I have always found that pop culture and music go hand-in-hand despite people denying that is the case. Funnily enough a lot of my childhood memories revolve around the two together. Memories of sitting in my Dad’s car while he introduced me to the likes of Pink Floyd, Meatloaf and Alice Cooper are just as vivid as racing to get up of a morning so I could get my fix of Defenders On The Earth on television before I went to school.
Likewise at school I would sit with my friends at recess and trade my Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cards alongside my KISS cards. And of course that was another battle that my parents had everyday – bribing me with such cards in order to get me to wear my school uniform to school rather than my KISS or ABBA shirts.
Yes music and pop culture do work in hand-in-hand and it is for that reason that more music fans should be excited about Supanova, the pop culture convention that is happening at The Melbourne Showgrounds this weekend. It may surprise some to know that you will see just as many people there wearing Anthrax and Metallica T-Shirts as you will donning gear from Marvel or DC, largely due to the fact that this can be an absolute treasure trove if you a serious music lover.
I have picked up some absolute gems at the various stalls there over the years. From signed music merchandise through to hard to find KISS comics – even some horror film soundtracks that I thought were long gone as they were no longer listed items in any stores. Add to that some of the music documentaries I have picked up there on DVD over the years and it is easy to see why the event is becoming more and more popular with music fans.
This year it seems even the organisers of Supanova have picked up on the fact that the event is fast becoming a music and pop culture crossover because one of the biggest stars attending the event this year – is none other than James Marsters.
Many of you will remembers Marsters as the Billy Idol inspired vampire Spike in the hit television series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, a role he later reprised in the spin-off series Angel. Since then he has had major roles in shows such as Torchwood, Smallville and The Runaways.
What a lot of people may not know though is that Marsters well and truly has a musical side as well. A lot of Buffy fans were blown away by Marsters’ vocals on ‘Rest In Peace’ – one of his tracks from the music episode Once More With Feeling. The hard rock tracks saw Marsters in full flight and it was little wonder that he was such a natural when you realise that outside of acting he had also been a musician his entire life.
He had started his musical career doing covers of artists like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and Neil Young in LA clubs before going on to form his first band. In 2003 he formed the band Ghost of the Robot who released a few singles, while many Buffy fans noted that some of the tracks were written about the characters they had come to know and love. The band disbanded in 2004 and Marsters continued with his solo career until Ghost of the Robot again reformed in 2010. Since then they have released a number of EPs while Marsters has toured around the world with his solo career appearing at a number of festivals and special events.
And that is where Supanova have jumped on board. Not only will fans have the opportunity to see Marsters host and number of Q&As this weekend and of course be signing a tonne of autographs, he will also be doing some special musical performances at the event as well. Yes, Supanova have realised just how many music fans attend the event and are now catering to them as well with concerts.
So if you are a music fan and you haven’t already got something planned this weekend then perhaps it is time to wander down to the Showgrounds and check out Supanova. You never know what kind of musical treasure you are going to pick up at one of the stalls… and you will have a chance to check out James Marsters belt out a couple of tunes as well.