STACK‘s Roving Reporter stops in at JB Hi-Fi Forest Hill store to chat music with Media Manager, Sia Agaliotis.
Once a building (or tree, or shipwreck) is nominated for inclusion in Victoria’s Heritage Register, the Council looks over their half-moon spectacles at one another and decides whether that thing is truly significant to the history and development of the state – such as they are currently doing with Melbourne live venue Festival Hall. Sia Agaliotis thinks “Festering Hole” has one indubitably redeeming quality which deserves an immediate stamp of Heritage approval. “The Beatles played there!” the JB Forest Hill (VIC) Media Manager laughs. “Of course they’ve got to make it a Heritage building!”
Sia’s very first album was a Fab Four vinyl, which she convinced her father to buy for her when she was about four years old. “I was Beatles-obsessed from when I was teeny, ‘cause I watched the Beatles cartoons,” she explains. A dyed-in-the-wool vinyl fan, she loves her 25th anniversary reissue of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: “It’s a red vinyl – pretty cool. It came with the little cut-outs of the original Sgt. Pepper – his face, his moustache. Not that I’ve ever touched them! And I have the 180 gram pressing of The Beatles’ ‘Blue’ and ‘Red’, which I bought in Greece when I lived there. We’re talking from the ‘70s, so they’ve stood the test of time! They’re pretty precious.”
It seems the clientele of JB Forest Hill are Beatles fans too; while our nationwide monthly chart is 90% new releases, the Forest Hill clientele are firmly classic-oriented. “Our number one is The Black Album by AC/DC, then The Prodigy, then Love Supreme, which is John Coltrane,” says Sia. The White Album pops up at number six. “Our regular clientele, they love vinyl,” she says. “For a small store, we have four bays of vinyl, so the section is equally as big as a busy store like Ringwood.” While it’s not all about the old hats – Leon Bridges’ Good Thing, The Greatest Showman soundtrack and Kylie’s Dancing have all been popular at the store – Sia’s heart won’t be swayed from her #1s. “I saw Ringo at Festival Hall, actually – I was right at the front,” she smiles. “Second row seats! It was fabulous.”