Walking into an old school barbershop is a recipe for nostalgia no matter where you go. The smell of talcum powder, Pinuad aftershave, barbicide are sights we’ve all grown up seeing. The conversations a person can have with a local barber are seldom dull or lacking in substance. Marco’s Barber Shoppe is no different.
The walls of Marco’s Barber Shoppe are
covered in Beatles photographs and plenty music memorabilia. Sal Arrira took a
moment to talk about his career in rock and roll radio, cutting hair in the
Coast Guard and hosting a Beatles Saturday special at the barbershop.
How long has the shop been here?
The shop has been here four years, five in May. As far as the barbershop goes, Marc Serrano is the owner. I have to say, the people of Winchester are wonderful. They are all very kind people and make this job fantastic.
On your sign, it says you guys are an old school barbershop. What makes it old school and why is that important?
The way it looks. The neck shaves, most people don’t do that anymore. We occasionally do a hot towel shave if we are busy. Again, most barbershops don’t do that.
Is that kind of a dying art?
Yeah, pretty much.
When did you start cutting hair?
I started cutting hair when I was in the Coast Guard back in 1968.
Where were you stationed?
Boston, New Jersey, Virginia, and Gloucester.
And so, did you have pervious experience cutting hair?
Before that? No, not at all. But I started doing it more and more and I liked it. I was radio DJ most of my life.
No kidding? Where at?
Pretty much every station in Boston. I started off spinning records. Now people don’t even know what those are. I started in 1970 for Curt Gowdy, the voice of Red Sox baseball. I still listen to WBZ. I can’t listen to radio these days. Back in the day, there was real music and real guitar heroes. Today, there really isn’t. Musicians have been exposed to computerized sounds; they weren’t raised on the classics. Now, I hear modern music is mostly sampled. Here’s my Beatles ticket.
You saw the Beatles at Suffolk Downs?
I was 14 when they came out; I saw them when I was 16. My whole music background was the British Invasion as I was a teenager. It was a fantastic sound. But yeah, they were my first concert. Growing up, I would see Bob Dylan playing on the sidewalk in Harvard Square. We do a Beatles Saturday every weekend. People come in to sit and listen to The Beatles, sing along and hang out all morning. I leave here on Saturdays feeling great.