Search

Legendary owner of Essex Road’s Haggle Vinyl goes on the record with book

PUBLISHED: 14:30 19 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:47 19 September 2017

Lynn Alexander in Haggle Vinyl. Picture: Jon Dean

Lynn Alexander in Haggle Vinyl. Picture: Jon Dean

Archant

The name Lynn Alexander will strike fear into the hearts of music lovers around Islington.

Haggle Vinyl. Picture: Jon Dean Haggle Vinyl. Picture: Jon Dean

As the owner of Haggle Vinyl in Essex Road, he was seen as something of a curmudgeon – sometimes to the extent of putting people off shopping there altogether.

He closed the store in 2014 to pursue his passion for flamenco guitar, but now he’s written a book detailing its history and other stories about his life.

Lynn contacted the Gazette after our interview with Mark Burgess, owner of the neighbouring Flashback Records, which mentioned him as the rival record store owner who told customers Flashback sold porn.

Last week a preview copy of Haggle Vinyl’s Final Quaver! arrived at the Gazette headquarters. In it, Lynn talks about his love of jazz that developed while he was growing up in Stamford Hill and shopping at the “waste” market in Stoke Newington. He also claims he was the first person to be played the Match of the Day theme tune – by his friend, its composer, Barry Stoller.

A well-travelled man, Lynn spent time in Europe and in Israel before getting into the antiques trade, when he became a familiar face in Camden Passage.

He opened Haggle in 1998, with little knowledge of the record industry, but having decided there was something in it for him.

He describes the day he got the keys: “How exciting. I met the bloke at the premises, put the key into the roll-up security door that opened the front door and in we went. It was an utter mess.”

Initially customers were able to get quite the bargain because Lynn and his friend Paul weren’t wise to the value of records.

Then his son David came back from Africa to help out and things started to take off, particularly with reggae-loving West Indians.

Celebrities would also come in.

“I think there were recording studios in the area and the probability was that musicians would occasionally visit and look around the shop and comfortably be themselves,” Lynn explains.

“Pink Floyd, at times, was whispered in my ear by staff. My reaction would be nil because as yet that name had not yet registered with me, although we had their records of course.

“More recently, Dizzee Rascal marched in. I said: ‘I can’t possibly call you Dizzee Rascal. Please give me your real name.’ What a f*****g t**t I am. My shop is closed and he’s still working.”

Related articles

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 11:49

After months of delays, disruption and the dreaded rail replacement bus, commutes are finally set to get better for London Overground passengers.

Yesterday, 07:18

More than 15 per cent of Islington Clinical Commissioning Group’s cancer patients waited at least two months to start treatment following GP referral, according to NHS figures.

Yesterday, 07:10

Islington’s courts were being filled with cases of lazy people “borrowing” cars without the owner’s consent.

Tue, 17:08

Shocked commuters witnessed a huge road rage punch-up in the middle of Holloway Road this morning – during which a man was attacked with a baseball bat.

Tue, 15:33

Health chiefs say there were “few, if any” signs that could have helped them prevent Finsbury Park man Bidhya Sagar Das from killing his son with a hammer.

Tue, 14:44

The senior coroner for inner north London Mary Hassell is set to hold a public consultation into the new policy for how she should deal with deaths in the area, but has only given people a matter of days to send in written submissions.

Tue, 14:22

Whittington Hospital was turning pregnant women away as its maternity ward couldn’t cope with a north London baby boom.

Tue, 11:08

Jeremy Corbyn this morning praised his “magnificent” community as Islington marked one year since the Finsbury Park terror attack.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now