Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tim Durling!

My first 8-track junkie!!
Tim was recommended by Crash (see previous interview) as a possible interviewee for my blog! I look forward to meeting Tim in the future and seeing his collection first hand.

I love people who collect obscure stuff like this! 80's hair metal 8-tracks! How cool is that! (Well maybe we are only a select few who would actually think that is cool but damnit Im one of them!!).

He has received some pretty impressive autographs and aquired a very large collection  over the years. I really enjoyed putting this interview together as Im sure you will enjoy reading it.

Here we go!!

Name:  Tim Durling

City/Town: Woodstock, although I live in Canterbury.
Job: CJCJ-FM Woodstock, Commercial Writer/Part-time on-air/Saturday Night Solid Gold Show host, the Gold Show runs on CJCJ and CIKX-FM Grand Falls.  Check us out on and
CJ and K93 are affiliate stations to the Fox, reading Crash’s and Uncle Rob’s blogs is actually what led me here.  I realized there were other music geeks out there…no, nerds?  Um, no…how about aficionados, yeah let’s go with that.
Music has always been important to me, and the only real hobby I’ve ever had.  I was never into sports, automobiles, hunting, fishing, or really for that matter, TV or movies.  Just tunes.  Rock and roll is like an old friend who’s never let me down.
I respect most other genres of music, when you work in radio, I think that’s essential.  I like to think I have a pretty good general knowledge about most music.  I also enjoy learning about musicians of all types.  If I’m flipping through the channel guide and see there’s a documentary coming up on Avril Lavigne or George Jones or Joey Ramone, chances are I’ll watch it and enjoy it; even though I’m not a fan of any of those artists.

What do you collect? Vinyl; CD’s; Cassettes; 8 tracks; bootlegs; music memorabilia; magazine; etc..
I have more CDs than anything, but with some artists, particularly my favourite ones, chances are I have their catalogue in multiple formats. I started off like a lot of children of the 80s (I was born in 1974) with cassettes.   Didn’t own a CD until late 1990.  When I first started buying CDs it was when they came in the “long-box” packaging, to give you some idea.  I’ll get into the music collecting part of it below.

Do you prefer one audio format more than others? (example: vinyl more than cd’s)
If I had the room and the resources, I’d probably prefer vinyl.  There’s nothing like album art on an actual album.  I’ve got a lot of vinyl but I rarely listen to it, mostly because I’ve got them all on CD, with 2 or 3 exceptions.  I keep all my records in plastic sleeves.
For convenience and practicality, CDs do it for me.  Although I must say, I’ve never had a cassette tape skip on me!   Drag and snap maybe, but skip, no.
I’m really not what you’d call an audiophile, who will extol the virtues of the sound of vinyl over everything else.  Honestly my ears just aren’t that discerning unless it’s a horrible recording.  I either like the music, or I don’t.
As far as digital is concerned, I’m very old school.  I refuse to pay my hard-earned money for music that I can’t hold in my hands, see artwork larger than a postage stamp, and read the credits.
(WARNING:  This next paragraph gets really, really nerdy.)
The 8-tracks are strictly for collecting…my wife would say collecting dust but I digress.  I certainly remember this audio format growing up, when I was five or six years old I remember hearing artists like Kenny Rogers and Charley Pride on 8-track.  But certainly not AC/DC or Van Halen or yes, even Def Leppard.  I think that’s why I’m so enchanted with finding albums I like, on 8-track.  Especially releases from into the 80s which are the hardest ones to find, because after around 1982, the only 8-tracks available were through music clubs like Columbia House. is a great site if that sounds interesting to you, there are carts as recent as 1988 on there, however for the most part they’re pop and country; so don’t go looking for an 8-track version of Appetite For Destruction.
(Bored yet?) 

What is your favourite genre of music? Some of your favourite artists?
Mainly 70s-80s hard rock; what used to be referred to as “pop metal” or “commercial hard rock,” with just a hint of prog mixed in.  If I was forced to name an all-time favourite, I would have to narrow it down to two.  One is a band that tends to elicit strong love/hate responses, that band being Rush, the other is one of the most sadly overlooked bands in history, that band being Y&T (Yesterday and Today, yes named after the Beatles album)…never heard of them?  Neither have most people I’ve met, which is a darn shame.  (If you’re into classic hard rock, check them out on youtube, yes some of the videos and outfits are cheesy.  Don’t let that deter you.  Whose videos and outfits weren’t cheesy back then?)
Some of my other favourites are Journey, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Metallica, April Wine, Helix, Honeymoon Suite, Kansas, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Queen, Dream Theater, Van Halen (I’m partial to the Sammy Hagar era but I’m loving their new one with Dave), and many more.

The band that was responsible for getting me into hard rock…let me rephrase that…getting me into music in a big way, was Bon Jovi.  This might sound funny now, because they’ve changed so much, but believe me, if you were 12 years old in 1986 and had pretty much just listened to Top 40 radio, “You Give Love a Bad Name” was the heaviest thing you ever heard.  That band is the reason I started reading album credits.  Finding out who the band members were…what they played…who produced the album…who engineered…mastered…co-wrote the songs…who did the band thank?  What label were they on?  Did they have any other albums? 
That’s also when I started buying rock magazines like Circus, Hit Parader, Metal Edge.  After that, it wasn’t enough for me to hear a band and think they were pretty good.  I now had to know everything there was to know about them.  Which in the pre-internet days, sometimes wasn’t easy, I can tell you.  Especially with the lesser-known bands.
Does this mean I hate everything that came out in the 90s and beyond?  Not necessarily.  However, I wasn’t particularly fond of the “grunge revolution” because I resented the fact that all of a sudden it wasn’t ”cool” to listen to bands like Motley Crue or Tesla or Cinderella anymore.  I never understood that, it was like a class war or something.  Whoever said that you weren’t allowed to have Pearl Jam next to Poison in your music collection? 
So what did an 80s-rock loving guy in his senior year of high school (1992 for the record) do, when most of the new rock wasn’t to his personal taste?  Start listening to rap?  Hardly.  Go country?  (Which a lot of people my age did.)  Please. 
Nope, what happened was what I called my “Classic Rock Renaissance.”  I went back and started listening to bands that my favourite bands always talked about.  That’s when I discovered Queen (thanks in no small part to Wayne’s World), Led Zeppelin, Kansas (criminally overlooked band, there’s more to them than those 2 songs), Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boston, Deep Purple et al.  In fact to this day, a Kansas song from 1976 actually sounds newer to me than a Bon Jovi song from 1986.  That’s also when I started appreciating the art value in vinyl.  A 12x12 canvas makes all those Journey sleeves look even cooler.
When it comes down to it, I like rock music with hooks, melodies, guitar solos, smart arrangements, and most of the time, great vocalists.  I’ll give just about anything a chance, but it takes a lot to turn my head these days (except the Darkness, I think they’re great); it could very well be I’m just getting old and curmudgeonly; which translates in plain English as “old fart.”
Most people would disagree with this, but my theory is this.  Just because an artist is old and had their commercial or critical peak many years ago, doesn’t mean they can’t produce new music of quality.  Conversely, just because a band is “new” and “happening” doesn’t necessarily mean they’re any good either.

How big is your collection?
I have over 700 CDs, around 300 records, 150 cassettes, and as you can see, quite a few 8-tracks.  I also have a decent collection of music DVDs, and a lot of VHS tapes from back in the day, some of which have never been issued on DVD unfortunately.

Do you concentrate your collection on one or more artists in particular?
With my favourite artists, I tend to be a completist…as the Queen song goes, I Want it All.  A few other bands, I may like, but a well-chosen compilation can do the trick.  There are a few bands that I remain faithful to, that are staples of my collection, and I try to get pretty much anything they put out. 

What is the first album you remember purchasing? Do you still have it?
I certainly do remember.  It was 1985, Zellers in the Fredericton Mall.  Platinum Blonde’s first album, Standing in the Dark, on cassette.  No I don’t have it anymore, although I wish I’d had the foresight to find it on CD, because I’ve seen that one go for upwards of $350 on ebay!!
What is your favourite item in your collection?
I have a few.  I achieved a long-standing goal in 2010 of getting one of my 8-tracks signed, when Nazareth played in Woodstock.  Dan McCafferty and Pete Agnew generously signed my Greatest Hits cart for me, which I display proudly in my office at work.

The other 8-track I have that I’m particularly fond of, not only because it’s a classic album, but also the fact that it’s relatively new in 8-track terms, is Def Leppard’s Pyromania. That’s a good example of an album that isn’t rare in and of itself, but the format. 

I’ve got a few older CDs that I’d hate to misplace.  Again, not necessarily rare albums per se.  For instance, a lot of U.S. Capitol Records releases, like Queen’s The Works, April Wine’s First Glance and Animal Grace, Sammy Hagar’s Rematch, and Helix’s Wild in the Streets.  Mid-80s Canadian CBS Records issues of Cheap Trick’s The Doctor, KansasMonolith, Europe’s 1st album.  A Canadian Elektra version of Metallica’s Garage Days Re-revisited.  People who are really into these artists know how rare these are.
My favourite vinyl acquisitions would have include the first Skid Row album, Kiss’ The Originals (with booklet I might add, Kiss Army soldiers), a European-only Rush compilation called Rush Through Time, and some newer (90s and beyond) vinyl like Aerosmith’s Get a Grip, Van Halen’s Balance, Rush’s Feedback, and the first Chickenfoot album.
I’ve also been fortunate over the years to meet a few of my favourites, so I’ve included some pictures of some autographed items.  I mentioned earlier how Bon Jovi was the first sort of hard rock band, and the band that kind of got me interested in the minutia, if you like, of music.  So it was appropriate that they were also the first band I saw in concert.  And as luck would have it, I actually got to meet the man himself, Jon Bon Jovi.  Unfortunately, what I had on me for him to sign was the “Bed of Roses” cassingle (if you have to ask, don’t bother), which is a pretty dark surface, but trust me, the man’s signature is there.

I’ve also got autographed CDs, records, and ticket stubs from members of April Wine (including the late Jim Clench), Honeymoon Suite, 38 Special, Helix, Carl Dixon (fantastic singer of another overlooked band, Coney Hatch), and my favourite piece of KISStory, drummer Eric Singer’s autograph.  Although I should note, Eric was in between Kiss gigs, and playing with Alice at the time which is equally cool to me.  For the record, my buddy Matt and I also met Alice very briefly, and I mean very briefly.  Long story, but we thought it best not to chase the man down the street. 

Do you still actively collect or was this something you concentrated on in the past?
I’m married with two kids, so take a wild guess J  I still follow my favourite bands closely and try to keep up on their new material, but it tends to be limited to just CDs.  Stuff that’s strictly for collectability, not so much anymore.

What is your preferred way of adding to your collection? Shopping online? Flea Markets? Independent music stores? Etc… Any favourite store or websites?
The internet has certainly made it a lot easier to find really rare stuff.  But I still get excited when I go into a pawn shop or flea market and see something I’ve been looking for.  Right there, no PayPal, no shipping, no waiting, just hand the money over and there it is, in my filthy little hands, to paraphrase David Lee Roth.  As far as vinyl, the lion’s share of my stuff I’m sure has come from Backstreet in Fredericton.  The area I live in isn’t exactly crawling with places to find cool stuff without doing a bit of driving, and that certainly doesn’t happen much these days, with the occasional exception.

How do you store your collection? Shelves? Boxes? Your attic?
My CDs are all in towers…my records are in boxes except for the framed ones I have in my office at work.  The cassettes and 8-tracks are in storage.  I dig them out and look at them once in awhile, or when I have something to add to it.

Does your significant other support your collection? Did you have to convince him/her?
Amanda is a saint for putting up with me in general.  She tolerates my musical obsession because she knows there are far worse things I could be doing.  And she knew right from when we met that I was a music nut.  Except the 8-track thing.  Drives her nuts.

What is on your “wish list” at the moment?
There are two releases I’ve never been able to find on CD, and coincidentally they’re both self-titled EPs from the 80s.  One is Kim Mitchell’s first solo EP from 1982, and the other is Ratt’s first one from ’83.  Oh they’re available, but at ebay or amazon prices comparable to a week’s groceries.  P.S. I’m not kidding.
Obviously I’d still love to track down more rare 80s 8-tracks; number one on my list would probably be Kiss Creatures of the Night with the cool makeup cover. 
There are a handful of records that I’ve never been able to track down; again I know they show up on ebay but usually quite pricey.  April Wine’s One For the Road, KansasIn the Spirit of Things, Kiss Creatures of the Night with the stupid non-makeup cover,  the Flash Gordon soundtrack by Queen, etc.

Do you know any other collectors?
I have a few friends that have decent music collections, but like me, we’re all married with kids so things like buying music inevitably take a back seat to things like paying for groceries, gas, food, clothes.  That’s not a complaint, just how it is. 

I hope your readers enjoy my rambling on about my music, as much as I’ve enjoy rambling on about it.  (SHAMELESS PLUG TIME)  If you want to hear the voice behind the rambling, I do weekday afternoons from 2 to 6 on And Saturday Night Solid Gold Show on CJ and also 

1 comment:

  1. Great interview,Brad... It''s nice to see that your friend puts his family first, in lieu of buying collectables....he seems to have his priorities in order... Mom.


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