I thought it would be interesting to shine the spotlight inwardly into the Sproutology collection, into what Miranda of
Rephertoire (who has visited, and escaped, virtue intact) describes as the “Shrine”. This is the room in which I keep and conserve physical items and also work on digitised audio visual material.
In this collection is most (not quite all) of every Prefab Sprout release from every country in the world. It is fair to say it’s pretty extensive.
This is the holding area. Everything passes through here on its way to the main collection, and it hangs around while there’s any research to be done. Currently prominent is the promo shot I put up a few days ago, a cartridge of “When Love Breaks Down”, and a “Cars and Girls” single.
Effigies of Paddy and Wendy in the form of monkeys guard the main collection, flanked by archive boxes. In the background is a display unit for “The King of Rock’N’Roll”, while the tin box holds promotional badges
These archive boxes contain mostly VHS cassettes and 7″ box sets. Similar boxes to Paddy Monkey’s left house the audio cassette collection. In front of them is a “Hey Manhattan” snow globe.
A life size cutout of the band, from the Langley Promotion. Lovely thing to have, impossible to display. It usually lives under the bed with a few other display items.
The singles section, which is also where random junk tends to pile up. The CD was a wonderful design for the Crimson/Red leak by the brilliant Ron Lim. And the cassettes are mostly duplicates. John Martyn turned up for a drink during the photo shoot.
This is what over 150 pieces of Prefab Sprout 12″ vinyl, plus the odd laser disk, CD long box, and promotional 12″ “King of Rock’N’Roll game pack looks like when lined up on a shelf. There’s about four feet of (groaning under the weight) shelfspace there.
The CDs are stored in this cabinet. Bloody hundreds of them. In the background you can just see some cardboard rolls containing concert and album posters.
Scrapbooks, cuttings, and odd bits and pieces.
Little areas like this tend to spring up spontaneously. This is a small pile of duplicate CDs – actually the ones I used to have in the car – with some Chinese money, which I owe my friend Zheng in Shanghai for some far flung Sprout.
If I’m completely honest, most of the reason for doing this is that it gives me a brilliant reason to own obsolete audio/visual equipment. The stack to the right includes 2 videodisc players, a Pioneer which is great for images, and a battered Sony which happens to have an SPDIF output for digital audio. A great Panasonic SVHS for video transfers, plus a Rega Planar 2 deck. Then NAD amp, Nakamichi cassette deck and Denon FM radio (lest the BBC broadcasts the Sprouts on FM, it’s unlikely, but I’m prepared if it happens), an ex BBC minidisc player, crappy digital radio, and a lovely little microcassette player. Everything ends up going through the PC on the right where I do restoration work on digitised material. The Audio/Visual part of the collection in digitised form is getting on for 200gig now.