Bad Vibes


McKittrick reports in the Indie on the closure of Terri Hooley’s Good Vibrations.

He is proud of the fact that he introduced the BBC’s late John Peel to the punk anthem “Teenage Kicks”, which propelled local band The Undertones to international prominence. Peel said it was his favourite song.
Mr Hooley is also known for the time he punched John Lennon at a party because the Beatle said something in support of the IRA. He also took Bob Dylan to task for not campaigning against the Vietnam war, provoking the folk legend into saying: “Why don’t you just eff off

My favourite – don’t be bitten twice… sus sus sus sus sus sus….

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  • wee buns

    One punk veteran recalled: “Good Vibrations was the only thing that reflected the youth culture. Belfast was like a cultural wasteground – there was absolutely nothing.”

    I second that; intensely grey days, but used to love the buzz around that shop & remember buying the Magizine album there. ….sorry to see it go…..

  • granni trixie

    Sorry to be selfish but would a pristine, Bank Robbers (pretend publicity) ten pound note or Good Vibes records be worth anything? Offers?

  • JAH

    I hadn’t realised it was still going and I suspect I’m not alone. But then I haven’t visited a record store in years.

    But there’s a bit of good Vibrations and Mr Hooley forever lodged in my heart with everyone else who ever lounged around in the Punk era.

  • nightrider

    The old store in Great Victoria Street, with the cardboard Elvis pointing to the tiny staircase up to the tiny emporium, was indeed Mecca for a load of us on saturdays. can’t seem to find a photo of the old shop anywhere?

  • al

    Good Vibrations may be closing but with acts like SLF still going strong the legacy of NI punk still lives on.

  • JAH

    “Good Vibrations may be closing but with acts like SLF still going strong the legacy of NI punk still lives on.”

    Surely the legacy is the new groups like Two Door Cinema Club rather than these fossils. Good in their day but imagine living an entire life based around a brief moment? Feargal Sharkey had the best idea of all by refusing any reunions. Time to move on.

  • Alias

    A retail premise is the wrong business model for vintage record sales. Most of them are online, and enjoying access to a much larger market from a much smaller cost base. It’s either a (redundant) way of life or a way of making money…

  • Nunoftheabove

    Quite right JAH me oul’ wobbler

    “In memory, everything seems to happen to music” as my long estranged and indeed long deceased pal Tennessee (or ‘Wait and See’, as I knew him him) Williams once opined.

    People who say that punk lives (or even should do, whether it can or not) on have no idea what real punk was to begin with nor much real love in their hearts for it. Well, either that or they’re just cash-in old tarts.

  • al


    Are Two Door Cinema Club a Punk band?

    SLF are still recording and playing new material. Punk died in the late 70s but some groups are still going and fair play to them.

    I fail to get excited by new music these days, there seems to be less feeling in what they’re singing.

  • JAH

    SLF were a punk band but the last time I saw them at the Hammersmith c82 they were dressed like New Romantics, bandannas and all.

    As for The Undertones, hardly punk at all but New Wave.

    Terry was not stuck in narrow groves.

  • William Markfelt

    I don’t understand this nostalgia trip at all. Good in its day, but irrelevant now, and the crying over its demise misses the point of punk entirely, although so much of the clientele of the shop were so fucking thick that it’s unsurprising that they bought into the ‘year zero’ politics then and buy the nostalgia trip now.

    It was all about a fresh landscape, about sweeping away the past and the ‘old farts’. The old farts the nostalgia freaks have now become.

    Not so much ‘good vibrations’ as ‘good riddance’ to another old dinosaur. There’s more variety, more new music, more free and downloadable music available today than Terri Hooley (or any other label/shop) could ever have produced, and there’s a ton of it waiting to be discovered.

    Move forward, move on, and to those crying about this I say ‘you’ve turned into your Dads…maaaaaaaaaan!’ Some of you were missing the point then, and you continue to miss it now.

    You filthy fuckers.(subtle nod to ‘Grundy’ there).

  • granni trixie

    Yes, I think the point is being missed in this trip down memory lane. I associate images of someone carrying a kettle as a handbag and a piece of toast pinned to a label with a safety pin with opunk in the 70s. I just got it without quite needing to understanding ‘the point’. From this distance was it not about absurdity and irony as an antidote to the orthodox?

    In the context of NI some say it kept them out of trouble and provided spaces devoid of sectarianism.

  • I kept seeing and still do the graf tag SLF. I thought that the band had some hardcore fans which of course they do they’re just not the sort who go and scrawl on a walls (now)
    Turns out is wasn’t Stiff Little Fingers fans leaving their mark but the clarion call to
    “Smoke Like Fuck”
    Punk isn’t dead it just smells funny

    (I still haven’t found out what BLF stands for)

  • William Markfelt

    ‘From this distance was it not about absurdity and irony as an antidote to the orthodox?’


  • Dewi
  • Dewi
  • William Markfelt

    You see, there you go….35 year old music. A nostalgia trip. You could be linking to something new, fresh, contemporary, vibrant, alive in 2011.

    This is why stuff like Good Vibes (and record shops) have to go. It’s just a trip down memory lane for a long faded youth. Yes, indeed. Everyone GETS the punk concept.

    Live for now. Live for the future. This 35 year old shite is pointless, in terms of revisitation.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Markfelt ,

    And sure what the hell would you know ? ;-D

  • wee buns

    The very notion that enjoying non contemporary music = you are turning into your Da…….sorry to say that means only that your Da must’ve had pants taste in music.

    It isn’t the property of age or generations. Example: The Rory Gallagher festival in Ballyshannon is going strong & attended by gangs of hugely interested yoof who presumably don’t listen exclusively to 70’s rock.
    I inherited loads of sustainable blues influences from my parents.
    My kids, a couple of whom are into their twenties/ guitars & bands, have been known to pick up a riff from the Buzzcocks or Joy Division.
    I hadn’t realized until hunting for that Magazine track that Radiohead covered it. The worthy stuff gets incorporated, not cast aside.

    Re 70’s Belfast having zero ‘cultural’ scene (read as bleak as fuck) gives insight into why punk was very useful for that generation of young ones.
    It raged against everything. It was the perfect soundtrack to the sight of a dog licking up your neighbor’s blood on the way to school.
    In retrospect there was also a spontaneous cross community synergy going on, which in more recent times would have taken a very highly paid community worker to facilitate.
    But that’s anarchy for you.
    We had a good time.

  • Dewi

    post the good stuff,

  • wee buns

    The Moondogs had an album called ‘Good Vibrations’ but not sure if it was named after the shop or vise versa, or maybe nothing to do with it.