Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

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toomanyhatz
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Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

Postby toomanyhatz » 19 Feb 2012, 21:38

I was born a long, long time ago.

Weird to think about now, since I've spent most of my life thinking there's more interesting stuff in my future than there is in my past. Maybe it's still true. But the world I was born into had no cursing on TV, the Beatles had never had a hit record anywhere, and computers were still gargantuan things that took up entire buildings.

I could spout the usual cliche and say that I'm from a musical family. And while it was technically true- my dad was a fabulous "crooner" and my mom accompanying him on the piano was a common Saturday night tradition my entire childhood- most of my musical taste did not, I must admit, come from them.

There are a couple of things that stuck, however.

My mom was a huge, huge fan of classical guitarist Andre Segovia. To this day, so am I. There's a legendary family story about her getting out of her sick bed within a day of mending from a serious illness to see him play live. My parents rarely played records- we probably had a dozen at most- but the Segovia record wore out quickly. This isn't from that record, but from the one I bought myself when I first started buying my own records. Segovia probably had as much influence on me becoming a guitarist as Harrison, Townshend and Jansch put together:



My dad, despite being an excellent singer, never seemed like a fan of music. I don't think I saw him play a record once until I was a teenager. However both he and my mom read a Piaf biography that was a best seller some time in the 70s, and bought records by her out of curiousity. My dad was hooked instantly. Till the day he died, if you asked him his favorite singer he'd always give you the same answer. As a kid this was my favorite song by her, for hopefully obvious reasons. It doesn't pull punches, or hint subtly. I might have this played at my funeral. Anyone can get it even if they don't speak the language. I still get chills every time:



Of those records, one was actually bought for me and my brother. My brother, two years older than me and more cerebral than artistic, showed no interest. I played this track over and over. I put it aside for at least 40 years, but I just listened now upon having the recollection. I know what I liked about it. A sense of play with words was natural to me as a kid. I still have that, maybe why I still enjoy funny sounds and things said backwards and silly puns, all of which are here:



The first record I owned, that nobody bought for me, was ( :o ) a Beatles record. I've told this story numerous times on the board, but when I was a kid I entered a costume contest at the local park and won, I think, third prize. That enabled me to pick a lower-level prize from the prize booth. My choice with three tickets (or whatever it was) was either a giant bag of candy, whatever the popular $5 toy was that year, or the Yellow Submarine soundtrack. I don't think I cared much about the toy, but I did really like candy. I hemmed and hawed for a while before making the smartest decision of my life, the one that colored my entire life till now and turned me into the record nerd I am. "I'll take the record." I didn't know from Beatles particularly at that point, though when I was 4 or 5 my parents used to sing the chorus of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" to remind me to hold their hands when crossing the street. My dad also sang "Yesterday" occasionally, but I don't know if it even occurred to me that they were Beatles songs. I took to the title track and "All Together Now" right away, thought "All You Need is Love" was pretty cool, and thought "Hey Bulldog" was fun, if kind of silly. I thought the George songs were weird. The difference now is I know they're weird, and think that a good thing:



The first record I actually bought was by my first musical hero that was all my own, that my parents not only had nothing to do with, but actively discouraged. Just the fact that his popularity coincided with my teenage years arriving, plus the fact that, at least at that point, he was an incredibly eclectic artist, made me a huge Elton John fan. Now I'm able to hear at least some of his music as pretty goofy now, I thought it was the greatest music I'd ever heard at that point. This song I still think is great:



High school was a pretty painful time for the most part. I was an awkward kid, not very good at sports, inattentive at school, and had very few friends. Two things made it bearable- meeting my lifelong friend (known here as bixhenry) and Aron's records across the street. So much of what I post about here I know about 'cause the cover looked cool, or I was curious, but mostly because they were 29, 49 and 99 cents, so I could afford to take a chance. (I used to ditch school in 10th grade to go to the local park, which gave me a love for hiking, so I did actually learn some things.)

There's no way I could manage to fit all the records I got for a dollar or less at Aron's, but they definitely include these, all of which I still adore:







My tastes haven't changed all that much since then. But I've added two more heroes in the last 20 years. Fortunately they're both still alive (both pretty cranky- I can easily see them both living to be crumudgeonly old men). Here they are, with representative, (relatively) recent songs that never fail to put me in a good mood:





The dilemma is, should I bring my wife? No reason to subject her to the same isolation, but she's make my time so much more bearable. Did anyone else discuss this scenario? I can't remember.

For luxury I think it'd have to be a piano. I don't play it, and the only thing that's kept me from it- other than my wife being roughly 1,000,000 times better a keyboardist than I can ever hope to be- is time. I'd have all the time in the world. I've always liked the fact that when you play a chord on piano the whole structure's laid out in front of you- something you can't really say for any other instrument. As a result it's often seemed to complex, mastering it unfathomable. With enough time I think I'd unlock its mysteries.

As for book, it's tempting to take Proust since I'm currently progressing on "Swann's Way" at a rate of about a dozen pages per year. But the book I'd read more than once for sure is "Finnegan's Wake." As words have always been things to play with for me, I'd prefer a book that rewards multiple readings. Plus it has the same sense of wordplay that I liked about "Mary Poppins" as a kid. Hmmm...Julie Andrews and Joyce. Not so far apart, really...
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Re: Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

Postby fange » 20 Feb 2012, 03:32

That was a great read, hatz - Burn Down The Mision is one hell of a tune, absolutely love it. The TV track wasn't quite my thing and the Supercali... tune gives me fits, but i pretty much like all the rest, a great set of songs.

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Re: Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 20 Feb 2012, 03:42

Great stuff, Dave. Why did your parents actively discourage you from listening to Elton John, by the way? (if I understood correctly) - musically he always seemed fairly inoffensive.

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Re: Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

Postby Stille Baron » 20 Feb 2012, 04:36

Sometimes the best thing about these things are the curveballs they throw. Edith Piaf? Segovia? It makes plenty of sense, but not what I expected. Couldn't really tell you what I expected, to be honest.

Anyway, nice work, hatz!
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Re: Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

Postby Moleskin » 20 Feb 2012, 07:44

Great stuff!
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Re: Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

Postby whodathunkit » 20 Feb 2012, 10:31

Enjoyed that Hatz. And no, you can't take your wife. Not even as a luxury :D .
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Re: Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

Postby king feeb » 20 Feb 2012, 12:19

Another great read. Those are some real left-field picks, Dave. I enjoyed that a lot (except for "Supercalifragilistic etc"... I was actually kinda aghast at that one! :lol: ).
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Re: Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

Postby Belle Lettre » 20 Feb 2012, 12:33

Good stuff. I hope you persevere with the Proust, I'm managing to as well.
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Re: Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

Postby Six String » 20 Feb 2012, 19:17

Nice one Dave. As others have said there were some very interesting song choices that I wouldn't have expected. I never really cared much for Elton John's music although his early albums have a handfull of songs I still enjoy including the one you posted.

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Re: Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

Postby toomanyhatz » 20 Feb 2012, 22:44

The Mary Poppins selection surprised me just as much as it seems to have others! But looking at it in terms of what colored my tastes, I thought back to what I'd listened to as a kid and realized how important that was. I haven't really retained that much love for musical theater- though it's probably the main music I heard as a little kid- but I remembered playing that one track over and over again.

As for Elton, it's maybe a slight exaggeration to say my parents discouraged my fandom, but they certainly couldn't understand it on any level. And my dad was generally insulting about his singing- used to refer to him as "Elton Toilet." :lol: When I was 12 my three favorite musical artists were Elton, John Denver and Stevie Wonder- of the three, Elton was the only one they were openly dismissive of- they liked John Denver- particularly when he started doing duets with opera stars- and basically had no opinion of Stevie though another song my dad "covered"- probably not from Stevie's version- was "For Once in My Life."

So I guess I looked at this as an exercise in which parts of my life I want to preserve. That's what makes this a worthwhile exercise in the end- it's a way of thinking about what matters to you- and being willing to surprise yourself in addition to others.

Needless to say there's a billion people I'm sad to have left out- Cohen, Dylan and Cash, my "Mount Rushmore" songwriters, all of garage and psychedelia, Irish trad stuff, underground funk, Lennon and McCartney, in fact- but I guess those things are so ingrained in me that I won't need the reminder as I will for some of what I chose.
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Re: Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

Postby kath » 23 Feb 2012, 04:13

i luvved it, hatz. why? not just for its own groovy sake. also becuz i am basically a self-centered, me-as-the-center-of-the-universe kinda bitch... and there's so much stuff in here i can relate to, it's just fucquin ridiculous.

(editor's note: yep, this means i'm lettin the yapdogs out. deal.)

~~segovia playin bach and its influence on yer playing gweetar. ohhh yes. a wonderful piece. the me bit: my ma was the piano-classical heavy hitters freak. i didn't hear any bach on guit til my brother decided to learn some from the hippy/hippie across the street. john (my brother, not the hippy) got great on guit... everything from not-yet-classic rock, prog, classical to ragtime and the blues, etc. and as i've said before, he tried to teach me, with the patience of a fucquin saint. out of all the crap he taught me, the bach is what i remember the most and luv the most. i don't know why bach is so particularly beautiful on gweetar. he just is.

~~the beatles (of course). i'll talk soon enough in my own entry about just how big the beatles were for me, how early. but i tell ya, that bit you said on how ya thought it was weird, and now you know it's weird, i had to hurt myself laughing. the very picture of me with the yellow submarine album's songs... and the movie. (how luvly is yer thing about yer parents singin 'hold yer hand' as a way of reminding you when you were crossin a street? damn. i wish i would've thought of that when my spawn were so wee. luvly.)

~~the elton. i'm thinkin i don't really need to go into my eltonnic DNA again. (i *do* have a question, though... why did yer parents actively discourage the elton? or am i misreading that part?) (edit: okay. i see the coanish one asked that already. neverrrr miiiind.)

~~the significance of that one record store. i was in the same kinda formative stage when that deal happened to me. influence: huuuuge.

~~**~~**!!~~all things involving the supercalifragilisticexpialidociousness of life. the joy of playing with wordage. yeah, bayBEE, that right there be IT.~~ ¡¡**~~**~~

er... oops. sorry. i get carried away.

... a dozen pages a year on proust? mwhaha. that, i can understand. but i'm with ya on yer reading pick... in spirit. some folk here go for collections, meaning they're cheatin their ever-luvvin asses clean off. me? i'm going with either (a) a classic of story-telling, painted description, lingo-playing, language, originality and fantasticreativity, multi-narrative, song, history, questing and epickitude; namely, the lord of the rings*; or (b) a joycean type of book that can be read, re-read and re-re-readredded a hundred times, and you'll *still* find more new stuff and have more heady lightbulbs flash on. (not to give anything away, but for me, that book would be gravity's rainbow.) however, i just wanted to let ya know how much i grok yer choice and how joyce as a writer, as far as i'm concerned, lets his metaphorical liver run beyond all stream-of-river running. sigh.

um, too bad about all my babble. the point: :::smack:::

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Re: Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

Postby kath » 23 Feb 2012, 04:33

p.s. hatz, do i see two big gappy spaces in there, like there were vid clips meant to be there? cuz i don't see the clips. could be my blindness... my fucqued computer... or there were vid clips meant to be there and ya screwed it up.

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Re: Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

Postby fange » 07 Mar 2012, 11:56

*bump*
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Re: Desert Island Discs: toomanyhatz Feb 19, 2011

Postby Corporate whore » 11 Apr 2012, 09:04

Bump - Archive please!
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