STACK‘s Roving Reporter stops in at JB Hi-Fi Brisbane Central (QLD) to chat music with Music Co-Ordinator Trent Hawkins.

How many times have you seen your favourite international artist perform live? Five? Ten? How about 22? That’s the number of times Trent Hawkins, Music Co-Ordinator at JB Brisbane Central, has seen his all-time favourite artist Bryan Adams. “My first concert was in 1992 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, for the Waking Up the Neighbours tour,” he says,” and I’ve been to every one since. I got to meet him in 1999 – I’ve got the photo on my shelf in my room. I can’t ever get enough!”

Such a number certainly makes sense in the context of Hawkins’ extremely voluminous rolodex of live show experiences, which includes the likes of Shania Twain (“I think Shania Now is probably one of the best albums of last year – she put all her personal life into that album, and it really came across as very genuine”), Dixie Chicks at CMC Rocks (“Even if you don’t like country, that’s a concert you have to see – you can get it on DVD at JB”), Cher, Taylor Swift, Madonna, U2, Coldplay, and even Michael Jackson (“I was so lucky I got to see him”).

He hasn’t missed any of the R’n’B Fridays events (held at the freshly refurbished Eatons Hill Hotel venue) since they began, and that’s because he’s an unabashed ‘90s pop fan. “I love The Real McCoy; Another Night is one of my favourite albums,” he says. “You can put it on and enjoy the entire thing – honestly, that album doesn’t leave my playlist.”

Having been with JB for 15 years, Trent looks back fondly on that summer in 1992 when he first began his music retail career as a Christmas casual (at the now-defunct Brashs), and has loved serving JB customers all over Brisbane in the years following. Trent says the Brissie Central store tends to have a classic rock clientele, the tastes of which he delights in learning and anticipating. “Bob Dylan, ELO, Steely Dan, The Eagles, Bryan Ferry,” he lists.

“The Elton John back-catalogue all became available through Universal Germany, and I ordered every one, and I sold every single title,” he smiles. “I had customers going, ‘I haven’t seen these in store for ages – I can’t believe I finally found these ones!’ To see customers get excited when they find those little hidden gems in the rack, and their smiles when they find what they’ve been searching for? There’s nothing better.”