Many of today’s young adults might find this hard to believe, but a long, long time ago, before the internet shrank the world; before i-pods, Playstations or the X-box vied for the younger generation's attention; before BluRay and DVDs; before Personal Computers, video players, Sony Walkman’s or CDs, teenagers found entertainment in the shape of flat round objects called ‘records’.
Music was different back in those pre-MTV/music video days, aside from the fact that you could actually hear the words (in most cases at least), the most important things about a song were the music, lyrics and overall sound.
Along with childhood favorites, many (if not all) of us have songs which affect us in ways that few others do. They bring back memories and emotions (not always good ones) from an important time in our lives. To this day I can remember the first time I heard one which affected mine.
As the middle child in a house with seven children, I’d always been aware of music, but I never really got excited about it until I was nearing sixteen. I was in the kitchen doing the washing-up (this was 1977, the pre-dishwasher era) with the radio on as background noise. All of a sudden I heard the most amazing rock guitar intro. I remember leaving a splodge of bubbles on the dial as I cranked up the volume. I couldn’t believe my ears. Even before it was over I knew I had to buy it.
Afterwards, the DJ named the song. It was Queen’s, Tie Your Mother Down (from their A Day at the Races album) That was the day I fell in love with music. I started buying records and listening to the radio all the time. Singles and albums by ELO; The Boomtown Rats; Abba; Cliff Richard; David Bowie; The Sex Pistols; Boney M; The Stranglers; 10cc, and many others found a place in my collection, though Queen was always my favorite band.
My life changed as a result. Little more than a year later, in addition to my day job, I was working five nights a week as a pub Disc Jockey in London. Some of those pubs were less than savory. Some had strippers. Some were less than savory AND had strippers… but that’s a story for another time. Suffice to say that my (mostly good) experiences during my time there had a profound impact on my life, and would probably never have happened had I not been absent-mindedly listening to the radio that day.
How about you?
Did music have an impact on your youth?
What was the first song in the soundtrack of your life?