Share your Musical Life Story

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Share your Musical Life Story

Postby beenieman » 21 Mar 2007, 07:27

Here's mine:

I was born in 1955 - in some histories the year rock 'n' roll was born.

My first single was in 1964 -A Hard Day's Night/Things We Said Today. Back then the B-side got listened to as much as the A-side. My mother bought it for me in the local hardware store. We had no record stores anywhere near by. Mostly I listened to the radio - even they didn't play much modern music then.

In November 1966 we got Radio Hauraki. Pirate radio. They broadcast from a ship outside the 3 mile limit. I heard them begin and I was listening on January 28, 1968 when their ship, the Tiri, ran aground and they broadcast a Mayday call as their ship broke up. I've still got a tape of that.

I read Fab magazine and my sister's Playdate mag which had a few pages about music plus the Listener (our Radio Times/TV Guide which featured the NZTop 20 each week).

I picked up just a handful of singles over the next few years - finances and opportunity being the restictions.

My first LP's were purchased in 1967. The Monkees first LP and The Animals first Lp (the Railroad tracks one). Purchased at a Grocery store. The Animals were my favourite band of the sixties but I can truly say there's hardly a song that made the Top 20 from the late fifties through to the mid eighties that I don't find listenable . Truly.

In 1971 I got Grand Funk Live and Master of Reality. Grand Funk & Black sabbath were my favourite bands of the mid seventies/my late teens.

From 1972-1979 I bought an LP roughly every fortnight. Records were more precious and less of a commodity then

From 1972 onwards I got the NME every week. Only stopped in the mid eighties and I've still got all the issues - and have a list of those I'm missing.

I was right into Glam. T Rex's The Slider is my faourite record to this day (don't tell John).

In late 1975/early 1976 I was in Australia and saw a news clip of the Sex Pistols. Just a couple of minutes but I was hooked. This was before I'd even read about them in the NME - which reached here 2-3 months after publication (still does).

I got right into the Ramones, Clash, Sex Pistols and thought their debuts among the best records ever made (still do).

I did not get into many of the other punk bands though. Mainly because I heard the O'Jays; Stylistics; Chi-Lites etc. Still my favourite era of soul and the soul years I keep returning to.

I got totally into Disco. I used to mix tapes which extended the songs across a side. I'd play a 45 minute version of Heart of Glass and no one could spot the joins.

In 1980 I went to Jamaica where I lived off and on for 4 years. I've been back a few times since for brief visits. I was there when Yellowman first hit. The birth of dancehall with Junjo Lawes, Barrington Levy etc. This has been my focus ever since.

I've never got that extensively into the reggaemusic of an earlier era. I love Bob Marley & Peter Tosh but they both transcend reggae music. Black Uhuru, Culture, Burning Spear etc are all right but I don't have the passion for them that I have for dancehall.

Dancehall's changed immensly since 1980. The key dancehall song is Wayne Smith's Under Mi Sleng Teng, my favourite song of all time (with the frequent exception of whatever I'm listening to at the time :) )

I've kept up with reggae ever since. It's the only music I'm still "current" in. I love it and it's probably what I listen to 70% of the time.

Finally I joined the Mojo Board in 2002, then this one when it started up. And I started downloading in 2001

I have to be honest this Board has not altered my listening that much. I cough a lot and I play & enjoy what I get. I've made some great discoveries which I would not have made otherwise but regretfully I don't listen to stuff as repeatedly as I used to. There's just so much and we're all time poor these days - well I am. I hear stuff, love it and move on. It's the way of the times.

That's my story. It was going to be 3 or 4 paragraphs but I got carried away.

Tell me yours.

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Postby beenieman » 21 Mar 2007, 18:46

No concerts in 14 years.

You're a man after my own heart.

I haven't been to none in that period but I very rarely go to concerts now.

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Postby Walk In My Shadow » 21 Mar 2007, 19:07

Born in 1954.
I told this tale before, it was my dad who made me listen to music from when I was 8 or 9.
Dylan, Baez, Donovan to start with.
My very first own album was by The Troggs. :?

We had pirate radio as well. Broadcasting from ships in the North Sea.
Veronica (Dutch), Radio Caroline, Radio London.
On the AM dial in the evening these sounds would wash in and out of the ether. Listening in bed under the covers with a small transistor radio.

British music was more freely available than American.
There was a time when the Island label was my personal bible. I tried to get everything they released (yes, even Quintessence and Nirvana) but the budget was limited.
Grandma was a welcome sponsor in those days.

Reading material? Melody Maker.

And then the Sixties ended.


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Postby Neil Jung » 21 Mar 2007, 20:05

Born in '56, in time to be swept away by The Beatles, The Stones and all the huge excitement of the early 60s. Unfortunately despite my protests the barbers were still doing the short back and sides with kiss curl well into the late 60's wherever we lived... have been making up for it ever since.

My first 45 was Telstar by The Tornadoes then a bit of a gap until I Want To Hold Your Hand at Christmas, was it 63 or 64, then Can't Buy Me Love.

First LP was Moody Blues' Every Good Boy Deserves Favour. Others in the first 10 were by Simon & Garfunkel, P Simon, Strawbs, Cat Stevens, PFM, Mike Oldfield... Alan Freeman was a big influence, as was Sounds. By the time I left school I had over 100 LPs, which seemd a lot at the time.

First concert was a package tour at Croydon's Fairfield Halls included The Overlanders, maybe Johnny Kidd & The Pirates - I can't remember. It would have been around 1964 - with my Dad, who must have been humouring me. I still go to concerts, but not as much as I used to; I can't be bothered to travel miles to listen to people talking over the band whilst filming the occasion on their mobile phones. Next concert: Explosions In The Sky - it'll be very loud so should drown out the talkers.

Reading matter: Sounds, NME, MM, Q, MOJO, Uncut, Word

Did University Radio for a couple of years. Mostly Genesis!

Joined MOJO4MUSIC when it seemed to be just John Slider and a few of his mates (whatever happened to Skip Spence?), attended inaugural jolly up at Moon Under Water, migrated to BCB when everyone else did.

Despite a few attempts, have never managed to get any friends to post here regularly.
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Re: Share your Musical Life Story

Postby Magilla » 22 Mar 2007, 08:18

beenieman wrote:
In November 1966 we got Radio Hauraki. Pirate radio. They broadcast from a ship outside the 3 mile limit. I heard them begin and I was listening on January 28, 1968 when their ship, the Tiri, ran aground and they broadcast a Mayday call as their ship broke up. I've still got a tape of that.

"This is the Tiri - we are abandoning ship, repeat, abandoning ship...I love you, Mum and Dad."
They had a news item last Nov about a re-union of the original pirates and, of course, replayed this famous call.

In late 1975/early 1976 I was in Australia and saw a news clip of the Sex Pistols. Just a couple of minutes but I was hooked.

Was this the famous signing outside Buckingham Palace, captured by TVNZ's own legendary Dylan Taite ?

I used to mix tapes which extended the songs across a side. I'd play a 45 minute version of Heart of Glass and no one could spot the joins.

Now that is talent.
"U2 routinely spent a year in the studio...I have a theory: if you put four monkeys in the studio for a year with Lanois and Eno and Lillywhite, they would make a pretty good record, too."

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Re: Share your Musical Life Story

Postby beenieman » 22 Mar 2007, 20:55

Magilla wrote:
beenieman wrote:
In November 1966 we got Radio Hauraki. Pirate radio. They broadcast from a ship outside the 3 mile limit. I heard them begin and I was listening on January 28, 1968 when their ship, the Tiri, ran aground and they broadcast a Mayday call as their ship broke up. I've still got a tape of that.

"This is the Tiri - we are abandoning ship, repeat, abandoning ship...I love you, Mum and Dad."
They had a news item last Nov about a re-union of the original pirates and, of course, replayed this famous call.

In late 1975/early 1976 I was in Australia and saw a news clip of the Sex Pistols. Just a couple of minutes but I was hooked.

Was this the famous signing outside Buckingham Palace, captured by TVNZ's own legendary Dylan Taite ?

I used to mix tapes which extended the songs across a side. I'd play a 45 minute version of Heart of Glass and no one could spot the joins.

Now that is talent.

That's it for the Tiri. I listened to it again a few days ago.

Not the Dylan Taite bit - that came later plus I was in OZ remember.

It must have been a BBC or ITV story. It discussed the horror/disgrace of them and showed 45 seconds or so of them playing. It must have been really early as there'd been nothing in NME at the time (bearing in mind we were 3 months late in reading the NME).

Sadly I no longer have a mixer/fader or two turntables.

Bungo the Mungo

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 22 Mar 2007, 21:15

Nice thread. I'd love it if everybody replied.

Born in '68, first musical loves the old shellac 78s my Ma had - mainly Ink Spots. George Formby, too ('The World Of George Formby' was the first 33 rpm album I listened to a lot), and Prokofiev's 'Peter and the Wolf' (like a lot of kids, I expect). Lots of music around, most of the time, but really nothing contemporary. Upright piano in the corner, great to bash around on, was 'encouraged' to take lessons from around 8, but hated the formality of it all and was a shit pupil.

At 10, started to get into pop. Remember 'Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick' being maybe the earliest single I really loved. Wrote out the entire lyrics after listening to it several times intently. Did all kinds of weird contorted dances to it - real love! 'You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties' similarly obsessed over. (both songs thrill my cotton socks off, to this day)

Lennon's murder in 1980 got me into the Beatles. HUGE fan for around 2 years, saved my pocket money and got all the albums on Parlophone cassette (they were around 4 pounds apiece) eventually - apart from Revolver and Sgt. Pepper. Had Beatles mirrors, fan club magazines, they were my thing. Didn't know a single fucker who shared this interest. Tried to get their name into school essays in the vain hope a teacher would add a sympathetic comment. Nothing. Isolationism continued for many years...

Jimmy Saville and Paul Gambaccini were who I turned to on Radio 1 in the early eighties. Taped stuff from oldies programmes. Got into loads of '60s bands, decorated school books with graffiti (Yardbirds, Doors). Stones, Bowie too. Mostly 'conventional' stuff (Roxy's exhilarating debut an exception - became a big fan relatively early) - but nothing contemporary, again.

Got hugely into the Velvet Underground when I was 16 after buying a compilation cassette in London. Can remember very clearly the moment. They remained my very favourite band for a couple of years. Obsessive fandom. Bootlegs, articles. Started buying the NME regularly in 1985. Their 'top 100' of November of that year was a huge and very positive influence. Bought a fair amount of vinyl. Iggy, Hendrix, Talking Heads, Clash. 'Trout Mask Replica' changed my life at 18. 'The Modern Dance' had a big impact, too.

Saw the Fall in '87, became a very big fan. My favourite band for 20 years now. The only band that came after that really threw me were Can, in around 1990. Mindblowing.

There's more, probably, but that'll do for now.
Last edited by Bungo the Mungo on 23 Mar 2007, 10:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Jeff K » 22 Mar 2007, 22:25

Born in '65.

The first single I remember that I could call my own was 'These Boots Are Made For Walking' which my grandmother brought for me after she saw me dancing along to it on the radio.

My mind's a little hazey about which single I purchased for myself but it was either Joy To the World, Hey Jude or Troglodyte.

The first album I ever had was the soundtrack to the Jungle Book. The first LP I brought for myself was Are You Expereinced? not realizing that Jimi was already dead by then ( when I found that out, I wanted to return the LP :lol: )

My first 5 albums following that were Donovan's Greatest Hits, Grand Funk (the one with the red cover). Alice Cooper's Love It To Death, the Woodstock soundtrack (being the rebel I was, I would put my speaker to the window to make sure the entire neighborhood heard the Fish cheer, I had no clue to what 'fuck' meant but I sure knew it was a naughty word) and The Door's LA Woman.

My musical path was changed forever and I have The Planet of the Apes to thank for it. My neighbor took me and a bunch of my friends to see Apes at a drive in and during the previews for the coming attractions they showed Gimmie Shelter. Well, I just had to see that! I begged and whined to my mother about taking me and to probably shut me up, she relented and we went the following week. I don't think she was too thrilled about the film nor the hippies and biker types that were watching it with us but I didn't care. I fell in love with the Stones that night and also wanted to be a Hell's Angel too. After the movie, I wanted my mom to buy me an Uncle Sam hat and pink scarf just like Mick had. I didn't get my way with that one though.

So, after a couple of years following all things Stones and like-minded groups such as the Faces, I grew a little restless with that kind of music. Again my life was changed when I started thumbing thru my step-sisters 16 magazine because they had Alice Cooper on the cover ( Fun and Freaky Facts About Alice!!) Inside the magazine was where I first saw the word 'punk' used to describe music. They also had stories about Bowie, Bolan, Iggy, Roxy and the Dolls and they were all written for teeny-boppers! I later found out that 16 magazine was edited by Danny Fields which made sense. That led me to Glam. I don't know which album I brought first but into my ever expanding LP collection went Ziggy Stardust, Alladdin Sane, Tanx, Electric Warrior, Desolation Boulevard, both New York Dolls albums (yes, I was THAT hip a young age). My Uriah Heep loving fans called me a 'fag' but I didn't mind. I didn't know what the word meant. I did pass on buying Raw Power and I'm going to lose 'cool' points here. I found it at Woolworths of all places, had it in my hand and was already to take it up to the cash register when I saw the cellarphane was torn and the cover was slightly bent. I put it back and brought a Black Oak Arkansas album instead.

After glam died out and I found out what fag really meant, I became bored with rock music and started listening to funk and dance music. I was into Rufus, the Ohio Players, The Gap Band, groups like that. I was following that kind of music for about a couple of years when I saw a TV news show (Weekend) about this wacky new trend called punk rock. Mmmmm, maybe rock wasn't dead after all.

To cut an already looooong story short, I became heavily into punk and and all the sub-genres that followed (post-punk, new wave, hard-core, the US indie scene).....

Wew! my fingers are tired and I don't feel like getting into Jeff K's Musical History Part II right now. Maybe at a later date. I also just realized I neglected to talk about all my concert expereinces too.
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Postby Sneelock » 22 Mar 2007, 22:50

born in '58.
the first music I remember was jazz. my dad was standing next to the radio and asking me to name the instruments as they played. i couldn't do it and he got very mad. what the fuck is a saxophone? how should I know which one is the saxophone?

I fell in love with a trombone when I was maybe 6. the music teacher suggested a cornet and I played it whenever I could for several months until my mother shoved it up my ass.

the first music I knew the name of was 'Baby Elephant Walk' by Henry Mancini. can't you just see the baby elephant when you hear it? I could. I still can.

I got a little transistor radio and used to listen to 'classical music's greatest hits' - you know, swan lake, stuff like that.

I went to get a loaf of bread and heard "good vibrations" through my little earpiece and I became a happier person. life just looked a whole lot better all of a sudden.

my first single was 'The Witch Doctor" by David Seville and his orchestra. my first album was 'Magical Mystery Tour'
I liked glam because it was horny music and I was a horny young man. punk and it's twisted cousins of all names impressed me by it's otherness and because the people who liked it were nicer and more fun to be around than the people who didn't.

I do try new bands when i see them listed here but I'm afraid old fogeyness has set in. when I worked with youngsters I was excited about things when they sounded good. now I work with oldsters and I want to hear the music I've loved the longest. I hope it's just a phase. I do that sometimes. I guess I can live with it.

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Postby kath » 22 Mar 2007, 23:02

born in 1963, to a dad who loved glenn miller, louis armstrong and played trombone and bass in the big-band era... to a ma who loved tchk... tchkow... thcow... cheh-cow-ski and played classical piano.

had three older sibs, music freaks, who handed down tons of vinyl to me.

first single, handed down, she loves you. i still have it.
first album, handed down, revolver. still have it.

first album given to me on a birthday... tapestry.
first album i bought for myself... captain fantastic.
first single... walk this way, aerosmith.

first concert, age 9, the carpenters, on my dad's shoulders.
second, age 12, neil diamond, again with dad.
third, age 12, the stones in baton rouge. no dad this time. droogie friends. i changed pretty fast, really.

started playing guitar at ten, thanks to lessons from my classical guit-playing brother. bought my own guitar at 14 (a guild). still have it.

until i got married in my twenties, all i ever spent money on was albums (and concerts). when i got money for school supplies and clothes, i bought vinyl. i bought things the day they came out. i went crazy over music. dated long-hairs who were guit-players and also crazy over music. still that way (aka, reap, long-haired, guit-playing music fan. actually, he's a walking encyclopedia on music. a reap-o-pedia.)

not surprisingly, i have major gaps in my collection from, say, late 80s through the 90s. too busy working, whelping, raising, etc. still trying to make up for it.

i've made a few friends in music along the way. not that i would embarrass them in their close association with me by naming them. not cool. but two words: southern rock. heh. there will be a chapter in my autobio yes, i cayenne entitled, "backstage passes and beer"...

ohhh... many, many stories of primo-era concerts (the animals tour, for example, when i was so fucqued up i decided that everything was green and that gilmour was god)...too many to go into or even remember. i've seen some kickass shows, starting in the mid to late 70s.

i've never seen neil young, and i'm still pissed off about it.

ummm... don't know if i'm sposed to bring up anything else specifically. i doubt anyone's made it this far in my post. maybe i shall ponder music-in-my-life more fully over chinese take-out. (i get a night off from cooking cuz i'm sick. people will wait on MEEE.... yeeeeeeehawwwwwww.)

where was i? oh yes... leaving the thread.

edit: ok, a few more things...

what i read... creem, circus, rolling stone, guitar player, ever rock bio i could get my grubby lil paws on

first cd: songs from the wood, sticky fingers and machine head were in a batch of about ten.

last band i really cared about.... p o r c u p i n e t r e e

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Postby toomanyhatz » 22 Mar 2007, 23:53

Born in '62. Dad sang (very well) and mom played (not very well) piano accompaniment, so the first music I heard was dad crooning the likes of "Spanish Eyes" and "The Impossible Dream" with mom at the piano (though they did try an occasional contemporary one- my first Beatles song in any context was my dad singing "Yesterday").

Records around the house were few and very limited- those Christmas records gas stations would give out free with a fill-up, and some classical stuff. No contemporary records whatsoever. The one I liked (still like to this day- I have the original copy in fact) is a solo guitar record by Andres Segovia.

My first record I won at age 7. For honorable mention in a costume contest I was given a choice of prizes. I picked the LP- the Beatles Yellow Submarine. I took to the title track and "All Together Now" right away, the rest took longer. But I instinctively knew that these things (records) were something special.

Fast-forward to late elementary school when my brother and I first started listening to AM radio. This would be 1973, and KHJ (Davey TFB might remember too, though I'm a touch older than him) used to play a great variety of stuff- soul like Al Green, Zeppelin and bits of FM rock, hit bands like Chicago, occasional oldies, even a stray country number or two- loved those Charlie Rich hits from the get-go. Through this, I became a huge, huge Elton John fan. The next records I bought for myself were the Tommy soundtrack (mainly because Elton was on it) and Caribou (then new). I also started taking guitar classes around age 12, mainly to learn to play the hits (my guitar teacher was a wimp-rock fan, so I'm afraid I learned mostly John Denver, Neil Diamond and James Taylor stuff). I didn't get too far with the guitar stuff till I started hanging out with my new friend Willie (yep- Bixhenry on here).

Willie was a Beatles fan. I was too, but I guess sort of took them for granted, wheras Willie (a classically trained pianist) was a hardcore fan who had all the records. My first band was basically me, him and a third friend singing along (and occasionally, almost by accident, harmonizing) to those records.

When we hit high school, Aron's records was across the street. I spent many's the lunch time over there skimping on the food so I'd have extra money for used records. If it looked interesting and cost less than $1, we'd buy it. It's how I discovered Steeleye Span (my entry into Fairport, Thompson, etc. which in turn led me to Irish music), garage bands, some prog., etc. Also, Willie's friend Marvin (later to produce, then join, Lone Justice) played us Marquee Moon around this time. That split my head in two. Plus we started reading books like that first edition of the Rolling Stone Record Review (hello, Matt!) to find out about more records we'd find interesting.

Willie and I formed a band with a third friend (younger brother of a girl I dated briefly- very briefly- then became friends with). Our agenda, from the beginning, was to be diverse as possible. We did lots of garage stuff, and were sort of on the fringes of the "Paisley Underground" (Steve Wynn from the Dream Syndicate worked at Rhino, through him we met the Bangles, Rain Parade, etc., went to tons of gigs, etc.). Then we heard the Minutemen. First band that really felt like "our" band- though we were considered a bit weird in high school for liking the Doors, Yardbirds, etc., we found more people in our adult life that we could identify with- but the Minutemen were something different. My life was never the same after that.

Whew! That took a while. So I guess we'll wait on part II.
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Postby king feeb » 23 Mar 2007, 02:12

Born in 1957 in Manhattan to "artsy" parents. Before I was born, my mom was an obscure jazz/blues vocalist in New York City. She also did vocal backup harmonies for the likes of Dinah Shore and Theresa Brewer. Her day gig was working as an assistant for Jackie Gleason, and she hung out with Broadway lyricist Josh Logan. She and my father also were friends with Jack Webb, who they said was nothing like his character, Sgt. Joe Friday. Then she got preggers with me. My father, a photographer, wasn't making enough money to support a family, so he got into the fossil fuel business. My mom retired from music to raise me and my younger brother. Soon, my dad got a gig in coal-rich West Virginia, and away we went to Isolationville.

My mom sang all the time when I was growing up. She was an excellent singer (whereas I am a very mediocre singer). There were always a bunch of records around- lots of Broadway musicals and opera. However, none of that really did much for me. My dad was never a big music fan (and he H-A-T-E-D rock n roll!).

One of my earliest memories was seeing Little Richard on TV and being hypnotised by his shiny hair and music. When The Beatles came along, I was five or so, and they hit me hard. For the next few years, my brother and I scammed us a few Beatles, Monkees, Dave Clark 5 and Paul Revere and the Raiders albums-the first one I ever bought: Revolver, mostly because it had a goofy cartoon on the cover. I started buying singles for myself when I was about 12- the first were "Tears Of A Clown" by the Miracles, "Montego Bay" by Bobby Bloom and an older one that I liked on the radio: "Soul Limbo" by Booker T & the MGs.

I started getting into heavier stuff, starting with The Who Sell Out and Live At Leeds, which I bought when I was 13. I had a paper route, and spent 98% of the money on new records. I became a rabid fan of The Who, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett, Yes, Black Sabbath and many more obscure bands as well, all within a year or so. I had taken some guitar lessons when I was 8 or 9, but like John Coan, I was a shite pupil. But when I was 14 I started playing again- some Beatle songs, "Summertime Blues". I saved up money from my paper route and bought a crap Kay electric bass... and my dad (of all people!) who hated rock, bought me a cheap Kent amp. I started a band with my friends Mark Bailey and John Gaadt when I was 15. It kept us off the streets, but that was when I also first smoked weed. Don't tell dad.

I wrote my first two songs with that band- "Brain Pirates" was a Tull rip-off and "Don't Get Heavy" was a Sabbath rip-off. Mark Bailey wrote this 15-minute piece of music that no one understood. We played our first gig in a church rec-room, about two weeks after I turned 16. We emptied the place in minutes. Since then I have been in about 10 bands, written nearly 1200 songs and have emptied out scores of rooms in minutes.

That was also around the time that I started becoming interested in Krautrock, "outside music" and jazz. My mom was in Columbia Record Club and she'd end up with jazz records that she didn't like: Monk's Straight No Chaser, Mongo Santamaria, Sonny Stitt and the like. She gave them to me. I put them in my collection but never listened to them. That changed when I was about 16 and I became a jazz nut. I also found a stash of "cutout" Impulse jazz albums in a crappy cheapshit department store called Hill's. I'd go into Hill's and for ten dollars, I'd get ten jazz albums by Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders and John Coltrane. I also got the first two Soft Machine albums there. West Virginia was a weird place like that, but no bands ever played my dinky town, so I never saw a real live band until about that time (King Crimson at the Agora in Cleveland).

I got my first gig in a record store when I was 17 (after working in a lo-rent Mac Donald's ripoff called Burger Chef) and man! That was the most dangerous thing ever. Soon I was buying too Goddamn many records, a vice that would trouble me henceforth in my life!

I was in bands throughout college, and took 5 1/2 years to graduate because of it. I saw AC/DC fifty million times, because they really liked playing our college town, I guess. Unemployment in West Virginia had approached the 20% mark, so moved to Boston when I was 25, mostly because of the vibrant music scene. These were my big concert-going years in the mid to late 80s. Saw everybody, and some bands like The Fall and The Minutemen, several times. I saw Sun Ra so many times that John Gilmore used to say "hi" to me. I lived in music clubs for a while non-stop, which may be why I don't frequent them much now. I worked in a record store, I was in a band, I went to shows... I was a creature of sound.

But by the end of the eighties, I was burning out, especially on the band front. I was still writing songs and playing out, but my heart wasn't in it and I wrote some of the most awful pieces-of-shit any band has ever played. Thank God the band was falling apart and they never got recorded! I figured it was all over for me, and I hung up my guitar. Didn't play for almost six years. I was drawing a lot of comics and getting them published. My comics were good. My music had turned to garbage. It was an easy choice.

Then in the mid-nineties, I had a series of commercial arts/illustration jobs that had really soured me on visual arts. Also, the indie comics scene was in a constant state of collapse. The music muse returned with a vengeance. Started a couple of short-lived bands, but had an epiphany listening to Weeville by The Tall Dwarfs: I realized I didn't need the hassle of a band! I could record my songs the way I wanted them on multi-track Portastudios. This started my home recording jag that continues to this day. I was also in a couple of bands in the 90s-early 00s, including The 914, which I think might've been the best band I was ever in. We could take paint off the walls on a good night. I joined when I was 39. :P

As far as discs go, I still buy and listen to too much music. When I moved to Boston, I only took 50 records with me. I had built the collection up to several crates worth when I suffered flood damage that wiped out some of them, and many others were sold when funds got tight. Nowadays I have a few beloved vinyl albums... and zillions of CDs and Mp3s.

I like some modern bands, but I buy more music from the 64-80 period than new stuff. I find a lot of modern pop and rock to be too damn timid. I'd rather listen to something like The White Stripes, Boris, The Liars or Sunn0)). My most memorable shows of the past two years are the reformed Zombies, Holgar Czukay, Sunn0)), Sunburned Hand of The Man and Bob Dylan. It's still keeping me off the streets.
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Postby Arthur Crud » 23 Mar 2007, 03:41

Toni Fisher > Meredith Willson > The Beatles > The Beach Boys > The McCoys > The Association > Mr Bloe > The Small Faces > Thunderclap Newman > The Rolling Stones > The Who > The Doobie Brothers > Bachman Turner Overdrive > Golden Earring > David Bowie > Roxy Music > TheClashTheDamnedTheSexPistolsTheJam > The Fall > C86 > Grunge > Butthole Surfers > Blur > Psych > Psych > Psych > Psych > BCB > Prog > Krautrock > ?

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Postby beenieman » 23 Mar 2007, 04:22

Crude Art wrote:Toni Fisher > Meredith Willson > The Beatles > The Beach Boys > The McCoys > The Association > Mr Bloe > The Small Faces > Thunderclap Newman > The Rolling Stones > The Who > The Doobie Brothers > Bachman Turner Overdrive > Golden Earring > David Bowie > Roxy Music > TheClashTheDamnedTheSexPistolsTheJam > The Fall > C86 > Grunge > Butthole Surfers > Blur > Psych > Psych > Psych > Psych > BCB > Prog > Krautrock > ?

Mr Bloe can't have taken long? Did they record more than one LP? Ditto Thunderclap Newman. And can't both be reduced to just one song?

BTO surprises me too. Didn't think they were your kind of thing. Doobies for the name right?

And no Beefheart? You've had a better life than I thought mate :)

PS Did you get (want) my Association set?

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Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 23 Mar 2007, 05:34

Fuck it. Here comes a novel.

Born in 1965. My parents were your typical Eisenhower kids, but by the time I was 5 or 6 they had begun to branch out into drugs and free love. They tried an open marriage and couldn't handle it - breaking up soon after. It was all very Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.

Dad didn't care for music much at all. Mom kept a few albums around I never saw her play. The one exception was when I was 5 years old. I had just watched a tv show about a little boy who dies in an accident and becomes an angel. When the show was over she put on this record that featured a woman with an otherworldly sounding voice (Karen Carpenter) singing "on the day that you were born, the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true..." That's my earliest memory of pop music. It still haunts me.

After that I was hyper-aware of pop music. I couldn't hear even a snippet of any song go by without tuning everything else out. Hatz mentioned KHJ above, and boy do I remember it. I got a Panasonic toot-a-loop radio for my birthday...Image
....and listened to KHJ day and night on the thing for years - even putting it on the handle bars of my bike whenever I left the house. My memory of their playlist is exactly as Hatz described it (and I too loved those old Charlie Rich crossover hits - which provided my entree into country music). I routinely stayed up for The Midnight Special and Don Kirschner's Rock Concert every weekend.

The first single I bought was Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby.

The first album I bought was The Jackson Five's Greatest Hits. They were my first favorite band until my father brought home Goodbye Yellow Brick Road one day. Then it was all about Elton John for several years after.

My first concert was Kenny Rankin at The Troubadour when I was about 6 years old. My cousin was an up-and-coming singer-songwriter then and she was opening the show. I think I fell asleep. The first concert I stayed awake for was Elton John's famous Dodger Stadium show. Emmylou Harris and Joe Walsh were also on the bill, but I only vaguely recall them. Here's a picture from that day:


After that I started bugging my father to take us to concerts every weekend. Being the divorced father trying to figure out what to do with three kids on weekend visits, he obliged every once in a while. We saw Cat Stevens, then an all-day concert featuring Alice Cooper, the Kinks, the Tubes, Nazereth and Sha Na Na - a film of that concert would later be released as:
- though for some reason the Kinks were inexplicably completely edited out of it.

The next show he took us to was Wings Over America. Though I'd been a casual Beatle fan before, after that night I was obsessed.

Around this time I'd started taking guitar lessons at the local community center. The first song I learned was Barry Manilow's "Mandy" which I embarrassingly decided to play at a school talent show. Luckily I didn't know about guitar pick-ups or how to sing into a mike, so I'm pretty sure nobody in the audience could tell what I was singing.

Like Coan I was also pretty much alone in my Beatle worship - the one exception being my best friend Patrick. He started taking guitar lessons too and we began a songwriting partnership. Most of our songs were rewrites of Beatle songs built around whatever chord we'd just learned. When we had 12 "songs" written on our school notebook paper, we'd put them in a binder and call them an album. I kept those for years, finally sending them to Patrick a few years ago when we got back into touch. If anyone ever wants to blackmail me, just call Pat - because I'd be mortified if anybody else ever saw those things.

As I got older, the other kids were getting into Kansas and Styx. I was digging into the past discovering the Zombies, Dylan, Orbison, The Everlys, etc. The current music I did like was generally top 40, soul music, and singer-songwriter types.

As a teen I tried to start various bands, but they never got off the ground. I wasn't a very good player and nobody I knew was any better than me. Further, I'd been taking lessons from a bluegrass player and had gotten much better at finger picking and flat picking than any kind of rock playing. My one "rock and roll" moment came in Junior High when I was asked to play lead guitar for a band made up of guys considered much cooler than I. I'd learned to play these sort of spastic lead lines very fast and loud and they were convinced I was a guitar god. We played a school talent show doing Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" and Eric Clapton's "Cocaine". We had a bit of controversy just before the show when we were told we could play "Cocaine" - but would be suspended if we actually sang the word that made up it's title. We planted a few people in the audience and told them to yell it for us whenever we got to that part of the song. It was very rebellious. Jeff K would have been proud. :D I played especially loud and spastically that day and enjoyed a few years of relative popularity afterwards.

Figuring that I didn't have the chops to play music, I tried my hand at acting. Throughout junior high and high school I worked tirelessly at it - performing in school plays and then taking classes at the Lee Strasberg (including a few with Lee himself), then with Stella Adler and Nina Foch. Later I got a part-time job teaching acting to aspiring models at a Barbizon modeling school. It was a great job for a guy just out of high school. :twisted: The rest of the time I worked for the company that ran several of the large concert venues in town, so I always had free tickets to a concert every weekend and generally had a model to go with me. Those were heady times.

I got a bit of acting work, but for the most part I struggled. One day, frustrated by another round of bad auditions, I saw an add in the paper for a guitar player "influenced by The Who, The Violent Femmes, and Phil Ochs". I answered it immediately and joined a fledgling group called the Blue Blue Morning. The guys in the band turned out to be pretty much non-musicians, and our shows relied on a healthy dose of conceptual theatre. We played almost exclusively in the poetry circuit. Eventually the one guy who could sort of play left and I was thrust into the role of defacto leader, writing all of the songs while the other guys improvised along to them.

Even though we were an awful band, it became clear after a while that audiences liked my songs and responded well to me on stage. One of the guys in the band started asking if he could manage me as a solo act. Eventually I relented and embarked upon a serious attempt at a career as a singer-songwriter.

It turned out that my old bandmate was a great manager and within a few years I was a pretty well-established fixture in the Los Angeles music community. Soon I had a record deal and opening shows for many of my heroes. My album came out to positive reviews and I toured the country with hatz in support of it. It was a grueling tour however, and many of my myths about the rest of the country being less jaded than LA died during it. By the time I came back I was unsure whether I wanted to keep pushing on as a musician.

A while after I got back I started working on a second album. Mid-way through it my label dropped me, despite my debut being one of their biggest sellers at that time (Sub-Pop had just emerged and my label wanted to be like them - a singer-songwriter was bad for their street cred). I kept recording, finishing the album on my own. Soon after it was finished however, my manager (and closest friend by that time) was killed in a car accident. Perhaps poetically, the only copy of our final master tape was in the car with him and was never recovered. I was heartbroken and never bothered to re-mix or release the album. I made a few half-hearted attempts at reviving my career, but eventually moved out of Los Angeles and away from the music industry. For about a decade I pretty much avoided new music. I hated going into record stores and seeing all of the Lollapalooza-era asshole rock that was dominating music then. I sought comfort in The Beach Boys, Lovin' Spoonful, and Harry Nilsson.

I always intended to pick myself up and make another record, but when my first daughter was born with a profound disability I knew I'd never be able to live the touring life. Eventually it stopped being a problem for me and I focused on all the great things in my life. Being a musician stopped mattering. Being a husband and father became everything. And thankfully - I started loving music without complication again, just as I did when I was a boy. Coming to BCB has been therapeutic for me as I have really come to take a lot of joy in all of your collective enthusiasm for it. I'm even thinking of recording again - just for the pure love of it.

Anyhow...that's a whole lot more than I intended to write. If anyone bothers to read the whole thing, I owe you a beer.
Last edited by Davey the Fat Boy on 29 Mar 2007, 19:15, edited 1 time in total.
“Remember I have said good things about benevolent despots before.” - Jimbo



Postby Sneelock » 23 Mar 2007, 06:13

I read it twice. do I get two beers?
that was pretty great reading, davey.
good luck with that!

"blue blue morning" like the Randy Newman song?

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Postby toomanyhatz » 23 Mar 2007, 06:19

You are a good man, I love you and please make mine a Red Hook.

I'm glad you remember KHJ. It was a good breeding ground for eclecticism. Amazing what disparate things were hits in our lifetime, huh? Those of you who might hold current pop music in close to the same league with the pop music of old should check out a KHJ playlist from '73 or '74. My "roots" if you will are from that period- Elton, Stevie Wonder, The O'Jays and the Philadelphia sound, those Charlie Rich singles- that's what I grew up on.

The thing I remember most about that '91 tour is how we kept noticing that the "scene" was absolutely identical in every town or city regardless of the size of it. We met some nice people, though, and had some adventures. In case anyone's wondering why we seem to know each other so well. Though if either of us harbored any illusions that those particular streets were paved with gold, we sure didn't come back with them.

I didn't know about the fate of those master tapes before. I'm glad you're thinking of recording, though. Hey, I hear BCB is covering the White Album...
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Postby beenieman » 23 Mar 2007, 08:23

You owe me a beer Davey. Thanks for the contribution. And everyone else so far.

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Postby Oscar » 23 Mar 2007, 10:02

Childhood: Radio played a big part in the earliest days. It was generally the easy listening stuff that my mum and dad would have on as background music but my two older sisters would also be a big influence on my listening. They would point out to me what I should like, which at the time would have been anything Motown and Trojan and lots of chart stuff.

Boyhood: Both my sisters moved on early. They both moved out of the house before I was 10 years old so I was left with a legacy of Motown records, a Trojan compilation and a handful of chart singles (Beatles, Shadows, Tremeloes etc). I can’t really remember Northern Soul happening the way other music/fashion movements happened. I don’t think people were ever aware that they were deliberately creating a new culture and people didn’t seem to be identifying with it until it had already been firmly established. It just seemed to be the dj’s breaking from the mainstream and soul boys looking for the golden nuggets. Eventually it was called Northern Soul and there would always be a Northern Soul set at the local junior discos and at parties.

Youth: I think I was about 10 or eleven years old when a much older cousin called around with a copy of Tarkus by ELP. My eldest sister had moved back temporarily and I think my cousin was trying to impress her with his new found musical taste. I remember she thought it was fucking awful but I …. I was totally mesmerised. It certainly opened a door in my mind and all sorts of untapped colours and shapes were set free. It wasn’t long after that my sister started to go out with a local kid who had the biggest record collection I’d ever seen. There were only two standard LP boxes full but to me this was an excessive amount. These two record boxes became the resources for my music apprenticeship for the next couple of years. The Key records in the box were ;

For Your Pleasure and Siren by Roxy Music.
Diamond Dogs by Bowie.
Lamb.. and Selling England by Genesis
Zep II and IV

Some of the other stuff in there I could barely listen to because they weren’t really very accessible to a 13 year old soul boy. Things like The Nice, Hendrix, Groundhogs all passed me by but I kept experimenting nonetheless. So I based most of my teenage listening around these four artist until I eventually surrendered to insistent lure of punk rock.

I didn’t really find my own musical independence until I was about 16 when I bought Fear Of Music by Talking Heads. And that was pretty much the beginning.