My Music Life: Mark Parton MLA, Member for Brindabella, ACT

Mark Parton

I have a confession to make. Please don’t think less of me for this, but I must concede that the first record I ever owned was Abba’s Arrival, says Mark Parton, MLA for Brindabella ACT

Mark had a long radio career before going into politics.  Working in Adelaide, Newcastle, Launceston and Perth, he spent 16 years as a regular fixture around Canberra radio with, amongst others, Mix 106.3 FM. His final gig was hosting the breakfast show on 2CC.

I was 11. I bought it with my Mum on a trip to Perth. I can’t remember the name of the store on Hay Street, but I remember the vibe of that place, I remember how loud the sound system was…and how loud the carpet was. And I can remember holding on to my first record on the bus on the way home longing to play it. I raced in to the lounge room when we got home and removed the Acker Bilk and Percy Faith records from the turntable of our Pye 3 in 1 (complete with wood grain finish speakers).

Who can remember what track 1 on Arrival was ? I can.

It was ‘When I Kissed The Teacher’.

I’d never heard it before and I remember the moment that the needle began to caress the vinyl. I laid on the floor looking at the ceiling and marvelling at the clarity of the guitars and the harmonies.

These were the days before FM radio and the purity of sound emanating from that system was almost surreal.

I’m not so much into Abba these says….more Jason Mraz, Keb Mo, Juanes, Van Morrison and Santana, but I’m so thrilled that the record store has survived the test of time.

The strength of record stores is knowledge and passion.

My fave local store is Songland at Cooleman Court, Weston Creek in the ACT.

My most memorable record store experience came in Buenos Aires, Argentina, of all places. I was stranded on my own for a week in BA, in 2011. I fell in love with the place. I wanted to take away some classic Argentinian pop music and some traditional Argentinian music. I had no idea what to look for, so I walked into a loud and vibrant record store and asked. The next hour was filled with sample after sample of heaps of different artists that my new friend Jose felt might fit the bill.

I walked away as the owner of so much different music than I would never have discovered without a visit to the ‘local record store’.

Thanks to Mark Parton for sharing his music life.  And just to prove his does frequent Songland here’s evidence.