Many years ago I owned a record shop so when I was in Belfast I was delighted to meet Terri Hooley who is a bit of a local hero. How I met him is in itself interesting ... I was photographing some Street Art when a taxi driver (part time photographer) started talking to me about my camera (Sony NEX-7) and we had a very long conversation about video cameras and related topics. He suddenly ask me if I knew who Terri Hooley and when I answered yes he introduced me to Terri who was standing behind us.
Good Vibrations is a Belfast record label and store. Founded by Terri Hooley in the early 1970’s, Good Vibrations started out in a small derelict building on Great Victoria Street, Belfast. It is now located on Winetavern Street, Belfast.
Hooley's main objective in starting the company was to introduce punk bands from Northern Ireland to the rest of the United Kingdom, as he did not believe Northern groups were given enough attention.
The label's first recording was for a local band called Rudi, a single called "Big Time". Hooley would later sign groups such as Victim, The Moondogs, The Shapes, Protex, The Outcasts, The Tearjerkers and The Undertones.
When the Undertones' "Teenage Kicks" came out, he "hustled it around every record company in London and they all hated it. I came back to Belfast and cried my eyes out. That night John Peel played it on the radio and said, ‘wasn't that the most wonderful record you've heard in your life?' and played it again."
The company also put on concerts around Northern Ireland, hiring hotel function rooms, church halls, youth clubs, and any other available venues. Good Vibrations hosted the first ever International Festival of Punk and New Wave at the Belfast Royal Ulster Hall over two nights in 1980 featuring almost the entire roster of the label's bands and other punk acts such as The Saints.
Despite growing popularity Good Vibrations filed bankruptcy in 1982, just as the first wave of British punk had officially died. Bands that had gone to London, such as Protex and Rudi, went back to Hooley – and Belfast. Hooley's friends later got him a shop called Vintage Records, Co. just around the corner from Good Vibrations.
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