Guest Column – “I wish it could be 1965 again”

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A&R man (The Libertines among his spots), band manager and rock’n’roll raconteur James Endeacott set up his own record label, 1965 Records, in 2006 in conjunction with SonyBMG. After several years – and a lot of records – the enterprise came to an end… but despite, or indeed because of that experience he’s at it again. Reviving 1965 for the new year, the label kicks back into life with a night at the Amersham Arms in London on 20 December featuring Holy, Man & The Echo and Lusts live, while Palma Violets are on the decks. Explaing why it’s 1965 again, he’s written a guest column for Q on the joys and pitfuls of having your own label.

Running a record label is quite a mad thing to do. The competition is fierce and, despite what people tell you, records don’t really sell anymore. It usually costs a load of money and the chances of getting it back are pretty slim but if you’re clever about it you can break even and you can have the time of your life.

I started 1965 Records almost ten years ago and was bankrolled by a major record label… despite having a Number One album with The View within 12 months the label folded after three years as I’d spent a stupid amount of money and, guess what, not sold enough records. I kept the name of the label and went into a corner to listen to jazz records and to contemplate middle age, teenage kids and hangovers that last at least 48 hours. Maybe I should write a book and tell people of my life in rock n roll…

Over the last couple of years I’ve been writing the book and I’ve also come across so many good records and bands that I was starting to get itchy feet… I wanted back in the game. I was jealous of great records coming out and me having nothing to do with them.

There was only one thing to do and that was to get back on the bike and start peddling. I found like minded souls to help me re-realise my dream and here I am. The label is back – I have offices above a pub in the increasingly fashionable New Cross, South East London and two top music heads to keep us afloat.

We’ve signed a couple of bands and have our eyes on a couple more… it’s small steps but it’s exciting. The blood is starting to pump through the veins again – the passion is there and the heart is still beating. There is nothing better than seeing a band grow from a shitty rehearsal room through releasing their first record to getting mentioned in he music press and finally hearing them on the radio…

In order to spread the 1965 word we have also decided to put gigs on… I’ve heard people still go to live music so we should be ok there… the whole thing was a trip last time round but this time I feel the drink is going to be spiked more than normal… Let the rollercoaster begin – come and join me and the 1965 family as we try to make sense of it all…
James Endeacott @jamesendeacott

Head to www.1965records.co.uk for full details of the labels return, plus for more missives from James check out Jamesendeacott.wordpress.com.