Heavy Metal Collectors: An interview series
Part 10: Guillo Botto (Italy)
Inspiration can come from a number of unique sources. The concept behind this interview series was developed over time but recently crystallized in my mind. As the owner of a large library I’ve often pondered about the nature of collecting Heavy Metal music (Cassettes, vinyl, CD’s, memorabilia etc) and how and why people accumulate Metal ‘stuff’. Earlier this year (2017) Martin Popoff wrote a book called METAL COLLECTORS which I read, thoroughly enjoyed and reviewed. It occurred to me that there are lots of people out there with pretty massive Metal collections so I decided I wanted to chat to some of them and interview them for the site.
My concept is to, over time ask people with some pretty impressive, monster collections the same series of questions. I’m basically stealing that idea of METAL COLLECTORS (Sorry Martin!) and expanding into an interview series. Lastly, the name for this series was spawned by a gentleman by the name of Ray Wawrzyniak. He appeared in the recent Rush documentary TIME STAND STILL. Ray is a Rush super-fan and in one particularly charming scene in the film, the genial and friendly (but clearly obsessed) Ray shows off one piece of his Rush collection and refers to it with barely hidden glee as ‘Spectacularly Majestic’. It was in fact ‘just’ an old piece of paper, (a Rush ad from a magazine from 1979) but that phrase alone and his enthusiasm I feel embodies the spirit of Metal collecting, because I suspect that many Metal collectors have those same moments. Check out the 1:30 minute mark of the video below.
If you, or know someone you know, has a monster Metal collection (in the 1000+ range) please feel free to get them in touch with me!
Tell us how you started collecting Metal! When did you start?
I started at the age of 13 years old with some hard Rock tapes (Saxon, AC/DC, Krokus, Kiss) I saw a videoclip on TV of ‘I’ from the Kiss record MUSIC FROM THE ELDER and that started it all!
How big is your collection?
I have approximately 5500 titles.
Can you give us a break down? (Vinyl, vs. Cassette, vs. CD vs. digital)
4500 CD’s, 700 vinyl and 300 cassettes
How do you count your collection? For example. If you have say for example, multiple copies of KISS-Destroyer on the following media; Vinyl, 8-Track, Cassette, CD, and digital format do you count that as five items or just 1 item?
My titles are not duplicates. I have more copies of certain albums but I don;t count them/ The number of much higher with the various versions of an album, about 7000 titles.
When you collect certain bands, do you buy all of their stuff such as Live albums, EP’s, Compilations, box-sets etc?
Absolutely! All the discography.
How do you organize your collection if at all; by genre, Chronologically? Alphabetically?
Do you insure your collection?
How do you store your collection?
Shelves and boxes
What is your preferred genre(s)? Do you have a genre break down of your collection? For example 15% Death Metal, 25% Black Metal etc?
Death and thrash 30%. Classic Heavy 40% 15% Black Metal and 15% Doom Metal
Do you sell and trade or strictly buy?
I strictly buy.
What is your preferred format?
CD but also vinyl
How do your track your collection? Do you use a spreadsheet or one of the on-line services or even a hand-written list?
Writing in notebooks…old school!
What is your most valuable piece? (not in terms of sentimental value, but in actual terms of resale value on the open market. ie. Goldmine etc. )
Maybe some eighties vinyl, first pressings of NWOBHM, but I don’t thin about their value.
What is your rarest item in your collection?
A Double vinyl of Hendrix covers, strictly limited to 50 copies world-wide
What is the most you have paid for an item?
An Onslaught vinyl, about 100 Euro.
Do you collect other non-music Metal memorabilia such as books, DVD’s, T-shirts, stickers, hot sauces, wine/beer etc.
Yes, Metal Shirts and DVD’s
What is the one item you have been searching for that you cannot seem to find?
A Polish live album from the thrash band Artillery.
Why do you collect Metal music?
Because I love Metal! The iconography and the energy of the music.
In a morbid and Metal question, what do you plan to do with your collection when you die?
I don’t know, I hope my son will love Metal and listening to my collection.
Final thoughts? Feel free to use this space to share any unique or interesting items about you and your collection and/or share ideas and advice fro your fellow collectors.
Keep the Faith, Brother in Metal!