STACK‘s Roving Reporter stops in at JB Hi-Fi Frankston (VIC) to chat music with Music Co-Ordinator Jed Lovell.
It’s possible you’ve heard of Jed Lovell before – perhaps because he’s served you at JB during his 16-year tenure, the last year of which he’s spent at the Frankston store. When the store expanded its vinyl section, Lovell decided to take matters into his own hands. “I took it upon myself to genre it, because everything was A to Z,” he explains. “It was brutal! A tough couple of days. We’re a big Click & Collect store, so it helps to find stuff quickly. Plus if a customer wants two metal vinyl, you don’t want to be saying, ‘Black Sabbath is over that side next to Beyoncé and The Beach Boys, but Metallica is way over there next to Madonna.’”
Frankston clientele are an interesting bunch, Lovell attests. “There are some very enthusiastic music fans – a lot of collectors. People are always asking what’s new in music DVDs, ‘Is there anything on Blu-ray?’ But our strength is our vinyl section. And you get people who are very interested in hard-to-get, coloured vinyl.” Lovell himself managed to nab what he believes was the very last clear edition of David Bowie’s Blackstar, just a day after the icon passed. “I’m a Bowie obsessive – he’s my go-to hero,” he says.
It’s reflected in a personal vinyl collection which Lovell admits is “bonkers”; in addition to his grandmother’s original Beatles 7-inches and his Uncle’s entire collection, which included a pristine copy of an album by The Spiders From Mars without David Bowie (“I’m not saying it’s good! But it exists, and I have a copy – I nearly fell over when I saw it”), he also inherited his father’s astonishing collection: “He had a blues program on 3CR for a long time, so I have all these very rare imported blues albums from Chicago. He’d play one track on his show and that was it.” A major highlight of the entire lot is his Beatles’ Gold Signature boxset. “It’s immaculate,” he says, and admits that he has doubles of many albums – and six or seven copies of The Dark Side Of The Moon.
The other reason you may have heard of Lovell is because of a recent, decent amount of attention he’s received for his incredibly selfless actions on Christmas Eve, when he saved a young man from drowning at Gunnamatta Beach in Victoria (we highly recommend heading to the 3AW site to listen to Jed’s interview with Darren James about the entire story). “It was a seven-foot swell that day – the waves were vicious,” says Lovell.
But he isn’t actually a mega action man – he’s more than happy to spend time in his little dedicated music room, girt by vinyl. “I’d never had that before moving here,” he says. “It’s a nice spot to be – it’s kind of bliss.”