Repressed Records owner Chris Sammut was coming back from a quick lunch when he spotted a familiar looking guy with an Adidas tracksuit and rose-tinted glasses in his long-running Sydney record store. It wasn’t Shogun from Royal Headache or a member of DMA’s. “I was grabbing a $4 salad roll and came back to eat it and Elton was flicking through new arrivals,” he told FL today.
The singer – who is in the country for a run of tour dates, beginning tomorrow at Hope Estate in the NSW Hunter Valley region – spent about 20 minutes rifling through some records, with his entourage looking on. “He came in with two guys,” Sammut explains. “I was kind of freaked out then had an internal dialogue to not trip over or say anything really.”
While the store – on King Street in Newtown – is a popular haunt for local musicians like You Am I and Royal Headache, Sammut has never seen someone as famous as Elton John in his store’s 13 years. Even though he’s not a huge fan – “I do like a lot of singles though; a ‘Greatest Hits’ will suffice for me” – he was still taken aback by the sight of the iconic singer digging through his second-hand vinyl crates. “I still freaked out internally and drank too much water,” he jokes.
So what did Sir Elton buy? A bunch of second-hand stuff mostly, says Sammut, including some classic glam and new wave releases from the late-60s to mid-70s. “He bought cool stuff like early Roxy Music, T-Rex, Squeeze,” he says. “He was really friendly with customers and obliging. He’s welcome back. Way more than the guy that knocked off a Bob Dylan box set the other week.”
In addition to his Hunter Valley show, Elton’s “All The Hits” tour includes stops in Brisbane, Melbourne, Geelong (for “A Day On The Green”) and Adelaide. He’ll wind things up with a two-night stand in Sydney: at Qantas Credit Union Arena and at the Hordern Pavillion, which he’s played 14 times. “The Hordern was our original ‘go to gig’,” says Elton. “I have played there so many times over the years, before the Sydney Entertainment Centre was around, and I can’t wait to return”
Repressed Records is located at 413 King Street, Newton.
(Photo above courtesy Repressed Records; not for re-publication without express permission)