Apr 17, 2009

Tretchicovs and radiograms, TVs and aspidistras: the death of Johnny Roadhouse

Johnny Roadhouse, the propieter of Manchester's famous music shop of the same name, has finally ascended the stairway to heaven.

(That metaphor was necessary by law.)

Saxophonist Roadhouse has died at the age of 88.  His website says he "passed away in his sleep early on Saturday 11 April, 2009. He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered, by all his family, friends and staff."

Johnny Roadhouse (the shop, not the man) was featured in Oasis' video for The Masterplan. Roadhouse (the man, not the shop) has played with Elton John and the Halle orchestra. Also, Paul McCartney famously hired a guitar from the Roadhouse (the shop, not the man) for a sesh at the BBC.

Even Les Dawson hung out there.

Smiths drummer Mike Joyce paid tribute to Roadhouse, saying, "Every single band in Manchester has gone through Johnny Roadhouse Music at some stage - it's impossible not to... Music shops come and go, but Johnny Roadhouse stays. It's synonymous with Manchester music."

On an electronic tip, 808 State bought a serious chunk of their gear from Roadhouse. Which is quite suitable, considering the 'State were responsible for bringing saxophone to the post-acid dancefloor. Graham Massey pays tribute to the shop here with the wonderful line:

"In the 1970s, Americans would have called it a pawn shop, as it seemed to do house clearances: alongside the drum kits and guitar amps were Tretchicovs and radiograms, TVs and aspidistras."

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