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.
Like many children, I swore that I would never listen to my “parents’ music.” I think that sentiment especially held true in my generation’s reaction to country-at least in these here parts. And if I were to ride anywhere with either my mom or dad, I was certain to hear the likes of Merle Haggard, George Jones, The Statler Brothers, The Oak Ridge Boys, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and many other artists of the day, blaring from the radio. After a steady diet of songs about cheaters cheating, dogs dying and fiddlers fiddling all week, I would often accompany my folks to local restaurants and other establishments to see either country artists or cover bands that included hillbilly songs in their repertoire. There was really no way of escaping it, though I tried to wash my brain with rock and roll every opportunity I had. But my efforts were futile, as I would find these ditties playing on my internal jukebox. Even worse, there were many entertainers who experienced crossover success and therefore MY stations were playing these tunes! I think it was around this time that I started purchasing 45s and cassette tapes of my own to turn to, since my stations and parents were “failing” me.
I entered my teenage years armed with about 100 cassette tapes, none of which were country. I can’t recollect what happened to the 45s, though the Mega Music Massacre of ’87 would have sealed their fate anyway.
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.