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5 Albums That Changed My Life with Joulee Baird

Thanks to The Edwards Shop, in the lead up to Record Store Day, we are going to be asking some local legends about the five records that changed their life. From punk shows in church basements, to mixtape choices you wouldn’t expect surprises. It’s all about the records that made them who they are.

Joulee Baird has been working at Newcastle Museum since 2002, back when it stood next to The Cambo in the old Castlemaine Brewery building. Now the museum is close to celebrating its 6th year in Honeysuckle – in the former headquarters of the Great Northern Railway. Joulee Baird is the manager of Newcastle Museum – an institution steeped in local history.

“I’m responsible for the operations of the Museum, from soup to nuts; it’s my job to represent and steer the museum from the boring stuff like keeping the budget, to the fun stuff like installing dinosaur exhibitions. So I have a pretty weird job, but I love it”

Newcastle Museum is currently running Perseverance – a photographic exhibition showcasing the art of traditional Japanese tattooing. The exhibition opened in early February, and will run until Sunday April 30th.

Bobby Darin – Splish Splash

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My parents didn’t like music, they just didn’t really play much of it. We had a record player and I think one Beatles album? Stuff like that. But I discovered the single of Bobby Darin’s ‘Splish Splash’ when I was seven.

I played it over and over and over again, and all of a sudden music was important. All of a sudden music had to be a story, and music had to be important. And it lead to all that tragic Countdown stuff. But all of a sudden, music was my life, when I heard Bobby Darin.

Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables

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When I was 14 I was a tragic Folkie, I was really into Peter, Paul & Mary and Simon & Garfunkel, and it was all really tragic and hormonal. I was living in Canada at the time and returned home, and there was a Rage special on Sex Pistols.

I was never really a big Sex Pistols fan, I don’t think it changed my life, but I got into The Clash and all through it. Now, Dead Kennedy’sFresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables’ – that got me. It was political, and it had the energy that I had, and that changed my life. All of a sudden I went from lots of earnest stuff, into stuff with total energy.

I was a nice country middle class girl, it just wasn’t part of my world. It completely freaked my parents out, they stayed up at night worrying I was going to do drugs because I was listening to punk rock records.

D.O.A. – Bloodied But Unbowed

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We moved to Canada when I was 13, and this was when I was almost 16. I remember the exact night.

There was a show at the local Uni called ‘Hardcore ‘84’, and D.O.A. were playing because they just came out with Bloody & Unbowed – and I’ve still got the record at home.

So I went to this gig, I snuck in because I was 15, not 16. And all of a sudden, music wasn’t something that other people did. Music wasn’t something that famous people did far away and you could stand in the back of a hall and could barely see them. Music became something you could participate in, that you could put on and see – you could be within spitting distance of the person who’s record changed your life.

Then for me it became all about “the scene” – that North American punk scene. So I started putting on bands, and putting on my own radio show, and music became everything, and so did the scene

The first show I put on was three local acts, and one of them was called Maggot Fodder. It was in a church hall, and the church had put flammable wax on the floor. So I had probably just turned 16, and I had to go around to all the big grown up punk rockers and be like “can you please use this ashtray”.

We used to put gigs on outside, and the council would ban us. You have this weird kind of chutzpah when you’re young. So i’m a sixteen year old kid, I have no money and I’m lugging sound gear and putting Dayglow Abortions on outside in a bandshell and thinking “Why don’t they like this? What is wrong with everybody”.

Sam & Dave – Hold On, I’m Comin’

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I bought this cassette from this underground Hardcore band from Madison, Wisconsin called Juvenile Truth, and Murray the singer was a letter writer. He wrote to punks all over the world, so I wrote to him and he wrote back – he used to send me mixtapes, and it used to all be Hardcore music.

So I am probably about 18, and I am listening to this mixed cassette he sends in, and right in the middle of it is Sam & Dave’s ‘Hold On I’m Coming’. All of a sudden it was like, there was this music with incredible guts and sex appeal, and this is cool. It made me realise how tightly immersed in the scene I was, and how I hadn’t listened to other music for years. So Sam & Dave, which was really old by the time I listened to it, changed my life again. And I started to realise I can do anything I want, I can listen to whatever the hell I want.

Harry Belafonte – Jump Up Calypso

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I found this in an Op Shop for 50c, and I had a one year old child. I was doing a punk rock radio show in Canada, and I was still putting on shows – but my life was changing. All of a sudden I had a kid, and I moved into this really cold, white, horrible apartment. My husband was working shift work, so we would see each other an hour a day, and it was miserable. I was having a really hard time with “how do you become an adult at 24?”.

So I have this one year old, I am stuck at home and going to uni, and I found this 50c record – and I bought it because it had a cheesy looking front cover – and every time I felt miserable I would put on Jump Up Calypso and we would dance around this apartment and it would feel like everything was okay and that I could cope. So Harry Belafonte got me out of the baby blues, and into adulthood.

Record Store Day 2017 takes place on Saturday, April 22nd. Follow The Edwards Shop’s event for more details.

Written by Newcastle Live

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