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Neil Halstead in-store photos

16 November 2010

Store date: 11 July 2002

The Neil Halstead in-store was an easy, totally laid-back event. Neil was amiable, very polite and soft-spoken. He came prepared with one of those Bob Dylan harmonica-around-the-neck contraptions. He was a veritable one-man band.

You’ll notice that there is a gulf of emptiness between Neil’s stool and the frontline of the attendees. This was a behavior issue we often had at in-store performances, especially when the crowd numbered thirty or fewer. Perhaps it was that our patrons were more comfortable leaning against something at a distance, rather than standing so close as to force eye contact or engagement with the artist. Perhaps it was a shyness thing, though I never knew these folks to be particularly demure. Perhaps it was the color of the walls. Who knows?

You’ll notice the wall clock to Neil’s right, above the closet door. It’s a “genuine” timekeeper from The Sopranos‘ Bada Bing Club.

Not long after this in-store, my mother – at my request – sewed some dark burgundy velvet curtains that framed that slat-wall hanging behind where Neil is seated. It framed the display nicely most of the year, when it wasn’t closed to provide a classy stage-style backdrop during in-store concerts. I’m sure it will show up in some other photographs.

Here’s Neil signing copies of Sleeping on Roads. The record label, 4AD, had given us a supply of UK CD-singles with unreleased versions of songs from the album, so everyone who purchased Neil’s CD left with two.

I can’t help but notice what we were spinning that day from the CDs displayed on the wall (to the left, above). There I see, among the selections, Sleeping on Roads, Hem’s Rabbit Songs, The Music of Eric von Essen Volume 3, Richard Hawley’s Late Night Final, The Soundtrack of Our Lives’ Behind the Music, Cousteau’s Sirena, and the Trojan Rare Groove box set.

That’s Jim Fahy, getting something signed by Neil. It’s my memory that Jim hung out that evening with Neil and Neil’s traveling companion, but, as I did not hang out with them, this is where my memory of the day ends.


Photographer unknown, though it may have been me.

One Comment
  1. Janet and I met Neil and pal over at The Mill for dinner and drinks. We hit The Plaza after and talked about foreign policy over Guinness. Lots of fun.

    I got a Slowdive disc signed for Janet.

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