Sam Hawks' Collection
Please introduce yourself and tell us about the moment you discovered Suede.
I'm Sam Hawks, originally from Pembrokeshire, Wales (near to where Night Thoughts was filmed) but living in Scotland for a good while now. The moment I first heard Suede was in September 1994; I was only 11 years old and 'We Are The Pigs' was in the Top 40. I'd never actually heard the chart before so got excited and recorded the full show across several cassettes. Suede was nestled in alongside the likes of Whigfield and Boyz II Men and Shampoo - not lost, but certainly not yet "found".
Fast forward two years and my best buddy and I would sneak downstairs to watch TV after her folks had gone to bed. I remember Suede playing 'Beautiful Ones' on TFI Friday, and for Xmas 1996 a sweet boy made me a mixtape that opened with Trash. Sold :)
What & when was your first Suede purchase?
We only had a couple of Woolworths stores in our entire county, so anything outside of the weekly charts had to be sought from monthly record fairs in Carmarthen, or the insanely "exotic" Swansea and Cardiff. A few months into 1997, I found a second-hand copy of 'Dog Man Star' in our local market with "that Pigs song on it", and the tape rarely left my Walkman. That cassette was probably the most important £3.95 I ever spent.
How do you organise your collection?
Not as well as I thought I did prior to agreeing to be this month's Collector!! Living with someone who is definitely NOT an Insatiable One, most things are scattered - as kind of disguised general music items. I really thought my collection was meagre until trying to find everything!
What's your most treasured item in your collection and why?
Tough one and it sounds cheesy, but in short: my most treasured items are photographs, friendships and memories.
Photographs taken of me and my mum before our first ever shared gig in Southampton, and a photograph of my mum with Brett at the Coal Black Mornings book signing in Glasgow.
A treasure box. I only saw Suede for the second time in Glasgow 2016, after a 17-year hiatus, and much was lost in transit during that time. Now, tickets, cards, and tasteless bracelets are a reminder of just how wonderful (not just sometimes) our IO tribe is and how many friends I've been lucky to make in these few years.
A diary entry. An awesome friend had asked me to take a photograph of her with Mr Gilbert, and as I took her phone Simon said "Sam Hawks! You always have the best hair!" - this is the single line I wrote in my diary after Suede had played Newcastle on the 2019 leg of The Blue Hour tour, having woken up beyond hungover and having to get ready to travel to Blackburn. At the Manchester IO film showing the following week, another dear IO friend encouraged me to ask Simon if he would sign the page (It did take 2 x double JDs, but I eventually plucked up the courage, and my favourite thing about this is it actually looks like Simon signed "It's all true!" against the Day 2 entry, which actually reads "absolutely haggard".
Tell us about your most recent Suede purchase.
So Young limited edition book. I don't think I'll be alone in saying this was really a lush thing to look forward to in the "between times". Biggest thanks to Mr Gilbert for taking the time to put this together for us! Legend :)
Is there any item that was in your reach and you now regret not buying?
More Coming Up merch from the recent tour! The jonnies, in particular. And I do regret using the SciFi Lullabies matches as emergency fuel back when I was young and not tired of it, so, if Suede Shop ever fancies revisiting them... ;o)
What's on your wishlist for your collection?
We are ready :)