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JOHN THURLOW - A John Coltrane Fan

My relationship with John Coltrane’s music began in 1974 when I arrived at university.  The guy in the next flat told me he was an insomniac and that I had better get used to him being up all night playing jazz.  He also recommended albums to me; one of which was Coltrane’s ‘More Lasting Than Bronze’ which I immediately went out and bought.  That was my first Coltrane purchase and it made me want to get my hands on more Coltrane.  Problem is, I have always been an obsessive collector.  My first two jobs were in the West End in London, well within striking distance of all the record shops in Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road.  Early on, I bought a copy of Brian Davis’ Coltrane discography and I spent 8 years of lunchtimes in all those wonderful shops ticking off entries in the book. The second job also required me to work in Paris a lot and so I acquired every single French ABC-Impulse Coltrane re-release.  My next career move saw me in a job that took me all over the world and the first thing I did when I checked into my hotel was to grab Yellow Pages and work out where all the record shops were. My aim all those years ago was to acquire every single note that Coltrane had played and that had been captured on tape.  According to the ‘John Coltrane Reference’, I know I have achieved that goal.  But they keep finding more stuff!  I still buy every re-release, poorly recorded live recording, re-issues, remasters, box sets, mono versions, 180g vinyl re-issues.  I have a few hundred vinyl albums and about 500 CDs.  Oh, and just about every Coltrane tribute album ever recorded – about another hundred CDs.  I even named my first cat ‘Coltrane’! (John Thurlow is the author of the upcoming Harry Beckett biography JOY UNLIMITED: the sound of Harry Beckett)