Keepers Of The Flame: Jorge Dias (Louie Louie)

Here's the first of a series of interviews with the owners/managers of Lisbon record shops, the true keepers of the flame. Jorge Dias, manager of Louie Louie answers to some questions regarding his taste in music and how to make a living selling records, among other things.
What's the importance of music in your life?
Music has definitely marked my life. It did to such extent that I ended up working on a record shop! It's a craze that comes from the beginning of my adolescence, which has manifested itself in many ways... There's a mystic side [to music] that leads us to project all kinds of ideas in it. From the political to the fantastic, there's room for a bit of everything. In the end, it even can help us understand ourselves.

What's your favourite music genre?
Generally speaking, anglo-saxon rock, extending to electronica, though I'm able to absorb and enjoy very diverse genres. Let's say that after so many years listening to music, no genres sound strange to me. But however, alternative rock and late '70s post-punk were what most struck me. Not just for its sonic form, but mainly because of the ideas carried.

Vinyl or CD? Why?
Both. As much as I would love to have more vinyl than CDs, the truth is that even working in the business, not everything is available or affordable. Furthermore, there are practical circumstances that make the CD format more acessible and "mobile". Be it to listen while traveling or play music on a bar, the CD can have its advantages. [I'll use] "Downloads" only if really there is no other option...

What's the album of your life?
I really don't think I have one. Alas, I've always been against those people that attach themselves to one artist or genre. But there is a group of albums that have definitely struck me, namely Talking Heads' "Remain In Light", Stooges' "Fun House", Siouxsie's "Kiss In a Dreamhouse", The Cure's "Faith", most of The Young Gods' discography, Bowie's "Scary Monsters", and so on...

Why sell records? What brought you to this business?
The necessity to feed my own addiction, and an invitation from my former partner João Moreira. [Jorge Dias was one of the founders of Carbono, the first used record shop in Lisbon, and one of its owners until 2007]

Is the customer always right or are there exceptions to the rule?
There are exceptions. It depends on his attitude. For the people standing behind the counter, the customers' attitude is super important. That's what distinguishes an "alternative" business from the "multinational" kind of approach.

Can one still make money selling records? Do you recommend this line of work to anyone?
It's possible, but as in any other independent business in the 21st century, you must have a very accurate knowledge and an almost supernatural perseverence...

What is the most valuable record you've sold? And the most curious one?
Some cult records on eBay, but I reserve that information for myself!
The must curious one? Easier to ask than to answer. Let's say I've sold some records that rather surprised me...

Tell me an interesting episode that has taken place in your shop.
Musicians often come here to buy their own records, because they offered all of their own copies... Here's another one: I've bought an LP collection from someone who bought the same albuns on CD, and later on I've sold the same LPs back to the same guy because he's collecting LPs again!