Shining a light on the tastemakers behind the desk
With a second drop of 2022 RSD Releases landing in stores on Saturday 18 June, we’re back with the long-awaited return of our beloved interview segment Turning Tables—shining a light on the faces, names, minds and tastemakers behind the desk who greet our crate-digging friends with invaluable knowledge and an undying love for all things music.
Today we’re featuring Tom Beaumont from Rocking Horse Records in Brisbane, Queensland.
What store can we find you at and how long have you been there?
You can find me at Rocking Horse Records, and I’ve been here for… 28 years? Yep, 28 years.
How has the store and its customers changed over time?
There was that whole transition into CDs, and we adapted to that, but then CDs all changed when the streaming era came around. And now it’s changed again, and records are all the rage again. 80s revival, Taylor Swift. Which suits us fine 🙂
What’s your general vibe to kick off the morning music when doors open?
Nothing too taxing before we wait for the first coffee to kick in – any ambient stuff of Brian Eno always works.
Ever had any notable cameo walk-ins in store?
My favourite was Duff from Guns ‘n’ Roses, what a master. He was the nicest.
Do you remember the first record that started your own collection? Was it bought, gifted or handed down?
Well, I started on cassettes, but I don’t wanna say it because it’s too embarrassing. Okay I was given a Huey Lewis and the News cassette, but it wasn’t even the good one. But let’s stop talking about that. The first record I bought… I wanna say it was a Morrissey solo single? Less embarrassing.
What about the first record you purchased for someone else? Where’d you buy it?
It would’ve been from Rocking Horse. I shopped here for a while, maybe a few years before I started working here. I really can’t remember buying other people records, but I do remember buying Dinosaur Jr.’s Sebadoh in ’93 for a friend, so I could let them know that I was super cool. Just to impress them [laughs]
Favourite debut record of all time?
The Stooges’. Look at them with their leather jackets and their serious faces. It’s the best.
Tell us about the most valuable (monetary or sentimental) record in your collection. Why is it so important to you?
I’ve got a pretty early pressing of the 2nd Velvet Underground record. And like all early pressings, it sounds amazing. In my top ten records. It is also the best.
Favourite Australian release of all time?
Anything by The Scientists. Greatest Australian band ever.
What’s your number one pick of the second drop of RSD releases landing on June 18?
Ramones? No, that was the first one. Prince – The Gold Experience.
What record has been on repeat for you lately?
Straw Man Army’s SOS. New York post-punk band’s 2022 album, released through a label in London: La Vida Es Un Mus Discos. Cool band name, cool label name, cool music.
Tell us about your favourite artist, and what record of theirs you’d recommend to introduce to someone who’s never heard of them.
Reigning Sound – Time Bomb High School.
Favourite in-store performance of all time?
So many people have performed here, it’s hard to think of one. Kim Salmon was my favourite. But I can’t mention him twice can I? Oh well – Kim Salmon must’ve been ’95. It’s really easy for people to be a bit polite during in-store performances, but he gave full effort. It was the most energetic one, it was like a proper gig.
Best thing about working at a record store?
The best thing has gotta be hearing new music every day. Hearing things you haven’t heard before every day.
It’s closing time in the store, what’s spinning?
Anything by Iron Maiden / Judas Priest. In the last ten minutes, it’ll really get people rushing. But sometimes it has the opposite effect, it’s just too good.
Rocking Horse Records
245 Albert Street
Queen Street Mall
Ph 07 3229 5360
Mon-Thur 10am – 6pm
Fri 10am – 9pm
Sat 9am – 5.30pm
Sun 10.30am – 5pm