Heavy Metal Collectors: An interview series
Part 11: Billy Gorsky (Canada)
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?
When I was 9 years old in 1980 my friend who was 12 years old at the time introduced me to AC/DC Back in Black Deep Purple Deepest Purple, Led Zeppelin 4. All of them were recorded from his albums on to a blank TDK cassette for me. AC/DC Back In Black would be the first vinyl in my collection which was a gift from my cousin.From there in 1981-82 I remember buying the albums of April Wine Nature of the Beast, Queen News of The World, Foreigner 4, Van Halen Diver Down and Scorpions Blackout (my first cassette). My collection was small at the time and more hard rock than metal.
How big is your collection?
2000 CD’s, 1200 cassettes, 400 albums (Mostly metal and some hard rock)
Can you give us a break down? (Vinyl, vs. Cassette, vs. CD vs. digital)
See above….I do not own anything digital.
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?
If I have for example Powerslave on CD, vinyl and cassette I would count as 3.
When you collect certain bands, do you buy all of their stuff such as Live albums, EP’s, Compilations, box-sets etc?
Not necessarily. Box sets can be really pricey so it must be really cool and unique for me to purchase.
How do you organize your collection if at all; by genre, Chronologically? Alphabetically?
Alphabetically and Chronologically
Do you insure your collection?
Yes my insurance company is aware.
How do you store your collection?
In media shelves for my albums and CDs. My cassettes are in boxes as I do not have enough room in my basement to showcase.
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?
Melodic power speed metal is my favorite genre. I don’t have a % breakdown.
Do you sell and trade or strictly buy?
I shop at used CD stores and resell online via Ebay and Discogs.
What is your preferred format?
How do your track your collection? Do you use a spreadsheet or one of the on-line services or even a hand-written list?
I don’t track my collection.
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. )
I recently sold Lipstik First Kiss EP (indie hair metal band from Montreal) for $500.00 on Discogs. Think I purchased it for a buck or two.
What is your rarest item in your collection?
Pantera- Projects In The Jungle on vinyl and Black Sabbath Live At Hammersmith Odeon on CD
What is the most you have paid for an item?
Iron Maiden, Slayer, Serious Black and Metallica Box sets.
Do you collect other non-music Metal memorabilia such as books, DVD’s, T-shirts, stickers, hot sauces, wine/beer etc.
My drawers are overflowing with concert t- shirts, I never counted but easily over 100. Also I collect Iron Maiden action figures, various metal posters,flags and a certain board game I think you may be familiar with.
What is the one item you have been searching for that you cannot seem to find?
Nothing really, anything can be bought for a price.
Why do you collect Metal music?
It’s my passion, can’t imagine life without metal. Love to discover new bands and listen to the classics.
In a morbid and Metal question, what do you plan to do with your collection when you die?
It gets buried with me South Of Heaven.
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.
Impellitteri is my favorite metal band. If anyone is not familiar with their music, do yourself a favor and check them out.