A few minutes ago, while listening to Manowar on Spotify, I remembered something that happened almost 15 years ago. It was June 1998, it was a Saturday, and I was home in Barcelona having lunch with my brother and our friend David. The news were on. All of the sudden the news announced that Barcelona’s Virgin Megastore was closing and everything was at least 50% off and up. We stared at each other. No words were shared. We were teenagers and we loved rock music. Nothing had to be said. We were on our way!

That day I bought Pennywise‘s Full Circle, Bad Religion‘s The Gray Race and a couple more albums. Some of us got albums by Metallica too. At some point we ran into my girlfriend’s cousin, a guy who had worked as a photographer for Zeleste (the most famous rock venue in Barcelona at that time, but currently converted to a lame, overrated, overcrowded and very expensive, fancy wannabe club named Razzmatazz) when the Ramones (yes, the Ramones!) played there live several times in the 80s. He was holding dozens of CDs he intended to buy and he could barely hold them with his hands. I remember him handing me another CD for me to buy. He said “here, take this one too, it’s Nirvana, you’ll like it…”.

Good ol’ times when Sir. Richard Branson owned the coolest music, video and book stores in Europe. This role nowadays belongs to FNAC, at least in Barcelona…

Time has gone by and Sir. Branson is getting ready to launch his newest service under the Virgin brand name. He might not sell CDs in rock’n’roll decorated stores anymore, but soon he will take you to the outer space… if you pay, of course. The new venture is called Virgin Galactic and will be headquartered at the Space Port America in New Mexico.


Read more about Virgin Galactic at IEEE’s Spectrum Magazine, which considers it one of the main elements of its 2013 Tech to Watch list.