Despite our arrival five hours late yesterday evening, we still went for dinner with Andrezj Mackiewicz– the CEO of TAKT, the Polish company that make the boxed sets that we sell every Christmas. During dinner, Andrezj kept apologizing for the quality of his English and for telling his stories. They will, however, be one of the highlights of my tour.
He grew up in communist Poland, where there was little money and even less access to music – “rock music was freedom”, in his words. Every Sunday, he got up at 5am to take four different trains and travel four hours to attend a record swap in a distant city. There, as he explained, he might swap Led Zeppelin II for King Crimson’s Islands, and make the four-hour journey home. For the following week, he and his friends would live and breathe that album. Between the three of them they owned the components for a HiFi. He had the speakers, a second friend the turntable, and a third friend the amplifier. They would listen to the music, knowing it would soon be gone. For at the end of the week, he would make the same journey and swap for another album.
Until the day he was finally able to buy his first new album. For a while, he could not even open the shrink wrap as he had never seen an unopened album. He could still describe the sensation of running his fingers over the textured surface of the cover when he first opened it. At that moment he knew he wanted a future involved with music – and now he makes all our special editions and boxed sets.
Somewhere in that story is the secret of why music matters. A pleasure to meet him and his partners, and lovely to be able to invite him to the Royal Package.