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Meet your May Cool Collector. Each month, we chat to someone with a passion for collecting: vinyl, CDs, DVDs, blu-ray, dust… or any other type of physical media. We love what they’re about, and you will too. Be awestruck, be jealous or just be inspired with new ideas for your own cool collections.This month, we chat to Matt: He’s a legit-proper classical musician, started collecting with The Muses in Regent Arcade back in the day (yay!) and would rather be blind than deaf - music profoundly moves him and makes life better. Read about his wide-ranging tastes and top-5 songs of all time. Over to you, Matt.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 47, married with two teenage boys 17 & 15. I’m a classically trained musician, but fell into arts administration after my Uni degree.
As a musician, I worked with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, the Elizabethan Theatre Trust Orchestra, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Art Orchestra.
In arts admin, I have worked for ABC Classic FM, the Australian String Quartet, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, on two Adelaide Festivals and am now working in the Music Department of Pembroke school.
What do you collect and when did it start?
I collect records (7”, 12” and Albums), CDs (Singles and Albums) and Blu-ray movies.The collecting bug started at The Muses in Regent Arcade with music bought with my own money. It was the 7” single of The Eurythmics’ Here Comes the Rain Again. The collection just grew from there. I’d generally spend my weekly pocket money on 7” singles – you could by 3 for $9 back then! – or if there was an album I’d save up for a few weeks.
The first LP I bought was MJ’s Thriller, (again at The Muses) followed by, still my two favourite albums of all time, INXS’ The Swing and Tears For Fears’ Songs From the Big Chair.
The first 12” single was, rather embarrassingly, Dead or Alive’s You Spin Me Right Round (like a record). Why the brackets people!?
The first CD album was The Police’s Every Breath You Take The Singles and second was another TFF gem, The Seeds of Love and the first CD single was INXS’ Suicide Blonde.I very STUPIDLY started giving away my record collection when I replaced them on CD (thankfully not the singles) and am slowly replacing them!
How would you describe your tastes?
I have the aforementioned 12” Single and many 80s 12” singles and albums of similar ilk, as well as albums and/or singles from (I’m going to give one artist from each of the letters) ABBA, David Bowie, Crowded House, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, Huey Lewis and the News, Icehouse, Elton John, Kids in the Kitchen, Led Zeppelin, Machinations, Noiseworks, Oingo Boingo Pink Floyd, QED, Lionel Richie, Savage Garden, Talking Heads, U2, Van Halen, Stevie Wonder, Uncanny X-Men (I know!), Yello and ZZ Top, and a LOT of Classical.
I also have a lot of those little late 80s early 90s Australian one album bands like The Dukes, Absent Friends and all those similarly intertwined Australian producer/artist crossover projects, like Wendy Matthews, Jenny Morris, Darryl Braithwaite, etc.
At that time, Aus artists seemed to help each other out behind the scenes doing backing vocals or in the backing band of another artist. It was a great time.Probably the only genres I don’t really like are Heavy Metal (I mean full on metal) and Country.
What's your most prized Item/Possession/collection of items?
Most prized possession is the collection of every Australian commercial release of INXS 7” and 12” singles, CD singles, CD albums and LPs (I never collected cassettes or picture discs). The most prized of these is the signed copy of The Swing (unfortunately without Michael’s).
Tell us about your love of music/movies and what they mean to you.
Music transports you back to where you first heard that song or piece of music. It changes your mood. A song can make you happy, sad and can make you think.
My all-time favourite song is Everybody Wants to Rule the World. It’s 4 minutes and 11 seconds of pure pop bliss. The 4 bars before the last ‘All for Freedom….’ strain are my favourite four bars in pop music; the song virtually stops and it feels like you are floating in air – have a listen, it’s absolutely beautiful! I could honestly listen to those four bars over and over and never get bored.
I was only thinking yesterday, while watching one of the students at my school who is blind walk across the car park, that if I had to choose, I would want to be blind before being deaf. Music is that important to me, that I really don’t know what I’d do without it.
Give us your top albums/songs/movies of all time.
I don’t really have a top 10 of anything, because they sort of always change with my mood, but as mentioned before, my top two albums are Songs from the Big Chair and The Swing.
Other favourites are Eurythmics’ We Two Are One, Sting’s…Nothing Like The Sun and Peter Gabriel’s So (oddly neither of those three are from 1984/5 – see a bit further on for explanation!)My two favourite Movies are The Shawshank Redemption and Howard’s End. Other favourites are The Abyss (WHEN IS THAT GOING TO BE RELEASED ON BLU-RAY James????? COME ON!) and Aliens (yes, I know they are two James Cameron films!)My top 5 songs are:
Tears For Fears’ Everybody Want to Rule the World
The Power Station’s Some Like It HotVan Halen’s DreamsThe Cars’ DriveDon Henley’s The Boys of Summer
See – all from 1984/5 – the theory that the music you like when you are 15/16 years old will be your favourite music for life is thus proven!
Give us some cool fact/trivia that we don't already know.
I played in several show in several Adelaide Cabaret Festivals, one of which was Eddie Perfect’s debut and also for Michael Fierstein and Idina Menzel’s performances a few year back. I also played in the last production of A Chorus Line at the Adelaide Festival Theatre.
How do you store your collection?
My records are in the front room of the house in that Swedish company’s famous bookshelf thingy – along with some of my kids’ Star Wars Lego collection and various boxes of toys.
My CD singles and classical CDs are housed in a 12-drawer cabinet my dad made me for my 30th birthday. He made it from my parents-in-law’s old outdoor timber setting!
My CD albums are in a tall square tower bookshelf thingy on wheels, so you can access each side, and my movies are stacked each side of the TV.
What are you coveting? What’s your holy grail? Do you own it yet?
Finishing my TFF collection. I have all the 7” and 12” singles (UK and Aus releases) from their first two albums (The Hurting and Songs from the Big Chair), including the 14 different versions of Pale Shelter!
I’m not far off having everything from The Seeds of Love (only the 7” and 12” version of Famous Last Words remain – anyone out there want to sell their copies?!), then everything from their last studio album (Everybody Likes A Happy Ending) and their most recent release, for record day a few years back, Ready, Boy & Girls. And of course, their new album is out later this year and after that the 30th anniversary box set of The Seeds of Love will be released, so it’s going to continue for a while!!
Anything else you'd like to tell us?
You probably gathered that my two favourite bands are INXS and Tears For Fears.
I was lucky enough to see INXS five times with Michael Hutchence; (four at memorial drive [I so miss concerts there!] and I STILL kick myself for not going the three other times I could have) and another five times without Michael (three with JD Fortune and two with Ciaran Gribbin – he was fantastic). The last time I saw them (at the Hahndorf Mill), I won a competition to meet them and that’s when I got the The Swing signed. I took my oldest son who was then 12 and embarrassed him so badly, because I was doing the ‘I’m not worthy’ bow from Wayne’s World when I met them all individually!!! It was a total dream come true.
I have seen TFF twice – once on their mammoth SFTBC world tour at Apollo Stadium (first and only time I ever saw a band there) – and the other tie when they were supporting Spandau Ballet in 2010. A 45 minutes set after 25 years wasn’t nearly enough, but they were so good! I really hope they tour their new album here.
Massive thanks to Matt for sharing his collection & stories with us.
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