story.

    By Kevin Cooke (24/03/2010)
  • Until Vinyl Demand opened this was my favourite place to buy records in Brighton in the late 70s. Most albums were £2.80 but some were £3.50 if they were a bit more desirable. I got more or less my entire Can collection in there for £2.80 each. They would pay you £1 per album if you wanted to sell stuff so their margins weren’t that big. I did pay £5.50 for a copy of Uncle Meat (Zappa & Mothers)… and that was a lot at the time. What you have forgotten was that the shop next to it on the right (as you look at the pic) which is a cafe now… was also a part of the record shop for a long time… it was their jazz section – the whole place was filled with jazz and I got so many great avant / free jazz and experimental records in there. Every Saturday I would come down to Brighton (living in mid Sussex at the time) and spend big buckeroos in Brighton Rock. Probably buying 5 – 10 albums every trip. My mother used to freak out when I got ’em home so after a while I used to stash them in the garage and walk in empty-handed. “No records today son?” she would say and I would answer  ”No, nothing there for me today”… and then of course retrieve them later. Ho ho happy days.

    By M Bradshaw (24/12/2013)
  • I attended Sussex University 1979-80 as an exchange student from the USA. After sleeping off the long flight over just prior to the start of the school year, my first day there was spent looking for a good record shop in Brighton. Brighton Rock turned out to be all I needed. Jorj (that was the proper spelling of his name; his mother was Norwegian) and Diana became my best friends there. We read books together. We listened to music together. We shared meals together. We attended concerts together. Wonderful people. The first time I was there and first meeting Jorj, he was inviting me to the upcoming Loudon Wainwright show at The Dome (we attended the Leonard Cohen show there a couple of months later, also; part of it is featured on the ‘Field Commander Cohen; Tour of 1979’ album) when a bit surprisingly to me Diana rode into the store on her motorcycle, took off her helmet, a cascade of blonde locks fell from inside the helmet, and her sweet nature was apparent as she said hello. That was the beginning of my friendship with the two of them. Jorj was from Newcastle originally, Diana from Devon.

    By R.L. Sussman (06/01/2016)

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