Last night, the news broke that Dead Or Alive singer Pete Burns had died following a heart attack, aged 57. Tributes from fellow ‘80s icons including Boy George, Sinitta poured in, as did fond memories from fans of the musician.
Many, in particular, recalled personal encounters with Pete during his stint working behind the counter at Probe Records in Liverpool, back when Dead or Alive were in their formative stages. His customer service technique hinged on the kind of sharp put-downs that later made him an in-demand TV personality.
The initial call was put out by Ruth and Martin’s Album Club, when they tweeted a picture of Burns behind the till
Not long after, record buyers responded with their own memories of their experiences. Which weren’t always good…
He would stare right into your soul, pout, and then either serve you or tell you to do one.
— ampersand (@andyglaves) October 24, 2016
David Fisher got ‘bollocked’ for buying a Clash single
He bollocked me for buying a Clash single.
— David Fisher (@thefish1962) October 24, 2016
And John didn’t stand a chance asking after Rush’s ‘2112’
He told me "We don't sell that shit in here" whenI asked for a copy of 2112.
— John Black (@JB_1964) October 24, 2016
Kiss? No chance
.@RamAlbumClub took 30 minutes to pluck up the courage to ask how much that Kiss picture disc was. Still waiting for an answer.
— Gnom Icide (@GnomdePlume) October 24, 2016
He became quite an imposing figure
— Jeff (@ellibin) October 24, 2016
distinctly remember loitering in the corner waiting for him to be busy if I didn't think he'd approve of a record choice
— Nigel Campbell (@nigelccampbell) October 24, 2016
Pete once refused to sell me a Half Japanese box set in Probe one Saturday afternoon. "I'm not lettin' yer waste yer money on that shite…" https://t.co/9XkN0T8I5k
— Paul McGee (@Paul_McGee) October 24, 2016
we dared a mate to go in and ask for Long Haired Lover From Liverpool. He nearly got stabbed.
It was great fun. #RIP
— Tony Schumacher (@tonyshoey) October 24, 2016
told me to put a Japan single back and pick something decent… ?
— Clare McDonnell (@Claremacd) October 24, 2016
I went into Probe records at the age of 14 & asked Pete Burns for I Hate People by Anti Nowhere League. He fell to the floor in hysterics. https://t.co/Fb8XamnSP7
— Robby Brookside (@RobbyBrookside) October 24, 2016
He didn’t disapprove of everything.
@RamAlbumClub Asked for Julian Cope album, curled his lip, said 'He's a prick but he's our prick. Go 'ead.' #Memoriesofashopassistant
— Jillster (@jilljanoully) October 24, 2016
I got a perfectly civil, 'There you go, queen.' Bit disappointed, truth be told.
— Neil Scott (@66zimbo) October 24, 2016