Vinyl Obsessive – The Times Are Still A Changin’

“The warm sound, the artwork, the size, the liner notes. It’s like that vow — “to have and to hold ’til death do us part.”
— in celebration of a new Record Fair coming to Queen Vic Market, Mick Maloney writes us this story about his vinyl “love affair”.

In his first year at secondary school, Michael Maloney was attuned to the pop revolution that was Beatlemania, soaking up the new sounds off Top 40 radio and watching the hysteria on TV. Later in 1964, he heard a song that changed his life forever.

“I went from a kid playing with toy soldiers to a near teenager enjoying pop songs but when I heard ‘Do Wah Diddy, Diddy’ by Manfred Mann I loved it so much I became an immediate fan.”

Soon he was buying pop magazines and scouring newspapers for information on Manfred and many other new artists. He bought vinyl singles before he even owned a player.

He mowed lawns for a dollar and a 45 rpm single cost the same. A player was finally purchased after 26 lawn cuts and his first LP “Mann Made” by Manfred Mann was bought on lay buy. And so begun the journey.

He bought a range of 60s single 45’s, four track EP’s with picture covers, and LP’s — but an LP cost $5.50 and back in 1969, most employed teenagers only earned about $20 a week, so most kids those days just bought singles. Into the 70s, albums became a real force and Michael’s collection grew.

“I loved finding unusual flipsides and album tracks by my fav artists.”

At some point in the 80s he knew this habit was getting obsessive when he bought an LP he already owned, because it was in stereo – yes, it was “Mann Made” again. Around this time he got involved with other collectors as older vinyl was becoming scarce and CD’s were just taking off. He started organising record fairs in 1987 in Carlton, and then in Essendon from 1998.

“In the 90s, CDs wiped most vinyl off the shop shelves but we hung in there and the revival commenced around 2000. Older enthusiasts started re-collecting their sold collections and younger people showed interest in the old format. This interest grew to what we see now – turntables available and reissued vinyl albums.”

Mick is bringing a varied group of collectors with 70,000 records and 10,000 CDs to Queen Victoria Market on Sunday 22 November in Shed C for a massive new Record Fair.