Share your Musical Life Story

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Walk In My Shadow
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Postby Walk In My Shadow » 30 Mar 2007, 12:20

frimleygreener wrote:
C wrote:
Walk In My Shadow wrote:yes, even Quintessence.

They were better live - did you ever see them Yves?

i did many a time :)

Well no, I never did.


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Walk In My Shadow
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Postby Walk In My Shadow » 30 Mar 2007, 12:26

Cheepniz wrote:
Walk In My Shadow wrote: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.

Do you remember a Caroline Dj called Tom Lodge, Yves? I met up with him via his sons about 20 years ago, played with them in a punk band. I heard many a tale of old Tom hiding Vietnam draft dodgers and other drug-related stories many a time. Tom in the past couple three years has been doing his memoirs on line on the Radio Caroline web page. Or something similar dedicated to RC.

I can't remember the name. Sorry. I'm not that young anymore.


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Postby Goat Boy » 30 Mar 2007, 13:08

Born in 1978. My parents are musical at all and didn’t listen to really any music when I was growing up. Plus they didn’t have any real record collection just a few LPs one of which was a Billy Connolly album. The first band I ever got into was Queen after buying their greatest hits from Boots when I was in primary 6 I think which would have made me about ten I guess. I listened to them a lot for a couple of years and really very little else. I didn’t buy singles or listen to the radio because I don’t recall anything really interesting me or catching my ear. In 1991 Nevermind came out but it didn’t really register with me at the time partly because I was a bit too young and didn’t have MTV so I wasn’t exposed to them. However by the time In Utero came out in ’93 I was listening to them and U2 mostly (I went through quite a big U2 stage around this time) and that was it till I hit 16 and discovered Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and Marquee Moon which are the two albums which I guess have had the most influence on my life. The Mojo issue with the 100 greatest albums ever came out in 1995 I think and I used this as a guide in those formative years (bearing in mind my parents didn’t listen to anything and I was an only child so didn’t have an elder sibling to learn from) and by the time I was ready to leave school at 17 I had most of the albums that make up the so called rock and roll canon and was halfway through a mad Beatles phase that lasted till I was 19. I then went off to university and discovered that nobody was really listening to Marquee Moon or Blue but instead were listening to Oasis. And I mean practically fucking everyone so it was a lonely time for me musically where I felt very isolated. I remember an occasion where I was playing Like A Hurricane very loudly when a loud, unattractive girl with bad skin and a dodgy perm called Alison burst into my room telling me to turn that “shit off”. In my early 20’s I mostly listened to white guitar based music but then started leaning towards soul and jazz when I hit 24ish. Nowadays thanks to downloading (soulseek is a godsend) I don’t have to spend my cash on cd’s that in my uni days and during a variety of shit paying jobs was taking a large slice of my wages every week. So now I feel my taste has settled down somewhat. The internet has enabled me to listen to more new music which in the past I tended to neglect focusing more on older stuff and I have a decent job now so most of the money I spend on music tends to be on boxsets and blank cd’s rather than individual albums. Right now I’m going through a bit of a bootleg phase downloading and buying lots of who, stones and zep boots. The last thing I bought was the Can Box Music 1971-77 and I’m expecting the complete Motown Singles vol 6 anyday now. :D
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Postby souphound » 03 Apr 2007, 20:18


There's some great writing on this thread. Would be a shame if it just vanished into the mist.
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Postby bixhenry » 04 Apr 2007, 03:22

Hopefully this won't give Proust reason to worry...

Born in Los Angeles on January 3, 1963 (same birthday as George Martin, Stephen Stils, and Van Dyke Parks). My parents were European Holocaust survivors who were in their forties when I was born, and their taste for pop music, to the small extent that they had any, was limited to things like Patti Page, Mario Lanza, Connie Francis, Lawrence Welk, Rosemary Clooney, The Barry Sisters (a fifties'-era duo of sisters who specialized in Jewish fare like 'By Mir Bist Du Schoen'), and the like. This music reflected the optimism of the time when they first settled in America in 1949 through the early fifties. Absolutely no interest in rock music of any kind, and not even stuff like Sinatra or Tony Bennett, let alone Elvis. Their taste really was centered around Jewish music.

My first conscious love of pop music was in 1967; I remember being in the back of my folks' 1966 Ford Galaxy 500 with my brother (born 1954), and 'Windy' by The Association came on the radio - it opened my four-year-old ears and heart to a world of wonder and magic. I was (and still am) forever enchanted by that song. But that was pretty much it for awhile in terms of exposure to pop music, at least consciously.

I discovered that I had some ability on the piano, and at the age of six I was given classical piano lessons from a kindly Italian immigrant named Professor Michael Quinte. I was something of a prodigy, and he urged my parents to send me to the Milan Conservatory in Italy when I was eight; my parents were dead set against it (to which I'm eternally grateful; the life of a concert pianist is not anything to which I ever aspired). But the lessons and the recitals continued.

Beethoven was my first actual musical hero; I took books out from the elementary school library and read all I could about him. And, like Schroeder from the Peanuts cartoon, I soon had a Beethoven bust on my piano. Brahms, Liszt, and Chopin were also favorites.

Around this time (early '70s), my brother had fallen in love with a black girl that he subsequently married and divorced and had a child with, all before he was twenty-one. He would drive me around and listen to the AM R&B stations, and that was the soundtrack of my childhood - Jackson 5, Spinners, OJays, Chi-Lites, Stevie Wonder, etc. I hadn't heard any FM rock - no CSNY, Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk, Stones, etc. When I tell people I heard virtually no 'rock' music growing up, they find it hard to believe, but it was true.

Then, in 1975, everything changed. A neighborhood friend had given me a cassette of The Beatles 1962-66 album, thinking I might like it, and from the moment I heard it, my life was never the same. Some of sounded vaguely familiar, but it all felt utterly right. From then on, I became an obsessive Beatlemaniac, and soon afterwards I became obsessed with Sixties rock in general - Jimi Hendrix, The Stones, The Who (my favorite band in high school), The Doors, Yardbirds, Bob Dylan, etc. and learning all I could about rock music.

As toomanyhatz said, he and I bonded around this time, and as we attended the same high school during the late '70s - Fairfax High - we went to Aron's Records across the street virtually every day, spending our money on used records and each amassing a sizeable collection. We prided ourselves on our eclecticism, and when punk/new wave hit, we really liked it (especially The Jam, Clash and Buzzcocks) but there was no way that was going to supplant our love of The Beach Boys, Neil Young, psychedlia, CCR, or any of our other faves. We viewed that 'Year Zero' attitude as bullshit from the beginning. Like hatz said, we spent hours poring over Rolling Stone's various rock history books, read Creem, Trouser Press and the like, and just immersed ourselves in the whole history of pop music.

Hatz and I shared many musical icons - see his post for our shared musical epiphany of hearing Television's Marquee Moon - but he became particularly drawn to British folk-rock (Fairport, Steeleye Span, Strawbs, etc. - virtually the only teenager I knew who liked such music), while I became a huge jazz fan after buying John Coltrane's A Love Supreme used for 29 cents at Aron's. Later, black music in general became a central part of my musical diet.

I soon gave up the piano lessons (but continued to play, just not 'the classics'), taught myself how to play the guitar after being given one by a friend, and hatz and I soon formed a band. We also started to go to clubs to see bands and artists ranging from power-popsters 20/20 to Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters - a great education indeed.

Later, in 1983, while shopping at Rhino Records in Westwood (when Steve Wynn and Nels Cline were clerks), I saw an ad for an acoustic rock band looking for a guitarist and harmony singer influenced by Simon and Garfunkel, Gang of Four, psychedelia, Nick Drake and Tom Waits; I soon joined what became The Balancing Act. Together from 1983-89, we made three records for IRS, toured with REM, 10,000 Maniacs, They Might Be Giants, Michelle Shocked, and many others. Our debut ep was produced by Peter Case, our last album produced by Gang of Four's Andy Gill (thrilling 'cause he was a hero of mine, but a pain in the ass to work with). Received a ton of critical acclaim and little sales, but we established ourselves as a band of some importance in L.A. Around the end of the band, I became great friends with davey the fat boy, a singer-songwriter of immense talent, and he and I had a sort of mutual admiration society. Davey and hatz remain my best friends to this day.

I became a studio and touring musician after the band broke up and performed with the likes of Victoria Williams, Michael Penn, Syd Straw, and other singer-songwriters. Taste-wise, I became obsessed with free jazz, modern classical, hip-hop, world music (particularly African), country, and folk. Although these musics were important to me, I eventually realized that melodic rock was what I excelled at. Formed another band, Spanish Kitchen, in 1993. Sort of a hybrid of power-pop and classic rock like Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, we became Mysterypop and made an album produced by The Knack's Doug Fieger.

A friend of mine who had managed The Balancing Act had by this time become a music supervisor, and he encouraged me to get into film/tv composing. At around this time, I developed a friendship with Van Dyke Parks, who I'd originally met through Victoria Williams and Syd Straw - both of whom he'd worked with previously. He too had encouraged me to score film and tv; he had been doing it for awhile, and thought I'd be a natural. And in one final twist of fate, my old drummer friend Joey Peters was about to break up with his band, Grant Lee Buffalo. He was also interested in composing, had many connections in the film and television world, and did I want to form a music production/composing business with him? I accepted, and have never looked back.

I've been a film/tv composer and session musician for some years now. I've met and played with some of the most renowned people in music - many of whom were/are heroes of mine. But at the end of the day, I'm still a die-hard music geek like the rest of us at BCB, and I'm grateful to share the passion for music that the rest of you obviously have. I've really enjoyed making friends with the likes of goldwax, quaco, Matt Wilson, zoomboogity, Billybobdylan, Balboa, and the rest.

(Thankfully, I have a wife who's a fellow music lover - just don't mention the words 'Celtic Music' around her...)
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Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 04 Apr 2007, 06:48

Great stuff, Bix.

Of course you forgot to mention BEN TENCH!!!!
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Postby Magilla » 04 Apr 2007, 08:57

I'm blessed with a great memory, so no doubt I'll end rambling for yonks on this post...bear with me...

Anyway, I was born in late '68, in a small town in Southland, NZ. My folks weren't into music much back then. They owned a few classical albums and top 40 comps and, later in the '70s, Abba's Arrival.

My first musical memory was watching The Monkees on our black and white TV, when I was about four or five. It was in the early '70s, so they must've been repeats.
I also distinctly remember hearing David Bowie's 'Laughing Gnome' on the radio. I was outside with my Dad and he must've had it with him as he was doing a chore.

When I was six, we moved up to Gisborne, a sea-side city on the East Coast of the North Island.
By the time I was eight or nine I was watching Ready To Roll, a TV show at 6pm on Saturday nights. It showed videos of top 20 songs, plus the odd non-chart song.
Also, in 1978, my Mum bought 20 Solid Gold Hits Vol.16. It had NZ disco star's Mark Williams' 'You Won't Matter Any More' on it, which was my favourite song for ages. It wasn't until years later that I discovered it was actually a cover of a Buddy Holly song...
About this time, my Mum took me to my first ever gig: Mark Williams, at the Sandown Park Hotel. I can't remember too much about it, other than there was lots of people there.

In 1980 I turned 12 and I started at Gisborne Intermediate school. Kiss were huge in NZ at the time and my mates and I were dead keen on them...and so it was I bought my first ever album: Kiss's Unmasked, for $9.98 from Farmer's department store.
Little did I know it, but my life had irrevocably changed.
It was a great album and, wow! - there was a cool free poster with it!! It immediately took residency on my bedroom wall.
Also big in '80 was The Swingers' 'Counting The Beat' single, a #1 here and Australia. (The Swingers were led by Phil Judd, then best-known as guitarist on the first few Split Enz albums). I loved that song.

Two other songs I loved were Devo's 'Whip It' and The Knobz' 'Culture' :oops: which led to me buying more records. (You lot all know of Devo, The Knobz were a crappy novelty new wave band and 'Culture' was a jibe at then PM Robert Muldoon). Anyway, I splashed out on Devo's Freedom Of Choice and The Knobz' Sudden Exposure albums.

My folks had split by 1981 and that year I met two people that would profoundly influence me and my taste in music: Tony Murdoch and Kelly Addis.

Tony Murdoch owned a local record shop called Vibes. It had a reputation and was generally regarded as a den of inequity. You'd walk past there on a Friday evening, glance in and see Tony and his friends basically partying among the record racks, open drinking of beer and a funny smell coming from the stock room.
One day after school I went in there and noticed The Swingers' Practical Jokers album selling for only $6 - I had to have it. But I only had $3 on me.
Amazingly, Tony let have it for $3, as long as I paid him the rest later. I could not believe my luck. I told my Mum and she told me off. A few days' later I told my Dad and he forbid me from darkening Vibes' door-way ever again. Dad was on good terms with Tony's folks as their business was next-door to the shop Dad managed, but their son was to be avoided at all costs.

But, well, it was far too late: I started buying singles by NZ post-punk, new wave bands like Blam Blam Blam and the Screaming Meemees from Vibes.
I also bought The Clash's Combat Rock there, the album I've owned for the longest.

Kelly Addis was the 16-year-old son of Dad's girlfriend, Pat. We'd go up to Auckland in '80 and '81 to visit them. I thought he was just the coolest dude, ever. He had hot girlfriends and was allowed to put Penthouse centrefolds on his bedroom wall. He introduced me to Buzzcocks and Stiff Little Fingers. I was especially fascinated by the weird end of 'Moving Away From The Pulsebeat'.

In 1982 I started Lytton High School. About this time I bought Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' which is still my favourite song. I also bought Duran Duran's Rio. :oops:

In '82 I also saw my second gig: Split Enz promoting Time And Tide, supported by new wavers The Mockers, at the Gisborne YMCA Hall. I remember that Tim Finn threw beach balls into the crowd.

The afore-mentioned Tony Murdoch was also in a band called Marching Orders. Their singer was one Jackie Clarke, now something of a media celeb here in NZ.
But, more importantly, their guitarist was Martin Kirk and when he started working at Gisborne's other good record shop, Guy and Dunsmore, well, that's where things really started to catch fire.
Guy and Dunsmore was a funny shop - the front half was a sports shop, the back the music bit. Along with Martin, Michael Dwyer also worked there. By now, 1984, Tony M had left for Wellington, where his shop there, The Soul Mine, has since flourished.

Martin's new band was the Flaming Stars and their singer was one Simon Vita - a total, unrelenting weirdo.
At that point, Martin, Michael and Simon and their friends and girlfriends were like the the older brothers and sisters to me and my friends. One of them was Andrew Neill, now a successful music writer in England (he co-wrote definitive Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere book on The Who).
My god, it was an education. I was young and impressionable and they knew it. They'd foist The Birthday Party, The Fall, The Cramps, The Gun Club on us and we'd lap it up.

I'm still really good friends with Simon and Michael; Martin and Andrew now live in England.

Another of their mates was Simon Baker, now a respectable high school principal in tourist resort Rotorua, but then a rabid SST fan. He was built like a brick-shithouse and if he told you to buy New Day Rising, you didn't argue.

About the same time my Mum had re-married and my new, older step-brother was a) a dick and b) a prog / metal fan (or a "hippy" as I called him). He was huge on all the usual suspects: Led Zep, Deep Purple, Tull, etc and always complained that the bands I liked "can't play properly".
Ironically, the last time I saw him, about six years ago, he was really into Henry Rollins and I'd just bought a Henry Cow album. :?
But back then we'd take turns pissing each other off - he'd play Made In Japan and I'd reply with Psychocandy.

In '84 I bought three 7" singles and a 12" ep one Friday evening. They were The Chills' 'Pink Frost' and 'Doledrums' singles and The Clean's 'Tally Ho!' and Boodle Boodle Boodle. I still recall Michael Dwyer's comment as I took then to the counter: "Grant's cool, he's buying The Clean."

Guy and Dunsmore starting stocking Flying Nun records. A 7" single was $4.20, a 12" ep was $7.20 and I bought umpteen of 'em: Tall Dwarfs, the Verlaines, Doublehappies, The Bats and many, many more.

By now, Martin had a new band, The Wasp Factory, who sounded like a cross between REM and The Fall, which made a lot of sense in 1986 or so. I saw 'em live loads, I just adored them. They did a vinyl album and four-song ep. One song, 'Steel Blue Skies' was voted #3 best NZ song of 1987 on Auckland's student radio station, BFM - again, this made a lot of sense in 1987.

1987 turned out to be a pivotal year. I'd left school and was fucking around as a junior reporter on The Gisborne Herald. That year I saw live for the first time, The Verlaines (in Wellington), Straitjacket Fits (in Hamilton) and The Chills (in Auckland). It was incredibly exciting.
I also got into Nick Cave.

A year or so earlier, I'd starting writing for fanzines (God, now there's a quaint, antiquated concept in this inter-web age). I can't play instruments fror crap, but writing gave me an involement to the scene.

Not only did I see these bands, but I also interviewed them backstage.

But I was still in Gisborne and pretty isolated from good live music, plus there were no good record shops in Gisborne any more. :x

In late 1988, however, things changed. I went to Christchurch and Dunedin on holiday. In Dunedin I met and hung out with Paul McKessar, then a key writer for Alley Oop fanzine and Rip It Up magazine and met people like Bruce Russell, Lesley Paris and loads others.
Paul introduced me to Television, Wire, Pere Ubu and Syd Barrett.
Coincidentally, Snapper played that Friday and Saturday: they were fucking astonishing - blazing, white-hot fuzz-rock guitars and ultra drony,repetitive drums and keyboards. That sealed it - i was moving to Dunedin!

By early '89 I was resident here and my timing couldn't have been better: the original 'Dunedin Sound' were at their peak and the second wave was starting to lift-off. Christ, it was incredible.
There's a funny thing that happened when you first went to a gig in Dunedin in that era - my friends and I would nudge each other and gawp: look, that's David Kilgour! My god, there's David Mitchell! Bloody hell - I've just spilt my beer on the bass player from Look Blue Go Purple!
But, after a few weeks the "star-struck" factor wears off and they just became ordinary people.
I knew I'd really became enmeshed in the scene when, just a few months later, I found myself at a party at Robert Scott's flat. It was cool to talk to these people and discover they were truly down-to-earth people.

One great thing about Dunedin at that time was Radio One, the student station. It continually blasted all the latest and best independent, underground and non-commercial stuff. This was before grunge made such music more widely known ,ya gotta remember.

By now it was 1990 and I was head-first into The Pixies, Dinosaur Jr and Throwing Muses. I weedled a Sunday morning show on Radio One. Often I'd wake up after only a few hours' sleep from gigs and parties the night before. But in no way was I impeded from blasting Butthole Surfers, Loop or Headless Chickens at 9am in the morning.
Later that year I started a two-year long relationship with a woman who, ever so conveniently, happened to be the programme director at Radio One. I gained excellent mid-afternoon slots as a result. Also, she a) had stunning, bountiful breasts and b) loved The Fall. I could not believe my luck.

In late '92 I near bankrupted myself travelling all the way up to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the Town Hall, touring Henry's Dream. It was a very special moment: I had at last seen him live and this truly meant a lot to me.
I saw him in '05 in Wellington and he was just as good. Two nights later I saw the NZSO and giot just as much enjoyment out of that - a sign of wide musical tastes these days, I suppose.

In 1993, my taste in music surprisingly diverted away from noisy indie pop / rock. In fact, it was as pivotal as '87.
A cafe I worked in had tapes of A Love Supreme and a Johnny Cash best of, both of which I really liked.
A flatmate was really into the hitherto taboo Neil Young and Rolling Stones and I became fairly partial to the Stones '60s stuff. It was fantastic pop music and 'Powderfinger' was often blasted very loudly whilst drunk.

I was also writing a fair bit for Rip It Up. I reviewed a Klaus Dinger solo album. I'd never heard of the guy, but was sent a tape by some guy in Auckland. he'd read the review and thought I ought to check out the guy's '70s band, NEU!. Thus was I introduced to krautrock...

I was also writing for Real Groove. In this time I interviewed, either in person or over the phone, the likes of Pavement, Sebadoh, Stereolab, Throwing Muses, Sonic Youth and loads of NZ bands. I'd had my full of it by the late '90s, early 00s, but it was incredibly exciting and fulfilling at the time.

In Feb '94 I saw Johnny Cash (and June for a few songs!) at the Christchurch Town Hall. He was outstanding and to this day is far and away the most charismatic performer I've ever seen.

I lived in or near Wellington from '95 to '98 and saw plenty of great bands in that time. Sonic Youth at the Wellington Town Hall were particularly superb, as was Tony Conrad at a small venue.
Wellington, at that point, had nowhere near as good a scene as Dunedin's so I didn't go to as many gigs. But it had some cracking good record shops. Plus started getting into Roxy Music, Brian Eno and Leonard Cohen.

In '98 I went over to Britain on holiday and saw laods of gigs, including Spiritualized at the Peel-curated Meltdown and The Pastels and Acid Mothers Temple in Glasgow. These were once-in-a-lifetime gigs and something I'll always be thankful for.

From '98 to "00 I lived in Hamilton and didn't really go to many gigs.

I've been back in Dunedin since '00. I rarely go to gigs these days, mainly a good local band if I'm in the mood. These days the Dunedin scene is pretty poor, so it tends to be Wellington or Auckland bands.Of overseas acts, I loved Joanna Newsom in Christchurch two months ago.

If gig attendance has shrunk, listening has exapnded. I'm really keen on jazz, country, folk and so forth. I don't listen to as much rock, though of course, krautrock proves the exception.

I don't have a great deal of knowledge of much current music. There's a lot I hear or read about, but I just haven't got the time or commitment I once did to check it out much.

But I'll always love music, no matter what.
"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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Postby Poppypoobah » 04 Apr 2007, 09:19

Oh boy here goes...

Born in 1963 to jazz loving dad and my mom who liked big band music, Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, much older style music than other women her age. Her dad had played sax in a big band, mom played stand up bass and cello. My dad can´t play anything but there was always music on, played on one of those big wooden cabinet record players in our living room. Mom mostly but dad too would dance with us on their feet to the music.

I´m pretty sure my first album was from then, a selection of Disney songs including Zippity Do Dah, my favorite song on the album was We Are Siamese.

My first 45´s were a gift from a cousin who was much older and must have worked at a record store in the mid 70´s there were hundreds of them all with neat little holes somewhere on the label (in addition to the center hole, I learned when I later worked at a record store that they were cut outs or promotional copies), over the years they got broken or lost or just worn out from playing.

My radio listening consisted of WBNO a local station that would bleep out the "it´s five o´clock in the morning, D*mn it." part in Someone Saved My Life Tonight. Or an AM station from Detroit, played on one of those little round radio´s that looked like a huge donut or braclet.

My first concert was the Bay City Rollers, I was close to the stage and threw a folded up love letter and hit Woody in the head. What can I say? I was only 12?

Punk happened while I was still in high school, I remember seeing film footage of the Sex Pistols and going in to school and talking about it with the slightly effeminate only english boy at school. From then on I had a crush on him, he loaned me and my friends albums. Everybody else was listening to Foreigner or Rush, while we were listening to Ian Dury and XTC.

A few years down the road, living on my own, I worked at a record store, we each had a talent for something. Mine was that if someone couldn´t remember the name of the song or band that they were looking for, if they sang a little snippet of it, I could guess the song, kind of like "Name that Tune". Living on my own, I could finally go to concerts too. My parents had been very over protective when I was living at home, now I was 2000 miles away and could do what I pleased, so when I could afford it I´d get gussied up and go see some live music. I wanted to look like a pop new wave princess but for some reason I always ended up looking like a heavy metal chick?

Eventually ended up married to the sensitive slightly effeminate english boy from high school, and we inflicted our own poppy brand of music on our son. He´ll end up being a metal head without a doubt.

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Postby Butch Manly » 04 Apr 2007, 21:45

I grew up almost without music in the house. Even though my mum and dad were on the cusp of their adulthood and living in Liverpool when the Beatles were in their Cavern residency they didn’t bother to go to see even one of those 292 Fabs shows. Only last Christmas, my dad said to me “I always preferred the Searchers, to be honest.” Their antipathy to the Beatles remains a mystery to me although, to be honest, Liverpool has a history of not being over-impressed with its own.

No, my dad was a hard-working, honest man who had no truck with rebellion or, indeed, causing a fuss in any way. I imagine Little Richard, Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis absolutely appalled him although I do seem to remember him waxing lyrical about Brenda Lee and Peggy Lee. Maybe I thought they were sisters at one time. But we did, by the time I was about nine, have a radiogram in our house – mainly serving as a nice piece of furniture and a way to listen to “Family Favourites” on a Sunday whilst we ate our roast dinner and wondered what on earth could possibly be going on in Gibraltar and Cyprus for us to have British troops stationed there, and Terry Wogan’s surprisingly entertaining Radio 2 breakfast show during the week as we got ready for work and school. Once the radiogram arrived a few LPs crept into the house, too. For a long time, not even having a radio of my own, I survived on three discs – “20 golden greats” by Nat King Cole, plus best of’s by Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison. What my dad did like was pretty unimpeachable when you think about it (if you conveniently ignore his enormous love of “Mississippi” by Pussycat). My mum seemed satisfied with her “a Festival of Carols” album. Possibly, she occasionally played it in August.

At some point in the early to mid seventies two things happened which proved instrumental in my burgeoning obsession with music; my kid sister got a Hacker mono record player for Christmas and I got a Binatone table-top cassette recorder. Whilst Diane busied herself buying various K-Tel compilations I set about putting together a modest cassette collection. Soon I had a best of Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Beach Boys Greatest Hits, the Shadows 20 Golden Greats, The New Goodies Cassette (well, I was only 11 and anyway, it had some great songs on it), Can’t Get Enough by Barry White and a compilation which I remember had “All the Young Dudes”, “Children of the Revolution” and “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” on it. I still didn’t have a radio at this point so much of the chart stuff of the time that was deemed too racy for Radio 2 (Racy themselves, somewhat ironically, were not deemed too racy in this respect) passed me by apart from the eternal struggle to see Top of the Pops which my dad, of course, hated and would sit through tutting and muttering to himself, often completely ruining my enjoyment of this crucial weekly half-hour of heaven. Why I never bought a radio for myself, I’ll never know. Maybe I was always skint when I was eleven.

At round about the time I turned a teenager something happened to me that happens, it seems, to many boys of that age. My music taste, almost overnight, completely deserted me. It was, of course, entirely the fault of my mates’ older brothers. Whilst the Pistols flitted from record company to record company and generally threatened western civilization I, starved of any decent music supply, began to believe my mates that their big brothers’ record collections were practically unimpeachable and much, much more sophisticated and, well, cleverer than any of that stuff in the charts or my own meager and now strangely embarrassing cassette collection. To rectify this potentially socially disastrous situation I began to borrow LPs off my friends, commandeering my sister’s Hacker in the process, and pretend to like them. Actually, although many of them were awful, I really did like some of them. I quickly became enamoured of early Yes, “Argus” by Wishbone Ash and Hawkwind– loves that persist to this day. I didn’t half listen to an awful lot of shite when I was thirteen, though. I began to buy actual LPs at this time although I still borrowed cassettes from Winsford library for some years to come, taking chances and discovering things such as Next by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band and Rubicon my Tangerine Dream. Also, my friends were less under the spell of Big Brother once punk well and truly took hold and we all began to read the NME (although I actually preferred Record Mirror and its more pop orientated coverage at the time). Punk – so scary at first not to mention rather shit to my 13 year old Yes-adoring ears – began to make sense to me as I got older and I devoured the music press more and more. I bought stuff by the Damned then the Clash and the Pistols and played them along side my Gladys Knight, Yes, The Real Thing, Abba and the Shadows. It seemed slightly absurd at the time, especially to my mates who, I’m sure, despaired of me, but I suppose by that point my musical taste was almost fully formed. I still didn’t have a scene of my own though. everything so far had been a bit retrospective or arriviste.

Then I began to become aware of weird goings on in, of all places, Liverpool. Nothing much of any note, save perhaps for the aforementioned Real Thing, had come from the Pool of Life since the Fabs had disintegrated nearly a decade before (one of my earliest memories, along with Armstrong walking on the moon, was hearing on the radio that the Beatles had split up. Even at the age of six it seemed incredibly shocking). But punk had had an odd effect on the city. Nobody had any real interest in jumping on the punk bandwagon (as Start Maconie notes, scousers are always suspicious of a trend they didn’t start themselves) but it did galvanise a whole new generation into wanting to create something new and slightly left-field. Bands, it now seems, were formed and disbanded on an almost daily basis and petty rivalries were rife. From all of this several bands actually did manage to stay together long enough to write songs and even release them. The three most significant ones all had wonderfully exotic and exciting names, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes and Wah! Heat. I’m not quite sure if I decided that I liked them even before I’d heard them just because of the names.

Each of them, though, was causing a right hullabaloo in the pages of the inkies and they all gave great copy. What’s more, their music was fucking great too – post-punk but strangely psychedelic yet modern-sounding. I really liked the Bunnymen and the Teardrops but it was Wah! Heat, as you know, who became my band. Unlike the other two bands, they actually seemed interested in saying something about the world around them. Indeed, their singer seemed pretty keen on saying something about absolutely everything, according to any journalist who ever interviewed him. In 1980 I hung onto his every word in the press and when their album finally came out I pored over the cryptic insert (“wah! – deep as eternity. Onlookers, shallow as time!” etc.) for hours in much the same way I imagine people did with the back of those early Bob Dylan records a decade and a half before, trying to make some sense of it all, sure that it somehow meant something terribly important.

By now, of course, I’d bought my own record player and, with the aid of my Saturday job in a green grocers, was buying singles and albums pretty much every week, often on the advice of whoever was reviewing the singles in the NME or Record Mirror that week. As post punk gave way to that second golden era of pop I went with it happily, buying singles by Odyssey, In Deep and the like as well as those by the Jam, Madness and Orange Juice. Stuff like the Clash and Dexys were now hugely important to me but I still lived pop music first and foremost and despised heavy metal (and anything remotely like it, in spirit, apart from Hawkwind who I was convinced were actually rather punk) with a vengeance. I remembered Wylie saying he was in a pop group not a rock band and this seemed terribly important to me. In February of 1983 he finally had a top 3 hit with “Story of the Blues (Part 1)” and this got him onto Andy Peebles “My Top 12” radio show. His choices of Motown, Miles Davis, Phil Spector and, most importantly, Bob Dylan had a profound effect on me, making me go out and investigate all those artists to a greater or lesser extent. I became a musical archaeologist again, just as I’d started, I suppose, and I fell head over heels with Dylan. He is, to this day, my main man and I can’t imagine a world without his music.

I was at university by now and benefiting from the cross-fertilisation that comes of being surrounded by lots of other young music fans. During my time there I was turned onto countless bands and artists whilst at the same time getting hold of more and more Motown and Dylan (which most of my mates hated). Hip hop was beginning to break big and I loved what I’d heard of it although I bought relatively little for some reason. “White Lines” and “the Message” of course as well as a few compilations with things like Duke Bootee on them and even “The Crown” by Gary Byrd, if you can call that hip hop.

Then, in April 1984, I went to see the Smiths at the Newcastle Mayfair and they stopped me in my tracks. It was completely, truly stunning and remains to this day the most visceral, hypnotic thing I’ve ever seen. Suddenly, nothing else seemed to matter that much a lot of the time. Beyond New Order, Bob Dylan and a few other artists, everything seemed rather ordinary in comparison to the Smiths, at least for a while. I think that that’s partly because the mid eighties was a largely uninspiring time. Except for one other band. In 1987 somebody lent me Yo! Bumrush the Show! And I suddenly knew what it was like to hear the Sex Pistols for the first time, as they happened. It was like a bomb going off in my head. We all live for these moments, surely.

Just as I was giving up on guitar music entirely the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays (and Chicago house, of course) came along and everything seemed suddenly exciting again, at least for a year or two. Then something awful happened. Grunge made metal fashionable and music went really rather shit for a while. If it wasn’t grunge then it was diluted house music or power ballads in the charts, it seemed. Depressing times, at least in terms of rock music.

That’s why Oasis going massive was so important and so wonderful. At last, it appeared, the indie kids had stormed the barricades. be continued.
Last edited by Butch Manly on 05 Apr 2007, 08:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Butch Manly » 04 Apr 2007, 22:04

GoatBoy wrote:I remember an occasion where I was playing Like A Hurricane very loudly when a loud, unattractive girl with bad skin and a dodgy perm called Alison burst into my room telling me to turn that “shit off”.

i remember a similar time when i shared a college block with nine others. it was a gloriously sunny day and i was playing "queen jane approximately" at full blast when one of the girls who lived with me asked "what is this shit?" :roll:
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Postby Bungo the Mungo » 04 Apr 2007, 22:06

The Mighty Giraffe! wrote:i remember a similar time when i shared a college block with nine others. it was a gloriously sunny day and i was playing "queen jane approximately" at full blast when one of the girls who lived with me asked "what is this shit?" :roll:


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Postby sloopjohnc » 05 Apr 2007, 03:33

The Mighty Giraffe! wrote:
GoatBoy wrote:I remember an occasion where I was playing Like A Hurricane very loudly when a loud, unattractive girl with bad skin and a dodgy perm called Alison burst into my room telling me to turn that “shit off”.

i remember a similar time when i shared a college block with nine others. it was a gloriously sunny day and i was playing "queen jane approximately" at full blast when one of the girls who lived with me asked "what is this shit?" :roll:

My brother and a friend visited me in my dorm one Friday night.

When we got back after a party, we turned on Van Halen full blast and kicked some shit around our room. The music was so loud you couldn't even hear the stuff being kicked around.

The next day, a girl in the dorm told me the campus police had knocked on our door for five minutes but left when no one answered. I never heard a thing.

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Postby Butch Manly » 05 Apr 2007, 08:28

fantastic! :lol:
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Postby John_K » 11 Apr 2007, 14:42

Been tipping away at his since beenie first started the thread, hope it doesn't read too disjointed. I've probably left out a ton I'd like ot add, but if I don't post now I never will!

I was born in 1969, the year of Altmont, Woodstock and The Beatles final public performance, among other things, events that would have meant nothing to me at the time but have held my interest for years since.

I'm a Dubliner, born and lived all my life here. My parents were average people for the time, my father's a bar manager and my mother was at home to take care of my sister and I. As was the norm at the time here in Ireland, many young women simply gave up their jobs when they got married and had a family. Something that's practically impossible in the modern Ireland of the Celtic Tiger.

While my father would often break into some traditional Irish 'ditty' while doing his thing about the house, he's not what you'd call a music fan and I doubt he's ever bought a record in his life. In saying that though, there was always music playing in our house be it the radio, or my mother's records. Her tastes wouldn't set the world alight, her Irish showband 7" singles from her own youth, through to Cliff Richard and the dreaded Daniel O'Donnell in recent years.

What rubbed off on me though was the fact that she bought and played records, they were part of the fabric of our house. Being an eldest child, I was never going to have the benefit of an older sibling passing their knowledge onto me, or indeed having their collection to plunder - I was going to have to plough my own furrow, and as Neil Young taught me in later years occasionally head for the ditch.

One of the earliest singles I can remember playing, and was more than likely bought for me by my mother was 'Long Haired Lover from Liverpool', and there was also a Beatles with Tony Sheridan album that my mother had that I enjoyed a lot.

Earliest memory of a communal love of music, sharing it with others involves 'playing Abba' with my cousins at family get togethers. While they adults would sit in one room and do what adults did, the kids would take over the room with the stereo, and play the Abba albums. The table was my piano, a tennis racket guitar and two hairbrushes completed our stage set-up, two boys, two girls singing their hearts out to the sounds of Swedish pop :-)

I can't with certainty recall the first single I bought with my own money, but something like Jona Lewie's Stop the Cavalry or Don't Stand So Close to Me by The Police stick in my mind.

When I was about 8 years of age I remember getting one of those single speaker tape recorders that you never see anymore. It had a condenser microphone that I used to hold up to the radio or television to record tracks I liked from the top 40, or Top of the Pops. In this hi-fi age I shudder to think what those tapes sound like, but they were priceless back then! The Christmas that Santa bought it he also left a tape copy of Abba's Arrival and a disco/pop comp, Non -Stop Dancing or something like that. If I looked hard enough I could probably find them!

Towards the end of my primary education (about 11 years old) for many of friends music wasn't the be all and end all. My best friend was a Shakin' Stevens fan, something which after 32 years of friendship I still give him a hard time over. Other kids were all 'Skas', not the Jamaican variety, but Madness, The Specials, Selector and Bad Manners etc. were huge with the kids in my school at the time. Me, I was an Ant. I though they were the business at the time, it filled me with huge pride at the time that my band could go straight in at number one back when the charts meant something to us. I bought the singles, and albums, loved the glamour and the fact that they were different from what everybody else was listening to at the time among my contemporaries.

While I had my band of the time, I think The Beatles through that Tony Sheridan album and all the radio play they got while I was growing up they were embedded into my soul. I can still remember sitting on the edge of my bed lacing my shoes for school when I heard the news on my radio that John had been murdered.

Near the end of primary school and the very start of secondary school there was a brief flirtation with heavy metal, involving the purchase of some AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden records, along with the obligatory badges and t-shirts. My parents were never going concede to me having long hair at the time, and the standing in a circle head-banging at the school disco crowd wasn't for me anyway so the phase passed as quickly as it started. Still love the sound of Lizzy and a good blast of 'Who Lotta Rosie' though, oddly enough I find my iTunes here the office has a copies of If You Want Blood and Back in Black as I type :-)

I suppose like many kids, secondary school is one place were your musical interest starts to develop. The classes are streamed in many cases, so you end up grouped with similar kids, and there are bound to be similar people to hang out with. In my school your school bag was like a badge of honour, somewhere to opening display your allegiance. We used to buy those old army surplus canvas shoulder bags, and those of use with an artistic touch would spend out time copying the logos of our favourite bands onto them. Taking a walk down any corridor they were all there to be seen, the Madness M-man still in evidence, the classic Lizzy logo, the Zep symbols, lots of U2, The Doors, there was even one guy who had a very carefully stencilled Mahalia Jackson on his bag which made him all the more interesting to me!

I used those bags almost as pointers to what the older kids were listening to, I'd have been far to shy to try and strike up a conversation with one of them! Being a Northside Dublin school, only a couple of miles from Mount Temple, and being the early eighties, U2 were huge with the older kids. The was one group of mates that were in the leaving year who were U2 fans and old enough to go to the Baggot Inn or Dandelion Market for the U2 gigs and I thought those guys were cool as fuck. Their bags also carried the logo of the Virgin Prunes, but it was a couple of years later, in Paris of all places that I picked up my first Prunes records, along with my first Smiths single - more later.

Having got through the first year of school and starting to find my feet the summer holidays were interesting. Not being old enough to work the floor of the bar my father managed, I used to do some work behind the scenes in the mornings for some pocket money. No sooner would I have been paid, than I'd have been on the bus into Freebird Records 'the' independent record shop in the city at the time and still around today (thankfully). So with the couple of pounds I'd earned, I'd see what I could pick up. Back then it was second hand U2, R.E.M., Talking Heads, Doors, and Neil Young among others. I can still remember coming home on the bus with my copy of Rust Never Sleeps, dying to play it and beginning a life long love of Mr. Neil Young :-)

So returning to school after that Summer break, things really started to kick in. I'd started to identify the kids with similar tastes, and some of those with older siblings provided great inspiration. One guy would let me copy tapes his brother had made him, introducing me to the Sex Pistols, The Only Ones, Stiff Little Fingers, Undertones etc.

There was a time when whatever LP was flavour of the month was almost as important to bring to school as your text books! Coming backwards and forwards were albums by Talking Heads, David Bowie, U2, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Cure, Siousxie & The Banshees, PiL, The Velvet Underground & The Doors etc. I'd plead with my parent to buy me a box of blank tapes every few weeks and home taping was certainly not killing music!

In and around this time, way ahead of my friends, about '84 I convinced my Dad to buy a CD player for the house. This was a time when we'd only had HMV etc a couple of years and the CD section was maybe a hundred titles. My first CD purchased was Roxy Music's Streetlife, which represented value for money for the £15 it cost at the time, and the footsteps at the start of Love is the Drug sounded fantastic to all my friends and me. My second CD was Paul Simon's Graceland, given the price of CDs at the time you had to be very careful with your choice. You could pick up maybe 4 albums for the price of one CD, maybe I jumped too early and at the time would have developed a better collection had I stuck with vinyl a little longer. The £30 sterling a copy of Bowie's Stage cost me in London back then still stings to this day, that would have been the guts of fifty Irish pounds at the time!

'84/85 was also a revelation for another reason, I was finally old enough to go to live gigs! Among the first shows I went to were in the St. Francis Xavier Hall on the northside of the city, a moderate sized church hall (?) were I got to see Echo & The Bunnymen and The Smiths early on. That purchase of This Charming Man in Paris had left me obsessed with The Smiths, I was buying all the singles, the albums and having to already start replacing the vinyl with CD after a year or so. Their show was fantastic, we threw Morrissey type shapes and lived every moment of the gig. Even managed to have a quick chat with Tracy Thorn and Ben Watt at the back of the hall who were there for the gig, still have the ticket they signed at home somewhere.

The SFX as a venue doesn't operate anymore but we'd some good nights there - The Smiths, The Bunnymen, Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, The Damned and The Pogues among others. The night we saw The Pogues there was mental, the mosh at the front stretched half way down the hall, and the condensation was literally dripping off the walls. I don't think I've ever experienced such frenetic energy at a gig before or since - incredible.

To this day I've never been a fan of outdoor shows, always figured they were full of musical tourists just there for the day out. Some of the early concerts I'd got to over those summers were outdoor, U2 in Croke where I also got a chance to see R.E.M. live for the first time, Simple Minds the following year where myself and my best mate bought tickets that morning simply because The Waterboys were on the bill. The Self Aid show here in Ireland the year after Live Aid was wonderful, a day long show in aid of unemployment here in Ireland (the eighties were a different time in Dublin like many other cities) with the cream of the Irish music scene at the time on the bill. Not too often you'd get a chance to witness such an event in this country, the entire show was televised, and being 6' 6" and wearing a red beret on the day I feature frequently throughout the footage. One of these days I'll attempt to convert the VHS to DVD and spend the day watching them with the lads who were with me on the day, for old time's sake.

While it's all too easy to take cheap shots at bands like U2 or The Waterboys nowadays, for me growing up in Dublin, and the same could be said for many of my friends their cover versions and interview references prompted us to go off and investigate further. The fact that U2 were covering Bob Dylan, Eddie Cochran, and The Waterboys were covering Hank Williams, Van Morrison and Patti Smith was enough for me, time to expand the shopping list!

When I look back on my time in college, unlike some people I don't think my musical knowledge or taste greatly expanded during my time in college. I studied Architectural Technology in the Dublin Institute of Technology from '88, graduating in '93. Wasn't this the time the whole Madchester thing was in full flow? Seems like it completely passed me by, and to this day would be a gap in my collection. A large percentage of my time in college was project work, sitting at a drawing board/CAD station preparing designs/drawings and invariably project deadlines almost meant working through the night for a couple of nights towards the end to get them finished. So the soundtrack to these nights were mellow, something that wasn't going to drive you insane as you sat for hours hunched, trying to complete every last detail. Albums that stick in my mind from this time are Tracy Chapman's first, Tom Waits' 'Closing Time', After the Goldrush, Joni Mitchell's 'Blue' - I'm sure you get the picture.

The daily commute in and out of college was also the first time I got hooked on music on the move with my first Walkman. The Walkman in the years since has been upgraded twice, morphed to a Discman, then a MD Discman, and I'm now onto my second iPod. So through the headphones of my Walkman I had my own soundtrack, and it was via these that I fell in love with Public Enemy, Pixies and Throwing Muses in particular at the time. Albums like 'It Takes a Nation of Millions', 'Doolittle' and 'The Real Ramona' literally stayed in my Walkman for months at the time!

I sometimes feel that finishing college, getting married and getting a family home/family off the ground put things on hold a little for a couple of years. I didn't necessarily have the disposable income I wanted in order to shop as I've have liked for music. In many ways I relied on sales and 3 for €30 type offers the big labels pushed through the stores.

At a work function of my wife's around this time I got chatting to a profusionist that worked at the hospital with her, he was as interested in music as I was and introduced me to the idea of swapping minidiscs, telling me all about the recorder he had bought. Shortly after I bought one two, and every couple of weeks I'd send Tracy into work with a couple of discs and she'd arrive home with some for me. This was a treat, and my introduction to Zappa and American Music Club among others arrived on these discs. These swaps at the time were just the impetus I needed to kick start my passion again, and I started to buy some more, and read more again.

While reading one of Paul Williams' Dylan books (Watching the River Flow?) I'd noted he made constant reference to tapes of certain Dylan shows throughout the text. This intrigued me and I became determined to find out how I'd get some of these recordings. I started to trawl the internet and discovered the newsgroups and mailing lists were like minded music fans chatted about music and traded shows. Being a 'newbie' at first I'd nothing to trade but what has never ceased to amaze me is the generosity of music fans when it comes to helping and educating a fellow fan. Having exchanged some mails with people I had promises of tapes to get me started, and within a week or so padded envelopes from the UK and US started to arrive. So know I was listening to classic Dylan shows from the '60s and '70s, filling in some of the gaps I'd only previously read about. Now I had some tapes to trade, I could start 'my list' and use them to trade for more. Before I knew it I had dozens of Dylan shows, and thought I might try and expand into other artists of interest, so next the Neil Young, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Ron Sexsmith, Wilco, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Richard Thompson & Ryan Adams amongst others started to flow. Inevitably tape gave way to MD & CDr, the packages got smaller and the music arriving became more diverse.

While I traded live music monthly like this for 5 years or more, I made the decision to step back from it. Things were starting to get a little silly, How many Dylan shows from the one tour can you have after all!

I did correspond with some great people during the time though, here's a further example of the generosity of music fans - A couple of years back Dylan was playing two shows in Dublin, one in the warehouse that is the Point Theatre, the other in a small club venue Vicar Street. I'd a ticket for the Point, but Vicar Street tickets were like hen's teeth. Anyway, the morning of the Dublin show I was getting ready to leave for work and the phone rang, my wife told me somebody called Dennis was looking for me. Here was a guy I'd swapped tapes with from Athlone (middle of Ireland) asking me was I going to Vicar Street? I told him I hadn't a ticket but was going to the Point the next night. Would I like to go to Vicar Street? Who wouldn't!! Anyway, the long and short of it, on his way to Dublin that day he took a detour to my office, met me for 5 minutes and sold me the ticket he had at face value! I didn't manage to see him at the show that night, but when I think back to the night he always brings a smile to my face :-)

In my teens I read NME weekly and sometimes Sounds or Melody Maker, they seemed relevant then whereas I feel the NME has become a tabloid always looking to promote the next bandwagon these days. Other regular reads of the years have been Hot Press, Q, Vox, Select, Mojo, Uncut and The Word. The magazines I enjoy most these days are Mojo and The Word, and I also buy The Wire on a regular basis - it's a great reminder that musically I'm only on the tip of the iceberg.

TV and Radio have brought me hours of musical enjoyment, our first VCR had a remote control that connected to the unit via a cable and I can still remember sitting on the couch watching The Old Grey Whistle Test, The Tube or TvGaGa with one finger over the record button waiting for the next great thing! I've shelves of VHS cassettes at home, and no longer a VCR! The hours of tape, REM on The Tube, U2 on TvGaGa, New Order doing that in studio TV performance for BBC2(?), Live Aid, Self Aid so many great memories. Rewind, Play, Rewind, Play :-)

As I've gotten older, particularly since the kids came along, I'd take radio over TV most evenings. John Peel's show when I could, less so Lamaqc, from Ireland - Dave Fanning in my teens, Tom Dunne in recent years, and my favourite 'The Mystery Train' with John Kelly. The Mystery Train ( was one show I genuinely looked forward to each day while I cooked our evening meal. John's show was a revelation, dependent on the day or his mood he had the most wonderful playlists, you'd get Rock, Folk, World, Blues, Doo Wop, Jazz etc. You'd never know where those couple of hours were going to take you, and it disgusted me when last year the stations bosses decided to take the show off air in a schedule shake up. If the national broadcaster can't maintain a show of this nature in the face of all the sound alike commercial stations then what hope is there anything other than the norm.

Personally, the internet, be it mailing lists, or forums have been the single greatest event in my musical life story. It's like having been given the keys to the kingdom and flinging the doors wide open! In and around the same time I discovered Black Cat Bone and Rate Your Music and encountered welcoming people on both. While RYM is more list driven and has nice functions for compatibility searches (Hello Jock!), BCB is the single greatest musical resource I've had in years. First site I visit in the morning and last one at night. Through the avatars and logins you start to recognise people who's opinions you trust, who's recommendations will make you buy a CD without knowing the first thing about the artist.

I largely credit my time here with my discovery of Can, properly appreciating Soul music, Garage Bands, rediscovering The Go-Betweens & The Fall, dipping a toe into Prog, 70's electronica, doo wop and the blues amongst all so many others. I look forward to where the next post or suggestion will take me, for that I thank you one and all (btw my bank manager hates you!).

I'm now the father of four children, I've a nine year old son and five year old triplets (son/2 daughters). The older guy likes to get personal mixes made for him with the bits and pieces he's enjoying from the radio or stuff he's heard me play, and I like to throw the odd curve ball in to see what he makes of it. The triplets are where I see things almost turning full circle and it gives me the greatest laugh. They like to have a go of there older brothers cd player, and most Sunday mornings while I try and grab a lie on I'll see them disappear into his room with the toy guitars and microphones, there be a bit of a fight over what CD is played and then the knock out blow from one of the girls 'No you be John or Paul, I want to be Bingo'! :-)

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Postby the masked man » 11 Apr 2007, 17:52

What a fantastic thread! This confirms something I've long suspected about BCB - even though we all like different music, we've experienced similar journeys, and we remember our musical passions so vividly. Even so, the writing on this thread has absolutely knocked me sideways - hell, this could be the best thread ever! Brilliant stuff.

Here's my story then. I was born in 1965 in a nondescript English mining town, but I moved to a small Scottish town (Haddington - Fish from Marillion lives there now, btw) in 1970. My parents liked classical and easy listening - Cliff Richard was about as contemporary as they got.

Earliest musical memories were of the glam-rock era. I remember my mother constantly tut-tutting at the costumes worn on Top Of The Pops (interesting exception - she thought Ron Mael from Sparks was really funny!). I consumed this stuff fairly uncritically - I listened to the radio avidly but without much discernment. Early albums I bought were by Queen and Genesis, but my interest in either didn't last long. My first single was 'SOS' by Abba.

Like many, my first recollection of punk came from hysterical tabloid headlines following the Bill Grundy fiasco. It all seemed rather too scary for a timid 11-year-old like me. Nonetheless, the first shoots of a musical obsession were starting to be visible. My parents took me frequently to the coastal town of North Berwick. I remember avidly searching through the entire stock of LPs and singles in the town's only record shop. Never bought much, but this just seemed so alluring.

By 1979, my favourite artist was Gary Numan - I thought 'Are Friends Electric' was the most diverting song I'd ever heard, though I quickly found out he wasn't the most original artist in the world. I started an interest in electronic pop, which took in Kraftwerk, OMD and The Human League. Also, the new wave singer-songwriter stuff, like Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson was appealing. Then one night I heard Joy Division's 'Transmission' on the radio; it was one of the moments where I knew music would never quite be the same again for me. The song took me to unexpected places.

1980 was a big year for me. I turned 15, and started buying records seriously for the first time. I was listening to Peel, in the hope of hearing more bands in the same ballpark as Joy Division. I discovered The Cure, the Bunnymen, Cabaret Voltaire, Magazine, A Certain Ratio, Orange Juice and many long-forgotten names this way. Meanwhile, I started reading NME, and exploring record shops in Edinburgh. This was slightly scary - shops tended to be rather dank places with lots of punks hanging around - but nonetheless exhilarating. Buying a vinyl LP was a big thing for me; I remember the precise circumstances of where I bought Closer, and Crocodiles, and Seventeen Seconds, and Travelogue.

In 1981 I moved to the south of England, to Sussex, where I felt slightly isolated in my tastes - the principal tribes at sixth-form college were metalheads and mods (well, this was near Brighton...). I was listening to a weird mixture of post-punk, scratchy indie singles on Rough Trade and smooth synthpop. Interesting that I desired both extremely slick music and its precise opposite - I suppose I wanted a balanced diet. However, my tastes were pretty limited in some respects - virtually everything I liked was recent and British (The Ramones, Blondie and Talking Heads may have been the only US bands I liked). That same year, I attended my first gig - U2 supported by The Comsat Angels at Brighton Top Rank club. As a gig virgin, I stood way too close to the speakers and had ringing in my ears for days.

I had another life-changing experience courtesy of the radio shortly afterwards when I heard 'The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel'. The whole idea of creating something new out of other records I found incredibly liberating, and hip-hop in its earliest, electro-influenced form would start to become very important to me. I bought all the Streetsounds Electro LPs, which compiled all the hottest tracks from New York. At last I was breaking out of my parochial tastes!

In 1983, I starting attending University in Reading. This was important, in that the Students Union had a pretty decent booking policy for live bands. During my time there, I saw The Pogues, Prefab Sprout, The Violent Femmes, Marc Almond, The Pale Fountains, and the band who would become my new favourite - The Smiths. I cannot separate their music from the times I had at college; it was a soundtrack to all my joys and fears. Although the lyrics contain distinct references to the north-west of England, their records always evoke late-night car journeys through the streets of Reading to me. Funnily enough, my hallmates in the Hall of Residence had pretty similar tastes - the soundtrack to our hall included The The, Kate Bush, Cocteau Twins and Lloyd Cole, as well as Morrissey and co. Though the mid-80s are commonly regarded as a musical wasteland, I like to think we cherry-picked a lot of the best stuff available. Meanwhile, I had an American girlfriend who introduced me to the likes of Joni Mitchell and Richard Thompson - we also shared a love of two great Australian bands, The Go-Betweens and The Triffids,

On leaving uni, I found myself listening to (whisper it) quite a lot of Goth. Also house music was breaking big, and that was very exciting. Once it became big in Europe, house tended to sound bigger and blander, but the early 12-inch singles coming out of Chicago were much starker, and featured excitingly violent edits, particularly when it mutated into acid. I still kept up with hip-hop, which was coming of age, but lost track of the genre when the focus shifted from New York to Los Angeles; I was never a fan of gangsta. Public Enemy and Eric B and Rakim were at this point keeping the East Coast flag flying though.

I was now less enamoured with indie, as the C86 sound was terribly feeble. Nonetheless, I was a serious 4AD fetishist (those gorgeous Vaughan Oliver sleeves!), particularly as they signed Throwing Muses, the next band I really fell in love with. I played their self-titled debut incessantly, learning all the record's sudden moodshifts while trying to interpret the rather shockingly candid lyrics. (Later I met Kristin Hersh after a gig - they say you should never meet your heroes, but she was really sweet.)

By the end of the 80s, I preferred Melody Maker to NME, and I started to enjoy some of the more experimental bands they championed, including Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, A R Kane and Bark Psychosis, as well as more conventional bands like The House Of Love and The Sundays. I was still buying plenty of dance 12-inchers, so the whole indie-dance scene was pretty much up my street (I always preferred Happy Mondays, as I suspected The Stone Roses were a 'Madchester' band for people who actually didn't like dance music much).

In 1989, I moved to Cardiff. I was still keeping up with new music, while starting to lose the idea that punk was some sort of year zero. I didn't enjoy grunge much, and initially felt that Britpop was a little backward-looking and borderline xenophobic. Nonetheless, I was enjoying live music, and certainly saw some great gigs by Blur, Suede and Pulp. Meanwhile, I was alternating this with nights out at techno clubs, and danced my way through gigs by The Orb and Orbital (the latter quite painfully loud, by the way). This was a good time for me musically.

Towards the end of the 1990s, I found myself exploring more old music, like Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and Scott Walker, as new music was starting to sound a little exhausted. I never liked Oasis much, and too many bands at the arse-end of Britpop repeated their retro drudgery. I enjoyed Radiohead, though.

I think I needed a kick up the arse myself as I was feeling jaded. So, one Christmas, I found myself at my parents' house, idly exploring the Internet. I went on the Mojo4Music site and noticed they had a message board. It seemed full of forthright opinions - dare I join up? Reader, you can probably guess how this turned out. Suffice to say, I've found my enthusiasm for music new and old re-ignited by the crowd I met on that board, and BCB now feels like my natural home on the web.

Today, it's hard to categorise what I'm listening to, as it's so scattershot. Very little of what I've liked since 1980 has been discarded - I'm pretty comfortable with all of it. I still keep up with indie, and have started to listen to some hip-hop again. Perhaps the most surprising development is that I've also developed, for the first time, a taste for metal, particularly female-fronted European bands like Nightwish and Within Temptation. My fifteen-year-old self would be appalled!

This is probably the longest post I've ever written, and it's still the simplified version of my musical odyssey. Names I missed mentioning include Tom Waits, Japan, Massive Attack, Tindersticks and Propaganda, among many others. Whew!

I exhort everyone who hasn't done so yet to contribute to this thread - you'll have a blast!

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Postby beenieman » 23 Apr 2007, 04:31

Thank you all for your fantastic posts. I feel like revisiting my original post to 'write' it better.

Super contributions evryone.

Anyone else?

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Postby Butch Manly » 05 May 2007, 09:15

can we put this thread in "classic threads" please.
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Postby Short Bald Bloke » 05 May 2007, 23:11

The first single I was given was Super Trouper by ABBA when I was 9 years old. My parents had little interest in listening to music, or so I thought at the time. In later years I was surprised to find that they had met at a folk dancing club as teenagers and Dad actively morris danced until middle age. However, we had very few records in the house – my initial interest in ABBA was sparked by Mum’s copy of Arrival and the helicopter and catsuit cover. The other records she had were Guilty by Barbara Streisand, Loggins & Messina and something by Randy Crawford. Dad had a Peter Skellern album and a bit of Hungarian folk. There never was much hope for me.

By 1981 in an attempt to be cool in late primary school I had learned all the words to Prince Charming by Adam & The Ants. I also recorded songs off the Sunday afternoon Top40 rundown in an attempt to create my own radio show. Around the age of 13 I hung around a lot at the house of a mate called Bill Gregory who was into CB radio and heavy metal. Through afternoons of listening to Maiden, Gillan and Judas Priest I developed a love of ‘heavy rock’ which is still with me to this day. They do say that you never forget your first love. Even though there is plenty of more challenging, interesting and dare I say worthy music around, listening to certain bands such as Rainbow or AC/DC just feels like going home. At this time I also went to my first concert, Saxon at Sheffield City Hall. The first records I bought for myself were Gillan’s ‘Double Trouble’ and Queen’s Greatest Hits. For months I thought that Bohemian Rhapsody comprised the first 3 tracks on the album.

In the first years of secondary school, my horizons broadened (slightly). I was knocked over by the first Marillion album, and very impressed to see a jester embroidered on the back of the denim jacket of a sixth former at school. (Hello Brother Louie). Musical tastes were honed around friends houses. One mate loved Queen, at another’s we listened all the time to Ziggy Stardust, Lets Dance and the eponymous Genesis album. Home by The Sea still takes me back to those times. I went to see Jethro Tull on the Under Wraps tour and developed a love of progressive rock. Genesis became, and still are, my favourite group ever, ever, ever. Grew my hair into a mullet and again thought I was cool. I also insisted on using a set of transfers to make the spines of all my tapes look identical and filed them in alphabetical order. I saw the Lindisfarne Christmas Show faithfully every year for some reason.

Led Zeppelin also came into my life at this point and never left. The bands of the lower sixth were The Alarm, Simple Minds and U2, whilst I also became indoctrinated with Neil Young and The Doors. The Cure, The Cult, REM, The Pogues and the Smiths accompanied my university years, but I couldn’t be doing with electronica. A friend also taped for me the Springsteen 75-85 live box set, opening another set of doors. I also went to a few folk clubs, seeing Vin Garbutt, Dave Swarbrick and Gregson and Collister amongst others and thumping my foot on the floor with the best of them.

Later discoveries included Richard Thompson, Jeff Buckley and Carole King. I suppose most people would view my tastes as conservative. I do not feel that I can compete with certain posters here in relation to the more obscure, however, given the amount of time spent discussing The Beatles on this board, I don’t feel too bad about that. The important thing to me is our shared love of music. The differences in taste are what makes this message board. Looking back, whilst I think that I would have discovered most of the music I like on my own, it is apparent that for me certainly I have been influenced a lot by my friends. Maybe I am just easily led.
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Postby Giselle » 07 May 2007, 01:27

Born in '62 (top songs in UK and US "Return to Sender" and "Big Girls Don't cry"I forget which country which hit)

my mom had a great music collection that I actually started to pay attention to about the age of 9 or 10.
We had just moved from Silver Lake, where I had friends --to Hollywood Hills with mom's new boyfriend, Austin who lived in a beautiful castle with some other hippies. It was dark and gloomy in the rooms of the place, but on the roof was a garden.
Austin was a guitar player. He blasted Moody Blues and Crosby Stills and Nash on an expensive stereo out into the garden and I would just sit up there. I guess that was around '71. These records sounded like heaven at the time and at the volume he played them.
I wore a white poncho to school every day, and white go-go boots. With long wavy blonde hair. A cute little girl, but even in Hollywood considered a little odd by the other children. (We look back and believe everyone "hippie" in 70's, not true.) I would not trade this experience even though the kids were cruel, it was lovely being in nature for the first time. We didn't live there long, tho..
After that I bought a transistor radio for 5 bucks at Radio Shack and would carry it everywhere with me. I still, at 44, always have good radio around me, and have recently subscribed to Sirius Satellite with an insatiable need for new and familiar soundtrack to my life.
I have suddenly forgotten the call letters, there were three of them--KFJ I'm thinking?the biggest station in LA at the time, damn--but "The Real Don Steele" had a show on that AM station at the time that played the hits of the day. I remember I really liked "Signs" "Horse With No Name" "Kodachrome" Stevie Wonder songs, Bill Withers music was great in '71 '72 and I just kind of branched out from there----
At 18 I met some people in my town who were into music and Mike Watt and others around the Minutemen turned me on to post-punk.
Gary kail was a boyfriend who had a wide-ranging collection including psychedelic, progressive and krautrock--I loved him but he chose heroin.
when I was 22 I went to live on a commune in VA and poked through their rec collection and discovered old folk stuff--there was also a fine college station from Charlottesville VA Rob Sheffield was one of the many wonderful djs at WTJU at the time, who now writes for Rolling Stone. (That reminds me, I heard he has a book out now, about those days.)
i and a couple people received OP and then, Option magazine for a while which also kept me listening, learning loving music.
They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say 'Shit, it's raining!'

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Postby Giselle » 07 May 2007, 01:39

As I read other's posts I see others my age have also mentioned KHJ as an influence. (The radio station I was trying to remember.) Yes, very wonderful and eclectic at that particular time.
They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say 'Shit, it's raining!'