Caroline McSweeney's Collection
Please introduce yourself and tell us about the moment you discovered Suede.
My name is Caroline McSweeney and I’m from near Cambridge, UK. I first discovered Suede in 1996 when I was 14. I heard Trash on the radio and instantly loved it. I became pretty obsessed really quickly! I think I was attracted to them because they looked and sounded different from anything else I was listening to then. Like many other Suede fans, I always felt like an outsider - I was never cool or popular at school and Suede made me feel that that was ok!
What was your first Suede purchase?
The first Suede thing I bought were the two CD singles of Trash. I still have the lyric poster that came with it!
How do you organise your collection?
Well it’s a bit of a mess really! I have some things on the wall - photos from times I met Mat, Neil and Brett, photos from Suedewalks, posters etc - and I have some signed things ‘displayed’. My CDs have their own section of shelving and are vaguely in order of release, and the small amount of vinyl I have are on the next section of shelf! I have several copies of Mat’s and Brett’s books and they are in different places in the house!
What’s your most treasured item in your collection and why?
It’s really difficult to choose one thing, but the NME with Debbie Harry on the cover with the band’s ad for a guitarist is quite special to me. I was on eBay a couple of years ago looking for something else and managed to find that by chance really, and it was cheap too so I was pretty pleased with that find!
Tell us about your most recent Suede purchase.
The most recent addition to my collection is a copy of The Beautiful Ones best of collection in vinyl. It is The London Suede version - which I don’t usually mind missing out on! However, this came up in a recent IOs auction, and I knew that some of my memorabilia had been used in the artwork, which did not appear in the CD version, so I had to have it!
Is there any item that was in your reach and you now regret not buying?
There have been several times when something limited edition has been released and I couldn’t afford to get it at the time so I made the ‘sensible’ decision not to buy it, then wished I’d just got the credit card out! However, one thing I always remember missing out on was in 2002: I had tickets to see Suede at the Cambridge Corn Exchange when they were touring A New Morning (in the days when I just bought tickets for one date on a tour!). Unfortunately I had a pretty painful ear infection and decided not to go. I know that there is no way that I could have gone, but I still feel like I missed out!
What’s on your wish list for your collection?
Everything I don’t already have! There’s not anything in particular that I’m looking for but I am always hoping to find something unexpectedly that’s a real bargain - like the Debbie Harry NME!