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Local Bloke – Douglas Clarke From Clovelly

By James Hutton on December 2, 2014 in People

Photo: Grant Brooks

Photo: Grant Brooks

Clovelly resident Douglas Clarke founded Coogee’s iconic Sunburst Music back in 1989. Doug shares his local favourites with The Beast…

How long have you lived here?
I moved to Bondi in the late ’70s to play music and soon went on the road. In 1989 I moved back here to open Sunburst Music on Coogee Bay Road. I found a funky old building in a laneway behind the shop, and after renovating that, I put a recording studio on the ground floor and moved in above.

What’s your favourite beach?
My favourite is the little beach at Gordons Bay. There’s been no council development there, so apart from a few little boats tied up, it’s mostly in its natural state.

Who is your favourite person?
That’s Pamela, a wonderful human being and I love her dearly. She helped me take a deep breath, relax and grow up. Hello darling…

What’s your favourite eatery?
Three Blue Ducks in Bronte and The Little Kitchen in Coogee.

Where do you like to have a drink?
Coogee Pavilion or Barzura, looking out to Wedding Cake Island.

What’s your favourite sporting team?
The Coogee Dolphins, and it’s great to see the Rabbitohs win the big one. But come Origin time, it’s Maroons all the way! I was born in Biloela, Central Queensland.

What music are you into at the moment?
Gary Clark Jr., Ray Charles, Little Feat, Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances, Tony Rice (my favourite acoustic guitar player) and anything by The Beatles. I love the music of every era and I love to hear it on vinyl.

What do you get up to on the weekends?
Sometimes we’ll get up to Blackheath or the Northern Beaches, but really I feel like we live in the best spot in the world. I’m grateful just to be at home at Clovelly and mow the lawn.

What do you do for work?
I work with musicians, helping them with their instruments and their sound. I’m deeply involved in music education and it’s a privilege to be a part of a process that’s so beneficial.

What’s your favourite thing about your work?
Meeting and learning from people of all cultures. We see many international visitors and some of the sweetest people coming into the shop are at the highest levels of success and fame, but remain totally cool in the best way.

Do you have a favourite quote?
“Tune as the sitar, neither high nor low, and we will dance away the hearts of men” – The Buddha.

Do you have any other words of wisdom for readers of The Beast?
“Everything will be okay in the end; if it’s not okay, it’s not the end” – John Lennon.