So we had two substantial collections on opposite sides of town and while there was a degree of intersection, different interests meant that there was plenty of variety on offer.

My acquaintance with both collectors dated back to Year Eleven at High School, and while Jim had escaped from the classroom and ended up in an accountant's office, Eric stayed around to the end of Year Twelve.

The two collections also provided an interesting contrast. 

Jim, moving on from an early interest in harmonic pop - The Mamas & The Papas, The Association, Simon & Garfunkel and Them figured prominently in the early stages of his album collection - into the realms of the singer-songwriters and could be relied on to have a copy of anything that had come out recently that was regarded as halfway decent. 

There was the odd slightly more eccentric effort as well. A mail order from Virgin Records in London, for example, produced Townsville’s first known copy of The Fugs' live Golden Filth.

Eric, on the other hand, started off from The Ventures, veered into Dylanology and seemed intent on acquiring the complete musical output of anybody with any artistic significance. If you needed to investigate the antecedents or ramifications of just about any known musical scene (or, at least, the known scenes that had come over our personal horizons) you were likely to find it at Eric’s, along with a large quantity of interesting reading matter.

If you called around to Jim’s, on the other hand, there was a fair chance you’d be able to hear just about anything that was currently regarded as interesting and relevant.

A third, smaller, collection assumed greater prominence in the scheme of things when it, along with the owner (Mr Dave) moved into the flat I’d found in West End, but that falls into the Wilderness rather than the Underworld era.


B© Ian Hughes 2012