Sent in by a faithful jotter...an encounter with the mighty Dave Robinson of Stiff Records
It was the summer of 1979 and Stiff artistes—Wreckless Eric, Jona Lewie, and of course the Queen of Stiff, Lene Lovich, seemed to be everywhere. My neighbour in North Hertfordshire supplied marble fittings to the rich and famous. I occasionally helped him deliver these adornments locally. But this time we were going further afield---into trendy Battersea, where, according to my neighbour, a pop mogul called Dave Robinson wanted a marble bathroom delivered.
We arrived at the address, a large Victorian house which was in the process of being gutted. There were various people chatting in what looked like the sitting room. I didn’t recognise anyone who resembled Lene, but Eric, Ian Durie or Jona may have been there, as indeed could have been various members of Madness, who had yet to conquer the charts. At the time I don’t think I’d heard of Dave Robinson, but he was certainly present, and after we had struggled up the staircase with the various unwieldy stabs of marble, he duly signed the paperwork and we were off home.
My marble fittings neighbour was a crusty Tory in his early fifties, who, on the way back confided to me that he thought Mick Jagger might dress smartly if he had wanted to impress someone like him. I think he was faintly proud that someone prominent in pop music had bought a bathroom suite from him. As for Mr Robinson, I sometimes wonder what he is doing now, 27 years on from the demise of his famous label. Can he still afford to live at that smart address in Battersea and if so do Suggs and Lene (who, incidentally is still touring) sometimes pop in for a chat.