Collector's Corner: Paulo Coelho (More República Masónica)

Paulo Coelho, former guitarist/vocalist of the now extinct, portuguese alt.rock legends More República Masónica and eager record collector, has accepted our invitation to answer some questions for this first edition of Collector's Corner.
What led you to become interested in music and records?
What made me interested in music and records in particular was the fact that my father worked in Rádio Clube Português [one of the most important non state-owned radio stations in Portugal] and brought home hundreds of records. I was 4 years old when my father gave me a key to a locker where he kept promotional singles and ep's that I took out, stacked, unstacked and stacked again. Those platters were magic, especially when my dad put them playing on the turntable. I especially liked the golden promo stickers that said "Gift".

Do you miss playing in More República Masónica?
Yes, I do miss More República Masónica, especially because it helped opening some doors. You can't erase twenty years of your life in a flash. I'm constantly thinking about returning and constantly postponing the return, but that day will come!

What is the size of your collection?
About 5000 titles - 3500 CDs and 1500 vinyls.

Format of choice: vinyl or CD?
At the moment, I prefer CD for the space it occupies and also the lower price. Vinyl suffered and still suffers from a certain amount of speculation, people tend to overvalue all vinyl because it has become a fashionable item. But now things are getting back to normal.

Do you have any favorite or prevalent music genre in your collection?
I grew up listening to rock music but I ended up searching other genres, because rock comprises a whole lot of different things. I think it's getting harder and harder to label any kind of music.

What is the most important album of your life?
I think I bought my first record at 13 or 14 years old, I don't remember exactly what that was. But the one that struck me the most and which is perhaps the album of my life was Evol, from Sonic Youth, the original SST edition, which I still own.

What was the last record that amazed you?
"Thy Kingdom Scum", by Church of Misery; it's a concept album about serial killers. Each song tells a story about a violent psychopath. Passionate as I am about these issues, this album has really aroused my attention.

What is the one record that you don't have and you're most looking for?
The records that I don't have and I'm really looking for are all those that give me enormous joy when they show up, not so much for their commercial value but for the thrill of the chase, and finally finding them!

Tell us an interesting story about buying records, either because of the purchase process itself, or for the importance (commercial or emotional) of the records in question.
The funniest story I have with records is not that funny, more like bizarre.
As you can imagine, buying an album in a record shop is not exactly the same thing than going to someone's house to buy a batch of records. One day I answered an ad for someone who had thousands of records to sell, especially singles and EPs. We set a meeting at Damaia train station and at the scheduled time this guy was there. He said to me, "these are not my records, I'm just trying to find buyers for them". It was only when I got to the seller's home that I realized the situation: there was this man, the owner of the records, lying ill, bedridden for years, over all these boxes of records stuffed under his bed! I thought about leaving, but the boxes have already started to be removed and placed geometrically beside the owner's bed, until he was surrounded by boxes. "Choose at will, they're one euro each!", said the man. I rummaged for 3 to 4 hours through the boxes and ended up ignoring the whole scenario. I chose the records I wanted, paid up and was getting ready to leave, when the man said "There are more records in the living room, you just have to wait for my wife to be removed from the couch!". I didn't take one record from that lot, don't ask me why!