Share your Musical Life Story

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beenieman
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Postby beenieman » 07 May 2007, 03:13

You should post more Giselle. You sound interesting.

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NMB
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Postby NMB » 07 May 2007, 16:13

I bought some records. I liked them, so I bought more… and more… and more… and…

That’s about as interesting as this gets. But for anybody daft enough to read on:

Our house wasn’t big on music. My dad had quite a few records but I don’t know why. They were mostly supermarket cheapos, Fred and Barney play Simon and Garunkel, that sort of thing. I remember liking a couple of Herb Alpert LP’s, and being scared shitless by the 2001 A Space Odyssey soundtrack (anyone know which track on that LP did that to me?) but that’s about it.

We used to visit my Gran in London most weekends and then we’d drive home with the chart show on the radio. I can’t really remember the music but I know that we always listened to it, and ever since I’ve associated the Top 40 with the flashing Lucozade bottle by Brentford flyover.

And I remember we always watched Top of the Pops. My 2 brothers and I played the "Top of the Pops game", which involved getting around the room without touching the floor., so we had broken chairs, curtain rails etc. But I don’t remember much of the music. Except Slade. We didn’t know their names but we called Dave Hill "Stomper". Other random memories: the cartoon to promote Sugar Sugar; wondering if the chap in Peters and Lee was blind or not (actually I still don’t know), and hearing the Electric Light Orchestra being announced and thinking they must be a BBC house band not a pop group because they had "electric" and "orchestra" in their name. (No, I don’t understand that logic either.)

Jump forward to 1978 when I was 13. There was a band in the UK called Darts who had a few hits doing doo-wop style covers and I really loved their version of Come Back My Love. (Actually, I think my Mum really liked it too, so that probably influenced me.) Anyway, my elder brother said "If you like it so much why don’t you buy it?" And a lightbulb came on. It had simply never occurred to me before then that people actually bought records. I thought they were just played on the radio. So buy it I did.

More Darts and some Showaddywaddy. I wish I still had that Showaddywaddy LP. And then my first Beatles record - the Twist and Shout EP. That record epitomises two sides of my record buying habits that have stayed with me ever since:
1. I chose to buy that not a single because it had 4 songs, not 2, hence better value for money. I’m still a sucker for quantity over quality.
2. With that black and white photograph of four men in suits jumping off some rubble (I assumed it was a World War 2 bomb site) it felt like a piece of history and so it was more "important" than modern records. And ever since then, or maybe ever since that first Darts record, I’ve been more interested in delving back into the musical past than with keeping up with musical trends.

After that I was my school’s Beatles geek, devouring everything I could get. My bible was a book called "The Beatles: An Illustrated Record" by (I think) Roy Carr. I spent hours (days) poring over that book deciding what I needed to buy next. A single was 69 pence, ie close to a week’s pocket money, and an album was £3.69, so it all required very careful thought before I handed over my cash. Rrecords were absolutely all I bought, which is one of the reasons why my love life took so long to get started. I’d rather wear the tank top my Mum knitted than spend precious record funds on something cooler.

Bible number 2 was the New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock. That was full of exotic bands that I’d never heard of, and never could hear on the radio. I’d sit in my room staring at pictures of album covers and wondering what on earth they could sound like. Toys in the Attic sticks in my mind for that. Now I have it and it doesn’t sound like I’d imagined it would.

When I did allow myself to get a little more contemporary I was into the Boomtown Rats and the Buzzcocks. I suppose they were the acceptable face of punk, not too much swearing to upset my parents. The Boomtown Rats were also my first gig, at Bracknell Sports Centre, when I was 14. I was so excited in the build up to that. I was going to be a rock ‘n’ roll god, dancing so coolly that the band would have to haul me up on stage. In the event I was stuck down in the middle of the crowd and too embarrassed to move much at all, just jigging my knee a bit. And so I still am.

Then came the heavy metal phase, the prog phase (when I thought I should try to be more intellectual) and then the indie phase. If I was ever in love with a contemporary band, instead of doing my musical archaeology thing, then that band was the Smiths. I can still recall the entire 45-ish minutes of the first time I played The Queen Is Dead.

Off to university, where my walk to lectures (I went very occasionally) took me past a jazz record shop. The LP covers in the window looked cool, I was intrigued, so I ventured in and asked for a recommendation. I came out with Kind of Blue (of course) and Monk’s Music, and "silly pop" music didn’t matter any more for a while. Thankfully it does again now.

After that I get a bit lost. There aren’t really any significant moments just a gradual and relentless expansion of my musical boundaries. The internet has made much more music easily available to me, so that’s speeded things up a bit. And my friends with tickly throats have sent things into overdrive. I already have far more music than I can ever properly listen to in my lifetime. But my lust to acquire more is still the same.

My problem is that there isn’t much music that I don’t like. Hooray for Joy Division.
turn on, tune in, nod off

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petulant clarksville
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Postby petulant clarksville » 07 May 2007, 20:55

I have used up my allotted time reading every single word of this beautiful thread so I don't have time to write anything, but at least I'm owed a drink(is a Baileys too un-rock&roll?) and I'm looking forward to hearing Davey's new music - and I'm curious to know what comics King Feeb drew. Thanks people. :D

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petulant clarksville
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Postby petulant clarksville » 07 May 2007, 20:58

petulant clarksville wrote:I have used up my allotted time reading every single word of this beautiful thread so I don't have time to write anything, but at least I'm owed a drink(is a Baileys too un-rock&roll?) and I'm looking forward to hearing Davey's new music - and I'm curious to know what comics King Feeb drew. Thanks people. :D

hold on a minute - it looks like I only read the first page!!! I've got a lot of work to do....

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Postby Giselle » 08 May 2007, 16:21

I love hearing people's stories -- sometimes feel just a little tired of my own!!
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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catboy
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Postby catboy » 08 May 2007, 16:24

I was born at exactly the same time as Good Vibrations.

(for the fact checkers out there, go and find out what date the last mixing session for GV was, and the time, and you'll have the precise moment i entered the world. )

as a bonus the Beatles were tracking Rain as well...!
“I was in Hollywood a long, long time. I was on the verge of making it too, but some cocksucker stole my shopping cart and I was back to square one.”

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Postby Moleskin » 08 May 2007, 20:20

I was born in 1965. both my parents are of the dance band generation – they met at a dance in Gidea Park in 195?. They were kind enough to buy my older sister, born 1958, some early Beatles singles, and one of my earliest memories is of playing these on the family’s old Dansette record player in Vernon Road. I can still be wafted back there with the right combination of leatherette and other smells. The singles in question being ‘She Loves You’, ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘Can’t Buy me Love’ and ‘Get Back’. I still have these singles – so please don’t tell Sue. Of course at that time I didn’t know which side was the A or the B (although perhaps the Apple logo should have been a clue).

Anyhow, I didn’t really pay much attention to music for a few years, doing boy-type things I guess, riding bikes and reading Spider-Man comics. We always listened to the top 40 on Sunday afternoons, though. Sometimes we’d have Sunday tea from Gran’s old wheely table in the living room, huddled round the old transistor. And my brother and I would sing the songs of the Beatles at bedtime in our shared bedroom (1962-66 only as that was the album Sue owned). Music next really impinged in the last year or so of primary school when the Bay City Rollers were big and every girl wore a tartan scarf round her wrist for the year.

I guess we can jump now to 1978/9. Sue had moved on from glam into disco and I picked up the baton, using the money from my paper round to buy the Beatles albums. I bought these on Romford Market – I could get 2 a week there from a stall which sold Portuguese pressings (£3.49). Or in Downtown they were £3.99 – or UK pressings were £5.25!! And I started buying singles in earnest. Among the first I can remember (and choose to reveal) were ‘Games Without Frontiers’ and ‘The Logical Song’. One time I can remember coming home with Help! and Rubber Soul and disxcovering I hadn;'t got a key and the house was empty. Our neighbour Eric (who was in the Normandy invasion) kindly invited me in to have a cup of tea while I waited for someone to return. I studied the photos of George in his cowboy outfit in their living room. Then along came John Foxx, Gary Numan and all their friends and inducted me properly into the post-punk world. I’ve bought a lot of these records on CD and still listen to them a bit, because although I was pretty miserable at the time they were the soundtrack to my life, I associate them more with comfort – I could lose myself in the music and forget my daily woes. So from this period we have Ultravox (with and sans ‘!’), Numan, OMD, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, ABC, Yazoo, Soft Cell, Human League, Japan). Plus by this time I’d got a heft chuck of solo Beatles albums, and Out of the Blue and Discovery by ELO.

In 1980 a friend at school showed off some song lyrics. They were pretty good for a 15 year old and spurred me to start writing. We decided to call ourselves Schizophrenia! but never got as far as recording anything (apart from a musique concrete/collage thing). The band split up and I subsequently discovered that Phil’s songs were actually all taken from Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare album. I joined forces with Ray, first as Trident – a crap keyboard-led punk outfit; then briefly as Random Gender, before becoming Jehannum. Ray played synth and I sang and played bass. No drums. Pop songs. We listened to Tears For Fears, Culture Club and Altered Images. I also loved Pink Floyd including The Final Cut, so there. We saw Pigbag at the Hammersmith Palais with Belle Stars and Clare G’s band. Tony got punched on the tube ride home for eyeing up somebody’s girlfriend. The thug in question hit Tony as he (the thug) was getting off the train at Dagenham.

Then I got Debbie pregnant, and man that was all she wrote… so Jehannum split.

After the divorce (in which I lost most of my vinyl from the Futurist years but retained the first two Marillion albums – hoorah!), I was a bit lost musically. What was going on didn’t suit me so I started to delve backward, picking up the first 2 Stooges albums, Astral Weeks and Moondance, Marquee Moon and Adventure, the complete works of Bowie, oh and the small matter of the VU. Fuckedy-doo-dah, that was a revelation. I met Dave at a D&D session through a mutual friend and he and I started to write songs, what with both being fans of Bowie and Reed. Dave introduced me to Berlin, which is of course much better than Transformer. Dave was 4 years older than me and also had an older clued-in sister who had introduced him to music. We formed a band called the Burn with Paul Leather-Trousers and Paul the Depressive and rehearsed. Paul the D turned up late for the first rehearsal, which had been going so well up to then, and so I sacked him on the Tuesday afterward. (He was going to quit anyway, he said).

In this brave new post-divorce world I saw Springsteen on the Born in the USA, Tunnel of Love and Amnesty tours, the last Queen tour, Meat Loaf when he was out of contract, and listened to The Smiths, The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, The Cult, The Woodentops, a bit of Iron Maiden (and saw them on the Seventh Son tour), and a lot more 60s and 70s material including my first forays into prog with King Crimson. Oh shit, and Prince! I found him (along with the rest of the UK) in time for Purple Rain and he’s still in my firmament. Do his 80s albums compare as a run with Stevie’s 70s? Agh, and the Waterboys! This Is The Sea and then the first two. Which led me to Patti Smith in time to be disappointed by Dream of Life. I must have got into Dylan and Cohen around this time too. They were already there for me before – but I get ahead of myself.

Dave, Paul and I took The Burn to Norfolk for a weekend of rehearsal. We taped two songs based on my lyrics, then Dave quit. We split the band and Dave and I continued to write and drink together. We recorded guitar/vocals versions of many of our songs on cassette, gave lyrics away to girls in pubs, didn’t get laid, offended the occasional boyfriend by talking to their girlfriends while they played pool/the fruit machine/with themselves. I took part in a couple of plays and that is where in 1988 I met Fiona. I saw her band The Deadly Bride-Shades play once and was the Yoko in their break-up. I discovered the Nick Drake albums and we went to see Paul McCartney’s comeback tour. Then we moved in together and both bought the first Black Crowes album (saw them at Hammersmith Odeon), listened to some Lenny Kravitz, holidayed separately (she in China, me in San Francisco) and split up due to irreconcilable differences. Which brings us to 1992. Wow, what a long job this is. Somewhere in these years Paul Leather-Trousers suggested we reunite as The Burn with his brother, David Leo Atriedes (he’d changed his name by deed poll to be named after the Dune character). This lasted long enough to work up a set based on my songs but not long enough to play them anywhere. I started to teach myself to play guitar.

I moved into a house share with Claire (drummer from the Bride Shades) and Angela, and Claire kindly dragged me out to see some gigs with her friend Neily-Wheely. I fell in lust with her due to having to follow her up the stairs to the sitting room with me dinner but she was having none of it so I went to see Radiohead at Camden Underworld on my own. Then we saw them again together, and added Belly, the Auteurs, Suede, Sugar, Sonic Youth (with Pavement as support), the Lemonheads, Tindersticks and many more and then Claire relented. These were peak years of gig-going, coinciding with the whole grunge/Britpop era. We went to three Glastonbury festivals. I caught Oasis’ debut there the first year while Claire watched Evan; we saw too many acts to remember really. We were married between numbers 2 and 3 – in fact our first was on the way when we went to our third festival. We also caught the first New Order farewell gig at Reading.

We saw Dylan at Portsmouth while expecting number two, and then Claire sort of lost interest in music for a while, becoming deeply maternal. This coincided in my opinion with a downturn in new music – I think there was less of interest being created over the next few years, in fact to some extent that is still true. We are currently liking the new Maximo Park and Kings of Leon, but let’s face it they’re nowt new really. I’ve spent the last few years filling in on odd corners that I hadn’t explored before – more folk, progressive and glam, psychedelia in depth… oh and the Airplane and the Dead and the other SF bands, although I suppose they should be described as psych really.

And in the last 5 years I’ve been writing and recording as Moleskin. Four albums so far, none commercially available (though I pressed 20 copies of the first, Into the Swim, for friends and relatives, none of whom have listened to it so far as I am aware), plus a few odd tracks under the guise of Henry Ford – tape treatments and sound collages including one that drizzles along for 61 minutes. I’ve made my solo debut playing acoustically as part of music sessions organised by the local morris side, singing my own songs.

I've missed out loads, I know, and some of the chronology is a bit skewiff, but that's what you get I suppose.
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-the unforgettable waldo jeffers-

Jug Band Music
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Pat O'Banton
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Postby Pat O'Banton » 04 Jun 2007, 18:32

*bump*

anyone else care to add their contribution to this wonderful thread?

(or is it time it was put in "classic threads"?)
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the masked man
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Postby the masked man » 10 Jul 2007, 14:27

King Giraffe I wrote:*bump*

anyone else care to add their contribution to this wonderful thread?

(or is it time it was put in "classic threads"?)


Yes indeed - this surely belongs in Classic Threads. Though it's worth bumping again to see if we can get any more additions to it.

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Pat O'Banton
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Postby Pat O'Banton » 14 Jul 2007, 09:16

ok.

*BUMP*
Goat Boy wrote:TVc 15 rocks my world. The chorus makes me want to fuck a horse.

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Nit Picking Prick
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Postby Nit Picking Prick » 14 Jul 2007, 12:25

I cant believe I hadnt seen this. Ramblings to come!
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Postby RSL » 14 Jul 2007, 13:22

It's all about my music blog. Passionate about music!
Cheers.

my mp3 blog -->
http://rslblog.com

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Nit Picking Prick
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Postby Nit Picking Prick » 15 Jul 2007, 20:13

The earliest musical memories I have are about age four or five. My dad had spent his youth loving rock n roll, but I don’t remember him ever playing any in the house. My mum,having been reared in a different country for the first twenty years of her life, didn’t really transport any of her musical memories with her, but she was very drawn to theatrical, emotional ditties and one of my earliest memories is her sat at the dining table crying to ‘Seasons in the Sun.’

1977 was the year that our lives all changed in lots of ways. We moved into a new house, and unbeknown to me, their relationship was already heavily on the rocks. Whilst lots of crying was going on in rooms around the house, me and my brother would immerse ourselves in music. I had just discovered the Bay City Rollers and decided I was going to marry Les McKeown; and my favourite pastime was to skip round the front room in my dressing gown singing ‘they sang shangalang as we ran with the band’ and my brother would draw moustaches and glasses on my album covers, much to my annoyance. He was thirteen then. He had a keen idea on what was happening to our parents relationship, and spent much of his time trying to distract us both.

Then he discovered punk.

He started to come home in leather jackets, stripey shirts and wear fluorescent patterns. I would stare goggle eyed at the troops of lads wandering in the door with trousers that were too small and jackets that were too big. They wore sunglasses indoors. They were fearless.

I started to listen to what he was bringing home. The Pistols, The Clash, The Jam, Penetration, X Ray Spex, Ultravox, Suicide. I fell in love. He would hold my hands and spin me round while I sang ‘The Day the Wooooorld Turned Da Gloooooooo’, and I would chew my fingernails in fear listening to Frankie Teardrop. My mum was even won over by Ultravoxs Hiroshima Mon Amour, which caused her to cry uncontrollably. Actually, in retrospect that was possibly because my dad had left six months before, just weeks after we had bought a new home. She would sit in amongst my brothers friends and drink cider; telling them all how she had been wronged, and they would nod and burp as she passed the bottle around.

So, from the ages of 7-10 I was a punk rock chick. Nobody in my peer group at school knew the songs I did, I felt I had a special friend in Joe Strummer, who talked to me. I have the school report from 1978 that says that ‘Annas mind is very full of punk rock at the moment and I do hope this does not influence her future.’

I had a major Gary Numan fixation in 1979. My brother bought me ‘Cars’ for my birthday. To hold that 45 in my hand, grey cover, with a heavily made up Numan on the cover was just incredible for me. I played the fucker to death. I did robotic dances round the front room and borrowed my mums eyeliner to look like him. My bedroom was adorned with Numan posters, which my brother took pleasure in sticking pins in. I also started to flirt with Toyah, and had an unsuccessful attempt at dying my hair orange.

Years 1980-1983. Very emotional ones for me. My brother had moved out in 1980 to go and love with my dad and stepmum and our stepsister and stepbrother. He couldn’t deal with mum anymore and it fair broke his heart to leave me there, but he would have killed her if he stayed. Musically, around this time I had discovered new wave and was listening to a lot of electronica, Soft Cell, Human League, Duran Duran, and I rediscovered Bowie mainly because Duran Duran rated him as an influence. I would mime to ‘Open Your Heart’ in the living room at my mums again and again and again till the needle on the record player just collapsed and died. That was one of the worst days of my life – I didn’t know where to get needles or how to attach them, and I remember sitting crying as I tried to play Ashes to Ashes and the stylus slid noisily across the vinyl without making contact. I thought my world had come to a fucking end.

In 1983, after a long night of listening to my mum pretend to kill herself and ring ambulances for herself I rang my dad and begged him to come and get me. By the end of the week I was living with my stepmum, dad and my stepmums two children, and the first thing I did, as shallow as I am, was make a beeline for the record player. I fucking hogged that thing for years to come. They bought a ‘vertical’ standing turntable which as anyone who has tried to mosh around a front room to them knows, they are fucking shit. They jump and skip and are useless bits of shit. Luckily by this point I had a cassette player of my own and I could slam my bedroom door, call my parents bastards and slide under the duvet with the knowledge that John Taylor loved me (probably.)

Still, in the midst of all this musical turmoil my first love remained a constant, punk. I would alternate Soft Cell with the Ruts, much to the relief of my brother who I feel panicked that I would desert the cause once I seemed to be in a bedroom wallpapered with Simon le Bon. He was friendly with Ian Astbury at the time and used to hang around with Southern Death Cult who would invite us along to his practice studio on Lumb Lane and we could play on the drums. I stopped listening to Duran Duran and discovered the One in Twelve Club, (I wont go into details yet ). I developed a liking for bands like The Three Johns, and stopped wearing pastel pinks and started buying camoflouage and army tops. Do you remember when every fucker in the world wore German Army shirts? Jesus, there were THOUSANDS of them in our house – and I wore them 24/7 with studded belts, a beret and my doc martens. My best mate at school and I went to see The Smiths. We stopped eating meat. We had black nail polish. I sang in my first band, and hung out with mates who drunk cider at lunchtime and had nicknames like ‘Boris’ and ‘Fuckface’. I did a cover of English Civil War for the school concert, and when it finished my pal smashed his guitar then chewed his nails nervously cos he knew his mum would kill him, as she hadn’t finished the payments on it yet.

I fell hopelessly in love with a sixth former who I nicknamed Spike who was a jutting cheekboned skinny Paul Simenon lookalike . He wouldn’t have noticed me if I had spontaneously combusted next to him.

By the time I was sixteen I had been dragged to a few gigs by my brother which had pretty much sealed my fate, I wanted to leave school, join a band and spend my time getting drunk and laid. Whilst still living at home, I met someone who would change my social/musical life forever. My best mate and I went out on a rainy Saturday night to the local punky type pub and playing there were Flowers in the Dustbin, whos’ singer posts on here infrequently as alans deep bath. They were on the last night of their tour I seem to remember, and I fell promptly in lust with the drummer, who I had an on-off relationship with for years. Enchanted by tales of living in London and being pernk, I left home and moved in to a student house with several other green haired ne’er do wells I had met at college. The next five years were essentially described as follows – an immersion into anarcho punk culture, becoming politically active, drinking endlessly, sleeping with people who didn’t wash and going to see some of the worst bands possible because they sang about Nestle. In fairness there were some wonderful bands in this genre – Chumbawamba et al – but there was some fucking awful dirge at the time, really.
I found some real hostility amongst other anarcho punky wunkies who despised the fact that I loved The Clash et al. I had endless arguments with housemates who would roll their eyes if I took them out to nightclubs that played pure punk (Bradford used to have a couple of these- The Spotted House being one, which was like a second home to me) but the greatest joy I had was Saturday night, pissed, dancing to PiL and throwing my red crimped hair about. I couldn’t play a Clash album without getting a lecture on why I should despise such a ‘sell out’ ‘conglomerate’ band etc and there were times when I seriously questioned my own taste. Luckily these moments never lasted long - and working behind the bar at venues where I listened to the eighty fourth song that was two seconds long and had the lyrics ‘KILL POLICE’ was simply the icing on the cake for that decision.

Then rave happened, and there was a lot of interesting crossovers culturally – lots of my pals, me included, thought the idea of going into a field at 2am to dance was a great idea. And why not indeed. And hot on the heels of this was the Madchester scene, which caused a great unification of the love of hooded tops. This was when I most enjoyed being a DJ – playing to a dancefloor that would listen to the Specials, Orbital and still kick off at the Dead Kennedys. Pure pleasure, to control a dancefloor like that,if I ever stayed sober enough.
That brings me to the end of this story really. From 22 upwards I have embraced most things both popular and more leftfield, I think 22 was the symbolic age as it was the year I started my nurse training. Being in full time occupation left me less time to seek out new music, and then becoming a nurse, getting into a long term relationship with someone who didn’t share my music tastes, ‘growing up’, leaving certain friends behind with a move to a different county – all these things contributed to me listening less to things I would usually have done 2/7. But I would say over the past five years my passion for music has been re-discovered to the extent where I am almost at the point where it mattered so badly when I was ten years old – I am eating new bands for breakfast and wanting to hear everything, now, NOW!

My only musical regret is that I haven’t had time to explore making more music with alans deep bath due to distance, and both of our lives being hectic, and being miles apart. Being on stage and performing is an immense high for me and is something I would like to explore.
And still I return endlessly to my chief love, punk. I think this is why I get defensive when people say der, punk, meh. It was the soil on my roots as a youngster and to criticise it is not just like saying that you don’t like my lipstick or my cooking, it feels like a direct attack on me. And I know that is nonsensical and the sensible part of my head wants to understand that, but it’s the way I feel.
Last edited by Nit Picking Prick on 28 Mar 2015, 20:54, edited 1 time in total.
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beenieman
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Postby beenieman » 15 Jul 2007, 22:53

Minnie the Minx wrote:
I have the school report from 1978 that says that ‘Annas mind is very full of punk rock at the moment and I do hope this does not influence her future.’



A wonderful post Minnie. I was enthralled as I wondered how it would all end.

I love the above quote.

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Nit Picking Prick
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Postby Nit Picking Prick » 15 Jul 2007, 23:01

Thanks beenie - I had more pleasure reading this thread and formulating a reply than I have ever had here before!
You come at the Queen, you best not miss.

Dr Markus wrote:
Someone in your line of work usually as their own man cave aka the shed we're they can potter around fixing stuff or something don't they?

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beenieman
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Postby beenieman » 15 Jul 2007, 23:03

Minnie the Minx wrote:Thanks beenie - I had more pleasure reading this thread and formulating a reply than I have ever had here before!


Every few years I get a good idea for a thread :shock:

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Nit Picking Prick
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Postby Nit Picking Prick » 16 Jul 2007, 09:21

King of the Dogs wrote: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.


...to be continued.


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You come at the Queen, you best not miss.

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Jock
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Re: Share your Musical Life Story

Postby Jock » 30 Nov 2010, 16:09

The best thread i've read on here. A pity I couldn't write to save my life :lol: :oops:
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Pat O'Banton
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Re: Share your Musical Life Story

Postby Pat O'Banton » 02 Jan 2011, 13:14

Jock wrote:The best thread i've read on here. A pity I couldn't write to save my life :lol: :oops:


Have a go, John.
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Pat O'Banton
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Re: Share your Musical Life Story

Postby Pat O'Banton » 21 Jun 2014, 10:14

*bump*
Goat Boy wrote:TVc 15 rocks my world. The chorus makes me want to fuck a horse.