Saturday, December 3, 2011

Musical Notes

I've always loved music. As I look back I realize it's been a big part of my life.

When I was growing up both my older brothers played in bands. Some of my earliest memories are of them rehearsing out in the garage. As a kid I remember hearing the Beatles music everywhere. Of course I preferred the Monkees. Don't hold it against me; I was only 5 or 6.

Through my early teens my brother Richard would bring home music when he came back from SIU. I remember listening to Happy Jack by the Who on an old record player out in the garage. I was dancing around and singing along. It was the Who’s second album, probably 1968 or 1969. Keith Moon was still alive and their music was fresh and very cool.

I remember buying Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy by Elton John when I was in 8th grade. I walked downtown from Our Savior’s school over lunch. I was pretty crazy about him then. He was a Superstar. LOL

In the mid 70's Richard bought me Bob Dylan's new album Blood on the Tracks and I think I wore it out. Richard helped me put together a stereo and he built me some nice speakers to go along with it. My teenage girl bedroom had my stereo on the dresser and I listened to a lot of music there. One night my Dad came into my room. He told me that he and Barb (my step-mom) were going to get a divorce. It's funny how distinctly I can picture it in my head and hear the music that was playing. Dad walked out and my life changed; Dylan has always been part of that moment for me.

I listened to all the music of my era: Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young. (BTW, I'm going to miss obvious stuff that I won't even think about till after I post) I complained that Disco Sucked, but listened to the BeeGee's and Donna Summers, and my first R rated movie was Saturday Night Fever, the movie that MADE disco (and John Travolta). I was 16. It was 1977.

The 70's were a wild time. The music (and everything else) got more and more excessive. With arena rock the music was often eclipsed by light shows and spandex and glitter.

Suddenly it was the 80's and there was this huge backlash against what was seen as too commercial, sold-out rock n roll. Punk hit the mid-west at least a year after it hit everywhere else, so by the time I heard about the Sex Pistols they were no longer together as a band. But the Clash, Elvis Costello, the Boomtown Rats and Talking Heads stepped in and carried on the new sound.

The era of Rockers vs Punks had begun.

1 comment:

  1. Great article. It's funny how particular songs take us back to specific moments in our lives, and have such a personal, individual meaning. My own musical journey was similar, and I remember those decades. You really encapsulated what so many of us experienced and enjoyed.