Like just about everyone else in my generation I started listening to the radio in the fifties. It wasn’t like there was a whole lot of choice when it came to entertainment. There was the radio and the movies and that was about it.

Sure, television came to Australia in the late fifties, but we didn’t own a TV set until some time in 1965. Occasionally, if we’d been doing well at school, we might get to watch a rented set over the school holidays or something. The exact details are long lost in the mists of antiquity.

I do, however, remember listening to The Beatles live at Brisbane’s Festival Hall on the radio in June 1964. I can even recall Sounds Incorporated as the opening act, and while it might have been interesting to hear it again (assuming someone had bothered to hook up a big old reel-to-reel deck to the radio receiver) I recall a preponderance of screams over musical notes.

From there, it was a predictable progression, listening to the radio, watching the charts, and then, towards the end of 1966, buying records. All in all, an unremarkable sequence.

I don’t recall exactly how it happened, but by the middle of 1967, I’d moved on to buying music papers and magazines. Somewhere around that time I discovered that knowledge of what was going on overseas and some rare or interesting items in your record collection tended to raise your standing among your peers.

That was an important consideration for a mildly geeky bank manager’s son with no claim to sporting prowess or anything else with a positive coolness rating.

Suddenly, towards the end of that year I found myself being greeted with lines like, Hughesy, X’s folks are away for the weekend. We’re having a party. Want to come? Oh, yeah, and bring your records.

Once I’d detected the trend, the discovery had a significant influence on my listening and buying habits, but there was no way I could afford to buy everything. The finances were never going to stretch that far. 


B© Ian Hughes 2012