This is one in a series of short snippets detailing my musical journey-starting with my early introductions to music and culminating with what I am listening to today. Though it is my wish to eventually shine a brighter light on the music and musicians than my own personal experiences, I have chosen to primarily focus on the latter for the time being. While this blog will always contain details that are probably more interesting to those who know me well, it is with great anticipation that I look forward to featuring other people’s experiences soon!
I always tell people I listened to classic rock from an early age, but much of the noise I heard blaring from my speakers in 1980 was only a few years removed from the vinyl presses and could very much be considered current music for the era. While some songs were dubbed instant classics, it wouldn’t be determined until a later date whether they stood the test of time, were worthy of Time-Life compilation status or a Richard Simmons Sweatin’ To The Oldies fate.
In any event, there were lines being drawn in the sand in what would later become known as the Chicago Radio Wars of the late 70s-early 80s. Armed with a genuine love for the station, along with my tendency to root for the underdog-consciously or sub-consciously-I pledged my allegiance to 95.5 FM WMET and even displayed my support(and helmet-haircut) proudly!
But my musical influences weren’t strictly relegated to what I heard on 95.5. There was also a steady dose of Top 40 music via 96.3 FM B-96, the soundscapes that filled the weekend matinees my best friend’s parents took us to, jukeboxes that were present at most every eating establishment and of course the Roller Crown roller rink in Crown Point, Indiana. The latter facility became known as much for the songs they banned as for the songs they played. Their acts of censorship were courtesy of teens changing the chorus of Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” to, “I love smoking dope” and other heinous crimes! I firmly believe Weird Al must have been in attendance and a million dollar idea was born those summer nights of long ago.
This is one in a series of short snippets detailing my musical journey-starting with my early introductions to music and culminating with what I am listening to today. Though it is my wish to eventually shine a brighter light on the art and artists than my own personal experiences, I have chosen to primarily focus on the latter for the time being. While this blog will always contain details that are probably more interesting to those who know me well, it is with great anticipation that I look forward to featuring other people’s experiences soon!
There are countless people and experiences that help shape one’s musical tastes and often times it starts when we are young. According to babyzone.com, “Prenatal stimulation is a method that uses stimuli such as sounds (mother’s voice and musical ones), movement, pressure, vibrations, and light to communicate with a developing baby prior to birth. While in the womb, Baby learns to recognize and respond to different stimuli, which leads to encouragement of physical, mental, and sensory development.”
I can’t say definitively when my love for music began, but my earliest recollections include attending local concerts when I was young enough to be carried out to the car by my father, listening to 8-track tapes of Elvis, Jim Croce and Waylon Jennings in my parents’ den and hearing my brothers blast Ted Nugent’s Cat Scratch Fever, Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Rick Dee’s classic novelty song, “Disco Duck,” among others, on the rec room record player. Perhaps it was the Freddy Fender concert I attended when I was 5 at the local car dealership that sealed the deal, I don’t know. What I can say with absolute certainty is I received my very own radio at the age of 8 and have not gone a day without listening to music since then.
No one will ever confuse me with being an extrovert, though you might find that difficult to believe if you broach the topic of music in my presence. From the time I was very young, it has been as close as any friend I have ever known and a constant presence in my everyday life. Even if I am not actively listening to a song, reading about music or attending a concert, the trusty jukebox in my head is cranking out tunes, including ones I wouldn’t have chosen. To say music has played a significant role in my life would be an understatement. It has been associated with good times and bad, helped lay the foundation of many a friendship and taken me places I would otherwise have never been-geographically and emotionally.
But trying to appropriately describe how influential music has been in my life is futile, partly because I don’t fancy myself as a gifted articulator. I think the same can be said for genres of music. When asked what kind of music I listen to, I have responded for years that there are only two kinds of music in the world: music I like and music I don’t. There are just too many musicians that I like and dislike across various musicial genres and subgenres to answer that question with anything else. To say I like rock, country, alternative, jazz, classical, and so on would be painting with too broad of a brush, and to rattle off a select few bands would be painting with one too thin.
Even so, I am always open to elaborating in hopes of a meaningful conversation about not only my musical journey, but that of the inquirer as well. It is for this purpose that Not Bound To Follow Suit has been created. As previously noted, I am not always the best communicator, however, I would like to try and connect with other music lovers by conducting interviews, offering rambling observations and other features of a musical nature. It is my desire to involve fellow music fans to be a part of the process by contributing as well. If you want to share about your experiences, collections or any other music-related topics, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, if you are in a band-either well-known or your only fan is your mother-please feel free to contact me about being featured on this blog. I look very forward to connecting with you soon!