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Terri invites music fans to a final Hooley as Good Vibrations record store shuts up shop for last time

By Joanne Sweeney

Published 13/06/2015

The legendary Terri Hooley, owner of the iconic Good Vibrations record label
The legendary Terri Hooley, owner of the iconic Good Vibrations record label

It's closing time finally for Terri Hooley's record shop Good Vibrations.

The godfather of punk in Belfast announced yesterday that it was lights out for his shop in North Street.

In typical Hooley fashion, he announced it by posting a picture of himself lying in a coffin while holding an electric guitar.

Terri told his followers: "Since the late Seventies Good Vibrations Record Shop has had its ups and downs. But I've managed to close and open 11 times.

"This Saturday will be closing down day forever."

As usual, there was an offer of a farewell drink for friends and fellow music lovers and a chance to reminisce with Terri over a beer or three at the Oh Yeah Centre from 5pm to 7pm today.

Since the 66-year-old became seriously ill with pneumonia earlier this year, it had become clear that maintaining the shop was not something he was able to continue.

"I've only been in the shop for about three days in the last six months and three of them I was in hospital," he said.

"It's time to close up and I'm sure Good Vibrations could still make a good profit but as most people would know by now, I'm not much of a businessman."

The shop started off in Great Victoria Street in 1977 and reopened in several other locations such as Howard Street, Smithfield and Winetavern Street and then over Cafe Wah in North Street.

It became a mecca for music lovers from all over Northern Ireland and beyond.

The shop and Terri's passion for music was featured in the 2013 film Good Vibrations, with Belfast actor Richard Dormer playing Hooley.

The record shop offered grassroots, independently produced rock and punk records, including Terri's own record label, the eponymous Good Vibrations.

Terri and the shop became nationally famous when he signed punk band The Undertones - among others - and legendary DJ John Peel championed the band and other Good Vibrations acts.

He added: "I've opened the shop about 11 times over the years because I didn't want the name to die and due to public demand.

"I lost so much stock when it was burnt out in Howard Street and I never really recovered from that."

Terri is holding a closing down sale today from 10am with all stock at half price.

Karl McQuade from Belfast

Which Good Vibes: "I used to go to the Good Vibrations in Smithfield Market when I was younger but I haven't bought so much over the years."

Best buy: "The Damned's album New Rose - it was a great record which I think I still have up in the attic."

Best memory: "I've known Terri for 30 years and he used to organise bands for the Pound jazz club in Oxford Street. It didn't matter which part of Belfast you were from, we all came together to enjoy the music."

Gary Fahy from Ballymena

Which Good Vibes: "I've been to all of the incarnations of Good Vibrations over the years, wherever Terri opened, I went."

Best buy: "I remember buying Rudi's first release Big Time on the Good Vibrations label."

Best memory: "I remember going into the shop the day that The Outcasts' first album, Self Conscious Over You, came out on Good Vibrations and see the absolute joy and pride on Terri Hooley’s face. "It was the start of the Northern Ireland punk story."

Billy Riot from Belfast

Which Good Vibes: "I used to go into the Great Victoria Street shop. It was above another shop and no other record shop had the same ambience as Good Vibrations."

Best buy: "The Ruts' new single The Crack - I remember getting my first pay packet at 16 in 1979 and going to Good Vibrations to buy it."

Best memory: "All of it, Good Vibrations was the epicentre for punk music in Belfast and you felt you were home there. Terri also released on the Good Vibrations a single I recorded with The Hard Cases, 'Belfast Born And Bred', and it's still in the shop today."

John Hanvey from Belfast

Which Good Vibes: "I only really went to the shop in Great Victoria Street when it was there."

Best buy: "It has to be John Cooper Clarke's Me And My Big Mouth."

Best memory: "I've known Terri for years and he invited me to the premiere of Good Vibrations the film, and that was a fantastic night."

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