Monday, March 5, 2007

Passions 2 (Music)

Like many folks, my first experience of music was in the family car. We'd go on 4 hourtrips to visit my grandparents, with an 8 track to pass the time. Lots of early 60s stuff, some 50s, some country. What I heard on those trips - girl group, hot rod, Beach Boys - set the basis for what was to come. Nothing too deep juat yet. Mostly 'greatest hits'. Depth was to come.

When I was 9 or 10 I was encouraged to pick up a 45 RPM single. I think the intent was to move me towards something my peers could relate with. It must have been disappointing when I picked out "Beach Boys Medley". Not really moving in the intended direction.

But once I started buying music for myself ... I consider "Beach Boys Medley" more of a blip than anything (didn't really appreciate them until later.) I *really* started by buying 4 45s - "I Love Rock n Roll", "Centerfold", "Only The Lonely", and one other which I forget. 2 classics out of 4. I had good taste even as a kid.

Of course these 4 don't stand in isolation. I was also listening to the radio, and was the only non-stoner Floyd fan I knew. I dabbled in albums, but mainly stuck with the top 40 for a while. Until 1982. I discovered Prince.

This was a little before EVERYONE discovered Prince. I was one of the few in my town eagerly awaiting Purple Rain. 1999 had just blown me away. Good taste again.

What Prince did for me (in terms of what I looked for) was introduce me to the quest. Some of his best material came out only on B sides. And while I was looking, there were extended remixes to be had! Digging up the rare or obscure is almost as fun as actually owning a copy.

But, all was not sunshine and lollipops. In the mid-80s the top 40 was dominated by material that just didn't move me. I paid attention to what was out there, but hair-metal hell gave me a chance to reaquaint with the 50s/60s sounds I had first been listening to in the car But now I had been introduced to the quest, so dug just that much deeper.

Enter hardcore. Like the punk of the 70s, hardcore provided relief from a stale new music scene. Begining in the mid-80s, I listened to more and more loud, fast music until it pretty much dominated my personal playlist. Of all the flavors of rock, that is the one that speaks to me the most.

Today I listen to a wide variety of pop, rock and R&B. I still keep 'my ear to the wheel' so to speak, but most of what I listen to was recorded 20+ years ago or sounds like it could have been. Part of this is just normal nostalgia (although I seem to be nostalgic for some things before my time!), part it feels good to be reminded of a time 'before'. Before what? Nothing specific really. Before MS, I guess. In part. Back when I could dance like I wanted.

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