Not so much a music shop - more a second hand/ cheap electronics shop. The shop was a haven for young muso's who needed a Reslo, wanted a 15 watt amp or perhaps even a Watkins Rapier for a tenner. I personally spent hours hunting thru the second hand records.
Tony Lingard remembers "we bought our bands first amp (Watkins Dominator) there...4 inputs so that sorted out mic, 2 guitars AND bass...it didn't last long!"
All thats left of Mazels in the back wall - still, its next door to
a Curry House, so worth a visit!
(photo: S Bunyan)
"The main thing I recall about Mazels were the 'minders' on the door, who presumably would keep you out if they didn't like the look of you, or keep you in if they thought you'd pinched something! Allegedly Mazel was a squatter on that site for years. A mate of mine had a Mazeltoff amp!"
Paul Braddock, ex-Barratts
Stuart Bunyan recalls "When I first started playing in bands we used to use Reslo mikes, the double sided ones that used to blow ribbons dead easy. We got that hacked of with them and decided to move to Shure's. We stuck silver foil out of fag packets in them to replace the ribbon and took them into Mazzell's. He bought the lot for almost as much as we bought them for cause the amp he used to test them with was crap. He was an old guy and ran the business with his wife."
"I had an acoustic guitar I'd bought for 7 quid and got tired of getting no further than 'Skip to my Lou' so I took it to Mazel's to see if I could flog it. The place had more junk in it than Steptoe's yard. I was offered £2-10s. Even though skint I thought the deal was too low and decided to keep the guitar, which I then carried into the Blood Bank off London Road to donate some blood in exchange for tea and biscuits. Then I borrowed a shilling, to add to the threppence I already had, to pay my bus-fare home to Darnhill, Heywood and more 'Skip to the Lou'. "
I was reading the article about Mazels which brought many happy memories back to me. I used to work in Charles Street in the late 50's & early 60s. During our lunch time break we used to walk to Mazels, which was on London Road, about a 5 minute walk from where we worked. We would pick up Lonnie, Elvis and many jazz records. Some of the records were in little plastic bags, because the original record sleave had been lost. Singles were about 2/6d, EP's 4/- and LP's about 5/6d.
The shop was very untidy, not as bad as Steptoe's yard. Happy days and great music.
30 Jan 1965
I remember when I first started playing guitar in the '70s and getting the 210 from Denton to Mazel Radio on London Rd.
Went with my mate Colin to buy a MAZELTOFF 10 WATT AMP, a little grey combo with 12 in speaker they were a tenner (a quid per watt maybe?)
Remember seeing the advert for Mazels in the Manchester Evening News, small ads. We really thought we had started our band on the road to success when he bought that amp, think it had 2 inputs, and one rotary "tone" and volume control on the side of the chipboard casing, don't know if they made them in the back or not...anybody know?
Anyhow, think it lasted a few months before the speaker was destroyed by putting both my Woolworths "Auditon" single pickup electic guitar and his Bass through it to practice; never found out if Colin continued to play, but hope he improved if he did!
The picture on the site is too far up London Road towards the town centre, although the shop may have been here at one time, the building I recall used to be the other side of the railway out towards Ardwick, it occupied the grassed area in the photo, the flyover in the background is the Mancunian Way, as I recall the shop was demolished when the University buildings, to the right, were extended.
Beyond the Mancunian Way, in what some folk will know as the RS Colour labs building, now resides the School of Sound Recording (SSR) which is in the business of training aspiring live and studio engineers, this is a superb facility and is helping continue Manchesters great contributions to the music world. http://www.s-s-r.com/
Mazels was heaven to me ... I spent hours rummaging through his unbelievably enormous valve collection. I guess he, like many others of the era, had bought up old WW2 stock for peanuts and sat on it until the stuff became collectable.
With reference to the School Of Recording, I set up and taught myself and ran a very successful studio for many years without a " certificate " because I was very inquisitive and in those days, you had to build gear and get old government stuff to work as you just couldn't afford to buy the pro stuff and there was no courses or anything .
The graduates of the SSR will never know what they've missed !!
I still have a couple of Mazel boxed valves (possibly Russian cold war stock !! )
I remember my Dad buying my first tape recorder and microphone for Christmas from here for about £5.00.
Also got a pair of Walkie Talkies from here, circa 1968.
A great place to look around.
I think thay had another shop in Harpurhey.
In the mid to late sixties me and my friends used to strip down old radio chassis, remove the valves then go up to see Mr Mazel. He used to bring boxes out of the inner depths of his shop and lovingly open them to reveal huge beautiful KT 88s and 45 push pulls. At the time the height of sophistication used to be an auto-changer Dansette or if you had a few quid a Blaupunkt radiogram.
We used to replace the old radio valves with our Mazels valves, line two chassis together and blast out monstrous Bluebeat and soul tunes through home-made speaker boxes with 18 inch bass reflex speakers and Jensen tweeters. We were 14/15 at the time and were notorious around Old Trafford. The police were regularly called out to deal with the noise 'nuisance' we created. We ended up making similar (but not quite as good!) systems for quite a few of them. Don't think they ended up being career policemen!
Mr and Mrs Mazel used to love us like we were their own children, they were fascinated by these barely teenage kids who used to mither them to death to sell us what by that time were seen as outmoded and useless relics. Mr Mazel used to threaten us that he would turn up without warning to see what we were getting up to but sadly he never did, Beneath his grumpy exterior he was a lovely, kind and extremely witty man.
The pictures on this site brought back memories. The "rather grumpy" proprietor had a rival in the sale of cheap surplus stock - a firm called Godley's, on Shudehill. The regular small ads in the MEN frequently made digs at Godley's for being too expensive. Why pay Godley's prices - you know the kind of thing. Mazel's also sold out of date film, which was the only way I could afford to enjoy photography in those days.
Thanks to you all for posting these photographs and reminding me of the time when Manchester was a very different place from now.
1958 picture shows the 'Long Playing Record' shop
which eventually became the second hand guitar and amp shop.
They eventually took over the premises of Forsters, JAK Scooter
Spares and the other shop in between so that they
owned the whole row. Dave the grumpy proprietor held out
to the end as the area was cleared to make way for the University (UMIST) extension. Tom Bancroft
I bought a bass guitar from Mr Mazel (a Framus Star bass) the day I got my wrist taken out of plaster after a football accident at Ancoats hospital. I remember when I was a small boy in the 50s going through the tea chests of valves outside the shop with my dad. I later bought a Mazeltoff amp from the shop he opend in Manchester Road, Denton. I think he opend the shop afer the bulldozers got rid of the London Road shop.
Mazel Radio - what wonderful memories that name evokes! As a teenager - a lifetime ago now - I used to buy a pop record there every week. I also remember buying my very first transistor radio there - a brown bakelite model - for the princely sum of 17/6d. Wonderful memories indeed!
Mazels was a second hand shop on London Road, just before PiccadilySstation which sold all sorts of Radio and TV bits and pieces. They also had a very large collection of records which were displayed outside the shop in wooden boxes. You could even get the old 78`s there but also quite a lot of imports , soul and Blu Beat. I used to go down Saturday morning rain or shine cold hands thumbing through looking for the records I wanted. I was after King of Kings by Jimmy Cliff for ages but only managed to find a version by someone else Ez Rico ??...still bought it though.
I used to work for Abe Dardick, the owner of Mazel Radio, from Aug 1961 until Oct 1966. Abe took over each shop on that block as it became empty, until he had the entire lot.
He did have a Brokers licence, that was so often confused with a pawn broker, many a row ensued when folk would come back weeks or months later to redeem their goods they thought they had pledged, only to find that they had already been sold, or had a price on them that they couldnt afford.
There were some well known names visited the shop, I sold an Amp to Denny Lane when he was with The Moody Blues, Dave Lee Travis was a customer, so were Tony Prince, Harry Worth, The Troggs, Ian Brady & the chief Prosecution witness against The Moors Murderers, the couple that played Harry & Concepta Hewitt in early editions of Corrie were among those iI can recall.
We once bought a lorry load of old Wurlizer juke box's for 5 shillings (25p) each, it was a common sight to see railway lorries delivering literally 1000's of old deleted 78 rpm records.
Abe had a mantra, if folk travel this far to sell something, they won't go home with it, so offer 'em bottom Dollar, and even after these people were shocked at the low offers we made and they went to other similar shops, but they ALWAYS ended up coming back to us.
My dad used to take me to this place as a kid, I remember box's of records on the pavement outside and headphones and to play records inside before you bought. We bought many records here, "Torchy the battery boy sticks in my mind". Dad loved all kinds of music and he passed this on to me. I have a 78 in the Mazel cover and it makes me smile whenever I come across it. More picture ar on the Central Library archive. Lovely, lovely memories.
What a magical place Mazels was. Valve amps everywhere. Bought a Hofner senator bass for 28 quid there and when the band split I sold my red burns sonic ( the one in the books photo, Blue Rondos ) to him for £12. I must have been nuts.
The shop on London Rd had a very cool atmosphere, there were objects everywhere, it only took seconds before something caught your eye that you coveted. I bought my first amp from Mr Mazel, a 10 watt Mazeltoff, they were not really well made but sounded good to me with my first guitar - a Hofner Verithin. I often think about that little amp, there's one on ebay now for £325, it's still got 2 days to run so god knows what it will realize by then.
We used to go in midweek when there were not many customers and Mr Mazel would let you try stuff. When he got tired of hearing the racket and kicked us out we would make our way to Mayers & Harrison's off Chester Rd, they also used to let us try stuff. Fantastic pictures, takes me back.
I came across an empty Fender 2 x 12 Bassman cabinet which matched up with my own set-up. A pair of Fane speakers were purchased from Mazel radio and so I now had a Fender Bassman 50 driving 2 cabinets of 2 x 12 speakers.
I used these in my resident Gig at St. Edmunds Club in Little Hulton for many years.
Thank you Mr.Mazel.
What great memories......I used to get the 92 bus from Stockport to Mazels on some Saturdays to see what was there, and it was an alladin's cave. There was ex ww2 stuff, records, guitars, amps, and reel to reels etc etc. I remember mountains of valves and assorted spares everywhere. The story I heard was that the owner took over a number of empty shops next to each other, and only ever paid rent for just one. Apparently the freehold owners could not evict him due to the law in those days, so left him alone for years.. There was a repairman there called Michael, and he was kept busy all the time trying to make silk purses from pigs ears !!
I remember the little Mazeltoff amps her used to sell, and also FAL amps he was agent for. Happy happy wonderful days.............
Used to love going there in the late sixties early seventies browsing through the selection of cheap 45's and EPs. Bought quite a few Beatle EPs there. I coveted a mini 45 player displayed in the window that used a pp3 battery to power it (I'd never seen the equivalent in any other store) I saved all the money from my part time job (I was still at school ... job was at Woolies St Mary's Gate M/Cr) and bought it...brilliant...me and my mate used to wag it from school and play all our 45s on it (good job we didn't live in the age of MP3's..we'd never have gone to school!).
There was a sister branch in Middleton (my hometown)...but not as good.
Thanks for posting the pics...a cherished part of my formative years now brought to life
I went to Mazels store on London Road many times I used to spend ages going through all their LP's in fact I suspect that could be my Lambretta scooter parked outside !
Lawrence Brian Hoskins
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I used to be hooked on Mazel's as a kid in the mid-1950s. Used to cycle from Wythenshawe every Saturday. Not many records then, mainly 78s with the odd LP. Main interest was the core shop with it's used radios and thousands of glass valves, plus the hundreds of other used electronic items. In 1958 I started work at a printers in Echo Street off Granby Row, directly behind Mazel's - perfect! Most folk remember the guitars and amps section. It sprang up in the early 1960s as all the guys who bought their guitars from Reno's, Highams, etc., hoping to be the next Beatles found that either they couldn't keep up the h.p. payments, or found they couldn't learn to play, so there was Abe to take them off their hands. This opened up new opportunities for novices to get a cheap set up. The whole area was compulsorily purchased by the council in 1961 for the UMIST expansion. While most firms took the compensation money and moved, Mazel hung on, expanding into the shops ... Read More
I used to be hooked on Mazel's as a kid in the mid-1950s. Used to cycle from Wythenshawe every Saturday. Not many records then, mainly 78s with the odd LP. Main interest was the core shop with it's used radios and thousands of glass valves, plus the hundreds of other used electronic items. In 1958 I started work at a printers in Echo Street off Granby Row, directly behind Mazel's - perfect! Most folk remember the guitars and amps section. It sprang up in the early 1960s as all the guys who bought their guitars from Reno's, Highams, etc., hoping to be the next Beatles found that either they couldn't keep up the h.p. payments, or found they couldn't learn to play, so there was Abe to take them off their hands. This opened up new opportunities for novices to get a cheap set up. The whole area was compulsorily purchased by the council in 1961 for the UMIST expansion. While most firms took the compensation money and moved, Mazel hung on, expanding into the shops which were vacated until he had the whole row. They were able to last a bit longer because the new build was set back from the road and they weren't causing any delays at first.
Mazels Ha remember buying a power amp from London Rd it looked like a Rat cage with two or three valves in it gave out about 24 watts totally useless. Guess it was all part of that rich tapestry of growing up.
Those 10w Mazeltoff amps sounded pretty good wound up. I can still recall the sweet smell of warm wood and dust.That got our band started, and we're still playing over 40 years later. It'd be great to travel back and rummage through that shop. I recall my dad saying it was on London Road, but I thought I visited it in Shude Hill. I wonder if Abe bought out his competitor Godley's eventually?
Not too much to add, except that I had a Mazeltoff 10w amp which - can this be right???? - had a Wharfedale 12" speaker in it??? Mate called Dave Whittaker messed with the electronics eventually and added a pre-amp, which about doubled the dB. There were two inputs and the first pro to combo I was in, we used to plug both guitars in, which gave a lovely beat/cut out effect. We didn't care. This, surely, was rock'n'roll.
Addition/correction: Funny how the mind works. As soon as I sent that last post, I "remembered" that the speaker in my Mazeltoff was a Goodmans.They must have been making them in the back with recycled parts, but in fact it sounded pretty damned good. For £10!!!