Meet the man who’s had two of the world’s coolest jobs

editorial image
0
Have your say

The man who co-steered one of the world’s most beloved record stores has quit the business – to run a pub in Wendover!

Husband and wife team Peter and Shelley Donne took over the King and Queen pub in Wendover in February.

And the couple are celebrating the venture’s burgeoning success by hosting a country music and beer festival weekend over the bank holiday.

Peter, a former director of Rough Trade Retail is no stranger to being front and centre.

Hailing from Wendover, the former Aylesbury Grammar School boy started his career working for Aylesbury’s Earth Records, owned by Friars boss David Stopps .

After his sister put in a good word, Peter started working for the first Rough Trade store in Kensington in 1979, at the time that the business’ record label was expanding.

But in 1982, just before Rough Trade records signed The Smiths, a consultation began about the store’s future.

Peter said: “It was growing very fast and evolved very quickly, it was all part of the DIY culture at the time.

“They were going to sell the shop and we all got to together and said could we take it over.

“It was a really big step, because I was only 23 and had young kids as well, but we did it, and it just carried on from there. Since then we have opened shops in Paris, Tokyo and Covent Garden, and in 2006 the big shop opened in Brick Lane, shortly afterwards we opened one in Williamsburg in New York which is 10,000 square feet.”

And Rough Trade’s DIY, authentic spirit attracted a slew of celebrities to the iconic stores.

Peter said: “Rough Trade has always been a destination point for music fans, and musicians themselves are no different.

“In the early days when I first started working there John Lydon came into the shop, ostensibly to buy reggae seven inch singles. There was Johnny Rotten standing in front of me making me play bits from seven inch records.

“Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love famously came into our Talbot Road shop while they were setting up for a tour. I was specifically after The Raincoats first album, and we hooked them up with Anna de Silva from the band who was living in Portobello Road and they ended up supporting on that tour.

“David Bowie and Van Morrison came in too, and Brian Eno is a regular customer.”

But after 35 years in arguable one of the coolest jobs in the world, Peter was ready for a change of pace, and couldn’t resist when the King and Queen lease came up in his home town.

He said: “Most importantly with this place, I want it to have the sense of that collaborative element that we had at Rough Trade.

“I want people who come to the pub regularly to feel like they have stake in the place too. And to bring an eclectic mix of cultural things like poetry, book launches and of course music.”

For more about the beer festival to www.thekingandqueen.squarespace.com