Take us back to the beginning of Greville Records, how long has it been open?
We’ve been open since 1979, founded by Bill Tolson, down the other end of Greville Street. I started here late November 1985.
You took over ownership in 1991/1992, what were your favourite record stores growing up and how did they influence your decision to take over running Greville Records?
I spent a lot of time at Missing Link in Geelong, Hound Dogs, Pipe, I was spoilt for choice, Melbourne had so many great record stores.But I also got my first job at Missing Link Geelong, it was the first punk, independent shop. So I guess I am biassed to classify that as one of my favourites.
What have been some of the highs and lows of owning an independent record store over the past 30 years?
Highs: Working in music, and around music with like minded people, being your own boss, getting to know/support artists.
A big low point was about 10-12 years ago when streaming and downloading took over the music industry. It was painful seeing the shop struggle after that, and having the feeling like you would go out of business because of it.
If we were to order from you today, what are the chances we would get one of the iconic personal drop offs?
It’s always worth hedging your bets…
Do you remember purchasing your first single, album, or EP? What was the record? Purple People Eater 7”, got my dad to buy it for me on his way home from work, for a mighty .98 cents!
What are some of the most sought after records that have passed through Greville’s doors? Original Saints test pressing of their first album with an unreleased song, Birthday Party test pressings, our collection of ultra rare Aus 7” which had collectors from overseas flying in to buy
Do you remember the first record you ever sold at Greville Records?
No, unfortunately not.
Any memorable in-stores?
The You Am I carpark in-stores were insane, huge, and so memorable. Alex Chilton came in when he was playing down the street at The Continental, unusual and unexpected guy, what an experience! But it’s always nice when old friends like Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Mick Harvey come in and say g’day!
What advice would you give to someone hoping to open up an independent record store of their own someday?
Please don’t open up on Greville Street (or Chapel Street)!! Hehe
Favourite Australian album of all time?
Between Midnight Oil’s first album, You Am I Hi Fi Way or Go-Betweens Send Me A Lullaby, i’m stuck!
Where is your favourite store outside Greville Records (Australia or O/S)? Oof, nothing beats the old Hound Dogs Bop Shop in North Melb or Pipe Records in the Melbourne CBD, only for the sheer pleasure of being yelled at for asking for a record the owner didn’t like (eg: Velvet Underground and Nico LP)
Tell us about your favourite artist, and what record of theirs you’d recommend to introduce to someone who’s never heard of them.
That’s a tough one!
Whats Going On Marvin Gaye
Or Ziggy Stardust David Bowie
Or David Crosbys If Only I Could Remember My Name
Can Future Days… all are just faultless…perfection
Best thing about owning a record store?
Playing records all day, and talking rock and roll to other lunatics (and that’s just the staff…)
152 Greville St
Prahran VIC 3181
Phone: 0448 153 244
Monday 10am – 6pm
Tuesday 10am – 6pm
Wednesday 10am – 6pm
Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 6pm
Saturday 10am – 6pm
Sunday 11am – 5pm