Alan Dodson is a vinyl and antics trader at the Elephant and Castle market. You will find him sitting on his chair with his fur hat on, smoking a cigarette and speaking about the great musicians he has met in the 60s.
He has started his career as a supermarket manager when he was only twenty years old. After a couple of years, Superdrug the drugstore brand came and asked him if he wanted to work for them. But Alan wanted to do his own thing so he started selling his cosmetic products. Unfortunately, this didn’t go as well as planned and Alan decided to work for the fire brigade.
26 years he worked for them as a computer technician and introduced his station how to use computers. After 26 years he decided to go into early retirement. After a year of doing nothing, he wanted to open his own little store at Elephant and castle. Underrated by the market manager, that he wouldn’t have his store for very long. He still got his place in the heart of Elephant and Castle.
He started with selling DVDs and CDs but suddenly he experienced this little niche that the “youngsters” are getting more and more interested in vinyl records. So he decided to add records to his stock. Alan has lived all his life in this area: “I’m not just a local trader, I’m a local customer, a local person”.
Everyone who has ever visited Alans record store can clearly tell that he loves music; Ambelique and Bob Dylan are blasting out of the speakers. Alan is enjoying the music, the people visiting his store and listening to his stories. Alan is enjoying life. “I`m a bit like Elton John, I`m a lover of music“. And music was his first and only love. Alan seems a bit like a lonely wolf howling songs of Bob Dylan.
Alan was keen enough to meet one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th centuries including Earl Stuart, Paul Simon and his idol Bob Dylan. He looks back with joy on the times where he smoked cigarettes and drank wine with these music icons. He said that he has met his idol and even though Bob Dylan was a shy and quiet guy and Alan was a bit disappointed, he said he has met his hero and he will never forget this day. Alan seems very happy when he speaks about his idols and he smiles from one ear to the other.
“music, laughter, humour, comedy, sex, drugs and Rock n Roll back in the 60s that’s what matters to me“
His customers describe him as a “cool guy”, knowing everything about music and Lawrence Simms said: “I am always excited to see him and hear his stories about the 60s and Bob Dylan and he can always recommend me a good vinyl.”
As mentioned before, Alan seems like a lonely wolf, He has never been married and doesn’t have children. His only love ever was music. He said he never regretted not getting married. The only time where he has felt lonely was when he was in the hospital, but this wouldn’t let him down.
His plan for the future is to get his own little record store. When the shopping centre is being teard off, many shopkeepers will lose their shops. Alan wants to find his own little store, locally, and he wants to expand more with records and antiques.