I grew up in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne in the '60s, listening to The Beatles. Having left school at sixteen I began working at a delicatessen in the newly built Chadstone Shopping Centre. Around that time I started learning the drums and much to the amusement of my bosses, I practiced every lunchtime in the back room using drum sticks and chairs!
Greta at Metal For Melbourne 1984
Three years later in 1970, I saw an ad for the Allans Music Store in Collins Street, Melbourne. After a successful interview I left the delicatessen and began work in the music industry. At 19 I was still listening to The Beatles having grown up with them, but had also graduated into bands such as Cream, Ten Years After and Humble Pie which musically were not that far removed from the older bands like Small Faces, Procol Harum, Yardbirds, Kinks, Eric Burdon and of course local bands such as Chain, Masters Apprentices, Loved Ones, Billy Thorpe and Easybeats just to name a few.
Working at Allans Music opened my ears to many other bands such as Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, but when I took the 1st Black Sabbath album home, it was only on the turntable for about a minute before I knew that I was born to listen to this style of music, much to mum's (RIP) dismay, who said that I would grow out of it in no time. I have been into Metal ever since and although my tastes change from time to time within the genre, Black Sabbath has always been my constant!!
Around 1979 I started working with Jist Records which later became known as Central Station Records. Not too long after I started, the owner Giuseppe Palumbo (Joe) started importing Dance Music and it took off so fast that we had DJ's streaming out the door of the tiny shop down the ramp in Princes Bridge Station Melbourne, now Federation Square. It wasn't too long after, that Joe moved out to a bigger shop and left me to my own devices.
With Joe's permission I turned the little shop into a Metal Record Store.
METAL FOR MELBOURNE
I produced on the first annual Metal For Melbourne gig in 1981 featuring three local metal bands; Taipan, Bengal Tigers and Formula and put on 4 other gigs, the last being in 1986 which featured 6 bands. I put these on primarily to showcase our local Metal Bands to the under 18's who didn't get to see these bands as they played mostly pub gigs back then!
As we had an extensive mail order customer base I also brought out monthly Heavy Metal Charts which we had on the counter and posted out to all our mail order customers here in Australia and overseas.
Oh how I wish we had the Internet back then!!!
These charts listed virtually all our top sellers, advertised local bands' demos and merchandise, advertised Metal Radio Shows such as 3RRR and 3PBS, advertised the band's local gigs and advertised overseas contacts such as underground Metal Mags and radio stations so that our bands could send them demos etc to let them know that we existed!
Greta at Metal For Melbourne 1984
Unfortunately for our bands we were in the wrong country, geographically! We were so far removed from the rest of the world that some countries that I dealt with back then were utterly amazed that we actually had Metal Bands here at all! No Internet then remember! On the upside, being so isolated from everywhere else gave our Aussie Metal bands their own distinct sound!