Birdman (Nick Cody)

by The Small Change Diaries

supported by
Heather Armstrong
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Heather Armstrong Awesome song and a great story. I need to visit this music store :)
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A few years ago while in the East Village New York I stumbled upon Rainbow Records, music store.
On the outside it looks like a pretty good bet with some Miles Davis box sets in the window. The shock however is when I opened the door to the actual shop. I have seen some pretty chaotic stores in my time and my own CD collection at home could do with some organizing BUT trust me you have never seen anything like this store...
Firstly there is only room for one customer to walk into the store at any one time as there are so many CDs, tapes and records stacked on all sides. There is no obvious system to figure out what is where and Bill simply throws out suggestions in a classic New York accent as to what customers might like...

"You like Peggy Lee? You like Dylan? Jazz is down the end to the right..."

Bill has been nicknamed "The Birdman" and he earned his money as a trader in previous times. There are around 20,000 CDs in the stores and thousands of albums, but it's totally impossible to do any kind of logical search. As you walk down the store existing customers have to back up to negotiate who can more in the shop. During all of this CDs regularly crash to the floor and Bill is heard to say "Don't worry about it" He also remarks "One time I got stuck in the back for hours."

I settled on a buying strategy of just looking at box sets and in order to locate some in the window Bill had to balance on a chair and use a stick to try and nudge requested items in our general direction. I have travelled the world and seen a lot of CD stores, but I can honestly say I have never seen anything like this, ever!

That having said I bought a Miles box set and found the whole experience wonderfully anarchistic. In a world where there is often far too much order and regulations, more Birdmen would in my view be no bad thing...

Nick Cody


Birdman of New York (Nick Cody)

Elvis crashes into Madonna, while the Beach Boys gather dust,
Stevie Wonder’s in the dark now, while Nina’s full of lust,
All she wants is a different dream, one she can abide,
Riding pillion with Steve McQueen, heading down Lower East Side

Frank’s not happy next to Iggy, getting under his skin,
Cat’s not thinking about religion and who’s on top of him,
Jazz and folk uneasy allies in this little space,
It’s a landslide community, everything’s out of place

Once you were a trader, Wall Street your domain,
Now they call you birdman with music on the brain

ITunes terms spreads like a virus, 50 pages to sign,
Even if I’m clicking yes, that music’s still not mine,
Borrowed files on data sticks have no real charm,
Picture less objects, only bring creative harm

Once you were a trader, Wall Street your domain,
Now they call you birdman with music on the brain

Blue cheese dreams in my head, thinking about happier times,
City stores once that stood tall, giving us listening rhymes,
This Birdman he bucks the trend, no pc in sight,
Rainbow Records rainbow thinking, a musical delight

Once you were a trader, Wall Street your domain,
Now they call you birdman with music on the brain

©Nick Copy 2013


released December 13, 2014
Nick Cody vocals and ukulele, Jessica Bowie vocals and ukulele, Garry Jackson Double Bass, Rich Ferdinando percussion, Rob Sayles guitar



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The Small Change Diaries Leeds, UK

The Small Change Diaries is a musical ensemble founded in 2014 dedicated to creating and playing original lyric based acoustic music. Founder members are Jessica Bowie (ukulele and vocals) Nick Cody (ukulele and vocals) Garry Jackson Double Bass, Rich Ferdinando percussion ... more

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